There are lots of reasons it might be hard to cobble together a decent resume. Maybe you've been unemployed for a long time, maybe you're trying to switch careers or maybe you're a mom who's been home raising kids for a few years.
Whatever your situation, there's good news. Resumes are changing. Your skills are just as valuable as your formal employment and can help sell your resume to a potential employer.
Ford R. Myers, career coach, speaker and author of the book "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring" (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) encourages job seekers to draw on a variety of past experiences, in both paid and non-paid positions, when applying for new employment.
"These transferable skills, acquired during any activity - volunteer positions, classes, projects, parenting, hobbies, sports - can be applicable to one's next job," Myers said. "By adding transferable skills to a resume, employers get a better understanding and broader picture of who they are hiring - as well as the interests, values and experiences that the candidate brings to the table."
Myers divided transferrable skills into five broad skill areas and gives examples of how you can describe each:
Communication: writes clearly and concisely, speaks effectively, listens attentively, openly expresses ideas, negotiates/resolves differences, leads group discussions, provides feedback, persuades others, provides well-thought out solutions, gathers appropriate information, confidently speaks in public
Interpersonal Skills: works well with others, sensitive, supportive, motivates others, shares credit, counsels, cooperates, delegates effectively, represents others, understands feelings, self-confident, accepts responsibility
Research and Planning: forecasts/predicts, creates ideas, identifies problems, meets goals, identifies resources, gathers information, solves problems, defines needs, analyzes issues, develops strategies, assesses situations
Organizational Skills: handles details, coordinates tasks, punctual, manages projects effectively, meets deadlines, sets goals, keeps control over budget, plans and arranges activities, multi-tasks
Management Skills: leads groups, teaches/trains/instructs, counsels/coaches, manages conflict, delegates responsibility, makes decisions, directs others, implements decisions, enforces policies, takes charge.