Volunteer for the Coney Island hot dog eating contest - bike polo captain - six-time marathon finisher. These are all job skills you may want to consider including on your resume.
Recruiters want to see candidates that stand apart from the ‘average Joe.’ They want to know that the prospective hire will impact their company in a unique way, both functionally and culturally. While not every quirky trait will lead to a job offer, unexpected accomplishments and hobbies that lend themselves to a job posting / position description can portray you as a memorable and qualified candidate.
Whether you’re a stand-up comedian or play club soccer, here are 11 surprising things you might consider keeping on your resume – and why.
- Music and Theater Performance
Playing an instrument, singing, acting – these talents all demonstrate an ability to keep your cool when in the spotlight. This can showcase your communication skills and ability to remain calm and poised when all eyes are on you.
Personal blogs were once thought of as not ‘professional enough’ for resumes, but these outlets can be an excellent way to showcase your individual voice and self-starting tendencies. Blogs demonstrate the entrepreneurial background, the ability to write, and the constancy required to initiate something on the web.
If you’re unsure whether the content on your blog is work appropriate, feature a blog you kept from a vacation or study abroad program. This will give the recruiter or prospective employer some perspective into how you were able to document the experience, and your strengths in certain areas such as photography or writing.
- Extracurriculars in College
Beyond academic accomplishments, talking about your involvement in student activities gives a potential employer a peek into your personality. It can illustrate how involved you are and what some of your passions include. It is also suggested that you list college courses from areas other than your job field (e.g., a medical professional who took classes in English Literature) in order to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.
- Experience in the Service Industry
While your first job as a waitress might not seem relevant to your professional life, service positions generally provide a candidate with valuable skills. This provides insight into your ability to cater to the needs of customers, and shows what you learned from being in customer service.
- Stand-up Comedy
A background in comedy is no laughing matter. Experience in performing stand-up comedy demonstrates a candidate’s confidence with public speaking, an ability to improvise, the capacity to network, and their comfort with the possibility of rejection.
Participation in sports shows off your collaboration and communication skills. Athletics are an example of a job seeker’s strengths in competition, discipline, teamwork and the ability to overcome failure.
- Community Service
A background in community service is a great trait to list on your resume, especially if the potential employer encourages community involvement. Many companies have formal community service days / programs and they like to see prospective candidates who support their mission to give back.
By participating in competitions in related fields, job candidates reveal their enthusiasm for their work outside of the 9 to 5 workday. Even if you don’t secure a position on the podium, it demonstrates a passion for your role, your commitment to expanding your skills, and your active participation in the industry.
Serving as a mentor for students or colleagues indicates a dedication to helping others grow, especially for professionals more established in their careers. As people grow their careers, many companies look for well-rounded candidates who are not only career focused but also have something to give back.
- Book Club Member
Beyond showing a love for reading, participation in a book club demonstrates your interest in learning new things, and a commitment to actively expanding your knowledge base and openly discussing new information.
- Freelance Work
While freelance experience might not look as strong as full-time employment, it still means more than no work at all. Include your freelance experience on your resume, especially if you were unemployed during that period of time. It’s far better to show you were working on something as opposed to having a time gap on your resume.