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."
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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.