The number one reason people have poor resumes actually has nothing to do with their key words, their font selection, or any other miscellaneous design aspect. It has everything to do with their experience. Most people aren’t able to get the jobs they want because they don’t have the experience for which employers are asking. I already know the question you are asking yourself – “How do I get experience if everyone wants experience to begin with?” The answer – create your own experience! It is amazing to me that people create their own barriers to their goals by limiting their potential to the confines of what they are told to do rather than what they want to do. How do you create your own experience? Here’s how:
- Volunteer – What is stopping you from volunteering and getting some great experience in an area relevant to your goal(s)?
- Start a Business – One of the best ways to get experience is to start a business. You’ll learn so much going through the process and although you may have your day job, your business will be your ticket to building experience in an area of focus. I have a DJ business and now I blog as a career advisor. I’m building my own experience because I haven’t created an invisible barrier for myself – I just do it.
- Complete a Project – Start a project or join forces with others to champion a project. Once the project is complete, decide when to do another. There is a shorter time commitment on projects (depending on the project) and you can do as many that you want….racking up the experience!
- Ask for More Responsibility – Don’t just do what you are paid to do at work – ask for more responsibility. Seek opportunity to expand your experience. If you’re an aspiring Graphic Designer working at a mom and pop coffee house, ask if you can design some collateral!
Once you have the experience you need, your resume will be improved far more than by any suggested insignificant design change like adding a page border or changing your font. Your experience is what makes you valuable because it is through experience that we have opportunity to achieve and to learn. No one achieves anything from reading a book other than having read the book. You need to go out and put your knowledge into practice. If your biggest challenge to getting your dream job is that you don’t have experience, the great news is that you directly control this variable.