I’ve always thought about that episode of HBO’s Girls where Hannah meets with her e-book editor and he gives her advice about thinking ahead of the game. He draws this huge circle and places a small dot outside of the circle. Basically, the days of thinking myopically in this world are long gone.

The ways in which you seek to diversify your resume can be major helpers in your career—both monetarily and professionally. It’s about taking what you know and adding on more niche markets.

Even publishing companies have grasped onto this concept of expanding their resumes due to the beleaguered economy consequently leading to the struggling print space. Condé Nast has taken to the realm of publishing lifestyle, travel, and fashion magazines, and is using expertise in the area of brand management to branch out to restaurants, hotels, and clubs. Vogue-style bars and cafes will open in cities like Moscow and Bangkok. It’s only a matter of time before these places will be sprouting in New York City as well.

If you’ve never thought about this before, but you’re reading this now, you’ve already indulged in the act of diversification. It shows you are serious about accelerating your career, and when it comes down to business, you aren’t faking it. Making a good impression and getting paid more—or so we hope—should be your end goal in winning over your current or next employer. The ultimate is demonstrating your skills, and, perhaps, merging your passions as well, to make you a well-rounded and sellable candidate.

Diversifying Your Resume

Here are some tips that you may find helpful to diversifying your resume:

  1. Brush up on your foreign language and join a club to demonstrate your proficiency. The ability to speak another language is very attractive to employers.
  2. Take a free online course. Coursera is great for free lessons and making international connections at the same time.
  3. Learn technical skills like Photoshop or FinalCutPro. For example, if you’re a teacher, make videos of sample lesson plans on vocabulary and post to YouTube to give yourself credibility as an expert.
  4. Your after-hours job may not be the job that pays your rent, but it sure brings you a lot of joy, like opportunities to go to certain events and more intellectual stimulation. It’s also a great way to pick up new skills you can apply to other jobs.
  5. Do some international traveling. Some people just travel to go on vacation, but use your travel as a way to connect with other professionals in your field. Then, invite them to connect on Linkedin to keep up on each other’s projects.
  6. Brainstorm how your passions can merge with a realistic day job. For example, I love politics and fashion, so I’m going to show how much of an expert I am on both topics by utilizing the skill I know I can do best: Writing. Whether it’s seeking out the latest trend, art exhibit, or political update, my ultimate goal is getting people to realize that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive.
  7. Utilize that elective you minored in in college. Did you study art history? Offer to teach some classes at the local rec center and put it on your resume as additional skills and experience.
  8. Showcase your talents on an about.me website and add it to the headline of your resume. It’s another place potential employers can see everything you’re capable of.
  9. For mid-level career professionals who work in corporate America, research your company’s national and international secondment programs. It’s a great way to learn more about the company, show your loyalty, and your dedication to succeed.
  10. Always think outside of the box. What are some issues at your job that you have solutions for? If it’s low morale in organizational culture, offer to host/plan office lunches or icebreaker events. This shows that you’re people person, easy to work with, and a problem solver—which makes you valuable, well-rounded employee.

What are your tips for diversifying your resume? Share them in the comments!

Ask Carly Heitlinger, Director of New Media at Levo League, a question about creating a diverse resume!

Photo courtesy of Decor8 Blog