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Tips to Diversify Your Resume to Make You a More Sellable Candidate

Career Advice |

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.

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!

 

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careeradvice tips resume resumes

9 Comments

Amazing advice Melissa! I recently spruced up my resume and got a job offer soon after. I certainly will use these tips to impress my current employer as well. Taking free online courses, learning photo shop, and offering icebreaker events at the office are definitely on my to do list!

3y

that's amazing!! Im glad my tips helped you!! best wishes!

2y

Thanks for reading! These tips are definitely universal.

3y

Thanks for sharing this amazing article!!!

3y

These are such great tips! They can even be applied to students if you put a spin on them, such as 3. take a graphic design class as an elective, 4. join a club or on campus organization that your passionate about but where you can be a leader and develop your skills or 5. volunteer or intern when you study abroad.

3y

Amazing tips on how to stand out. I have been wanting to take some type of course online so learning about Corsera was great. Thanks so much.

3y

you're welcome, Laura! Let me know how Coursea helps you! best wishes

2y

This is such an interesting article. It is definitely something that I have been thinking about for a while. After working for 9 months at a place where I didn't learn anything, coupled with 6 months of unemployment, I find my resume lacking, in spite of a spectacular internship and an even better job. I think diversifying my resume is the key to make my past obsolete - both for myself, as I am so disappointed by it, and to future employers. By taking Coursera classes, as well as volunteering for local organizations and a local campaign, I am developing new skills and learning about topics I didn't even know that I cared about!

3y

Another tip: In the beginning of your career, it's totally okay to take a job out of your desired industry. I did, and I think it actually better prepared me for the one I wanted to be in, and am in, now. You learn a completely different skill set, which other candidates may not have.

3y
Melissa Henderson

Melissa Henderson studied Political Science at The George Washington University. She currently lives in Philadelphia and works in digital media. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter for other miscellaneous thoughts and dealings: @melspainn.