So you’ve finalized your resume – good job! You’ve made sure to emphasize your professional experience and your education. On the advice of a professional, you have included some concrete examples of successes you’ve enjoyed.
Finally, you took the time to perfect the aesthetic aspects of the document: the content is clearly written and concise; doesn’t exceed two pages in length; uses a legible font and is grammatically flawless. In short, your CV highlights your professionalism and attention to detail.
Despite all your hard work, however, your resume leaves you with a feeling of dissatisfaction. You feel like it doesn’t really highlight the unique aspects of your character, and doesn’t quite get your message across to recruiters in a way that will make them want to reach out to you. After some reflection you realize that the document is missing a certain je ne sais quoi that shows off your distinct professional style – but how can you add a little ‘spice’ to your CV without embellishing your experiences?
Below are four strategies that you can use to enhance the content of your CV. These are changes to your CV that can be done on short notice and that will help you stand out from the crowd when it comes time to apply for a new position.
On your CV, include details about an experience through which you contributed to your community or society. Explain what you accomplished, illustrate the context, and detail the skills you developed during the experience. For example, perhaps you helped to organize a charitable event in support of a cause that holds a lot of meaning for you.
The experience allowed you to develop your skills in the areas of logistics, event planning and management, and also helped you realize that you have a knack for building relationships with event sponsors. These are important achievements that should be part of your CV!
Why not expand your professional experience by offering to help someone with a project they are working on? For example, you could offer your help, free of charge, to a young entrepreneur who is working on a project you find inspiring.
This is an excellent way to share your expertise and creative ideas while adding value to your CV and enjoying an adventure at the same time. Who knows – the entrepreneur you choose to work with may offer you a position in their company in the future.
Conceptualizing and completing a personal project that has special meaning for you, or that you are particularly suited to, is another great way to increase your work experience. For example, some people mention in their CV that they are in the process of writing their first book; that they are enrolled in a new training course; that they are putting on an event, or doing some home renovations.
Any experience that involves planning, managing and completing a project shows that you have skills that can be transferred from one domain to another. Specifically, it’s always worthwhile to mention in your resume that you know how to use certain software, are adept at communication, understand marketing and promotion, or have other relevant skills.
It’s also possible to grow your experience by taking a specialized training course. In your CV, indicate your expected date of graduation and whether you will receive a certificate or professional designation for successfully completing the course.
However, always be sure that the training you are undertaking aligns well with your career goals.
Ultimately, adding a little ‘spice’ to your CV is an opportunity to show how you use your creativity to pursue your professional goals. By adding a personal touch to the content of your CV, you can highlight valuable experience that, one noticed by a recruiter, will inevitably help you in your professional career.
By Mélanie Grégoire, M. Sc., RVP, vice-president at BrissonLegris