There’s a lot of great advice out there for improving your CV, from formatting to phrasing and a whole host of things in between. What isn’t so widely available is advice on what to do if you need to boost the actual content of your CV e.g. your skills and achievements. It’s competitive out there and sometimes even the best laid out CV won’t be enough to stand out against the sheer volume of other applicants.
Taking expensive qualifications and bagging that ever elusive work experience aren’t the only ways you can gain skills that’ll ensure your CV reaches the candidate pile and not the shredder. We’ve put together a few examples to give you some inspiration, these are just a couple of ideas, there are plenty of other opportunities around if you’re prepared to go out and grab them!
The internet is a fantastic place for this sort of thing, there are so many resources and opportunities available from the comfort of your sofa.
Blogging. Start a blog about something you care about, if it’s something related to the industry you’re trying to get into then all the better.
Website development. Instead of using one of the many great blogging sites, why not set up your own website. It’s easier than you think to learn and not only will website development add an impressive new skill to your CV, your website will also be a great place to showcase yourself.
Social media management. Become a social media guru, whether promoting your blog/website or just your ‘personal brand’. Social media is still relatively new, and becoming more important and complex daily – those in the know are in demand at the moment.
Once you start incorporation elements like writing copy, design and SEO expertise, you’ll be building up a skill set that’s sure to catch any recruiter eye. You may even find a flare for something in this industry and open up a whole new career path for yourself.
In the Real World
The internet isn’t the only place these opportunities exists.
Volunteer. Volunteering doesn’t have to mean sitting behind the till in your local charity shop (although that’s still a great thing to do), find an opportunity that suits you and get stuck in!
Organise a fundraising event. Most charities will be happy to support anyone who wants to organise a fundraising event for them – established charities will normally provide you with mentoring and marketing materials.
Start a local project. Starting your own project is a great way to boost your skills and help your community while you’re at it. From fundraising for your local church to organising an after school club there are plenty of worthy causes to choose from.
All of these activities will furnish you with provable examples of some really useful skills, to name but a few:
• Event management
• Customer engagement
• Team work and leadership
• Planning and organisation
• Financial planning, forecasting and budgeting
The advantage of this sort of thing over the online activities is it also provides you with a greater opportunity to network.
Again these are just a couple of examples and you need to make sure it’s relevant to you. If you’re trying to break into the financial sector then maybe a recruiter won’t care that you can design beautiful websites but I bet they will care that you have an insightful blog on current economic indicators and their effects on international markets. Think about the ‘skills gaps’ in your CV and go out there and fill them!
About the author
Rachael works at Graduate Rescue – The Complete Online Resource for Job Seekers. They provide online interview coaching, practice aptitude tests, career planning, industry information, CV help and more. Check them out www.graduate-rescue.co.uk
Rachael works at Graduate Rescue – The Complete Online Resource for Job Seekers. They provide online interview coaching, practice aptitude tests, career planning, industry information, CV help and more. Check them out here