Past work experience is, of course, the most important part of your resume. It’s meant to show a prospective employer that you have all the skills required to do the job for which you are applying, and that you’ve used those skills before in a professional capacity.
But what if you’re applying for a position that requires skills you didn’t gain through your past professional experience, but rather, skills you gained outside of work? Can you include those skills on a resume, and if so, how?
The first thing to consider is this: Are the skills truly relevant to the job you’re seeking? You may be a fantastic pottery maker, but if that’s not a skill needed for this job, you probably shouldn’t waste space on your resume with that information.
As a professional resume writer, I’ve occasionally worked with people who had very impressive accomplishments outside of work (athletic champions, award-winning artists, etc.). In some cases, I’ve chosen to include these items in the resume, even though the skills themselves were not relevant to the candidate’s desired role. The accomplishments, however, were exceptional and helped to describe the person’s character (driven, hardworking, and so on). So, while I say that in most cases, if it’s not relevant, you shouldn’t include it…you also want to use your best judgement.
Once you’ve determined what outside-of-work activities you’d like to include (and the skills you are intending they demonstrate), you now need to add them to the resume.[Read more…] about How to List Skills Gained Outside of Work on Your Resume