This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume.
The Projects section might be at the bottom of your resume…but don’t be fooled! It’s still a major selling point of your CV and is becoming more and more relevant in the modern job market as companies look for employees who self-train and walk through the door with something to offer on the first day.
This is why lifelong learning and continuing education is having a moment right now…and the market will continue to grow.
There are a lot of ways that you can demonstrate your initiative and interests as projects on your resume. Here are a few ideas…
- Start Your Own Blog
It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment and you don’t need hundreds of blogs posts to exhibit expertise within your field.
Begin by making a list of topics that someone with your job title would be expected to be knowledgeable on and develop your post ideas from there. One post per topic will work.
The Big 6 Skills on your resume is a good place to start. We teach you how to determine your Big 6 Skills in our Career Hacking Masterclass.
Make your posts unique by showing your personality and giving a real look into your work history and interests. A generic blog might hurt you instead of help you.
Since the sole purpose of your blog is to demonstrate your skills to potential employers, you can skip worrying about social media integration, SEO, and other typical website concerns. Keep in mind that someone who has already seen your resume or LinkedIn profile is going to be looking at your blog.
You’ll be driving traffic there directly so you don’t need to focus on any of the “pull” mechanisms of marketing.
What you should focus on is uniqueness and quality of writing. If you’ve never blogged before, take a look at some blog posts for ideas on how to structure them. Find a talented writer to edit before publishing if writing isn’t in your skill set.
If you’re better at being on camera than you are writing, make the content video-based.
You’ll also need to focus on making the blog attractive because studies have shown that people ultimately judge that content of a site based on its appearance.
- Make Something
Is there some way you can bring your skills and interests into the physical world?
For those already who are already “makers” by trade or product-centric, this will be easy, but there are opportunities for desk workers as well.
Let me use myself as an example. Most of my work experience is related to marketing and operations, most recently in the educational content world, and my next career move is to focus more on content within the consumer behavior, business ethics, and psychology of happiness realms. If I were to make a career move in that direction through traditional employment, I would probably put together something like a book or magazine that contains content on one of these topics. I would maybe even bring in a couple of people to work on this with me so we can all use it on our resumes.
You don’t have to use an expensive printing solution either. In fact, you could skip printing altogether because you’ll be linking the pdf version on your resume.
Your project will have to make sense for your role and industry, but get creative and find something you’ll enjoy working on. If you need help with ideas, Tweet at me and we’ll chat about it.
- Team Up
A big selling point for employers is an applicant who demonstrates an ability to thrive as a part of a team. There are some exceptions, of course, but most of us have to work with others in some way or another.
Think of ways you can team up with someone to work on industry research, something creative, etc.
Demonstrating teamwork through a project is especially a good idea if you are wanting to move into a role that will require teamwork but have mostly solo work in your work history.
4. School Projects
Especially if you are a recent grad, the projects you completed during your studies can be included in the Projects section of your resume. Try to include only the most relevant projects you worked on -you don’t want this to be a list of every paper you wrote all throughout college.
What projects have the most crossover with the work you would performing if hired?
5. Start a Meetup Group
Meetup group leadership will show employers that you are a person who will take initiative to create something useful for others.
It will also brand you as a person who is interested in people, which is actually really hard to come by these days.
As a bonus, you’ll also meet lots of new and interesting people who have connections to companies and jobs and build your social and organization skills.
6. Play Pretend
Create a make-believe work scenario and assign yourself a project that will demonstrate the skills that you would be performing if someone hired you.
In my early days of digital marketing, I would created logos, websites, and marketing strategies for pretend companies so I could show potential clients what my work looks like in addition to the work for clients I already had.
This is also helpful if you are looking to change industries but use the same skill set.
Have something in mind that I’ve forgotten here? Comment below and let’s talk about it!