How important are your part-time work experiences? You would have definitely found yourself asking this question at some point during the course of your college life. And if you are slated to join your very first job, then this is a significant consideration for you. The reason, this subject perhaps seems like a challenge is because we tend to inadvertently trivialize part-time jobs. In our quest to find the job that is ideal for our long-term career goals, we overlook those experiences that perhaps do not seem relevant now, however, their contribution in our professional development cannot be discounted.
Applicants new to the job market, grapple with the dilemma of whether to include temporary jobs in their resume, primarily because they are unable to see the value that can be aligned with their career goals. Every work experience, as in life, however temporary or enduring, comes with its lessons. We shouldn`t hastily shun them away merely because they do not fit into our definition of ‘mentionable experiences’. They become ‘limited’ because we limit ourselves to define their transferable value. Another problem that surfaces while we are attempting to formulate our resume is our interpretation of what we consider as ‘professional experiences’. This is a very common concern among job seekers. The fear that including that teaching job at the local community school would somehow dilute the seriousness of the rest of our work experiences, prevents us from highlighting some really useful skills.
Why you should connect the dots…
If you feel that your overall work experience is not adequately relevant to the job role you are targeting, then translating your part-time experience in transferable terms could just be the solution you need. In case a previous temporary job is completely related to the job you currently intend to apply to, then be confident to include that in your resume. Ensure that you pick the strands from your previous experience which are most applicable to the job opening. They may prove to be just the unique advantage you need to carve an edge from the competition.
Also mentioning part-time jobs, rather than appearing inconsequential, sends a reassuring message to recruiters. It indicates your sincerity to be focused towards your career while pursuing your academic goals. It also reflects a professional maturity to employers, who are always seeking talent that exudes a proven quality of assuming responsibility. In addition, part time jobs demonstrate a stable work history to recruiters which always works to cast an impressive light.
How to best represent part-time jobs
While in the job search phase, once you are able to identify the relevance of your part-time work, the next step is to clearly express the same in your resume. Your aim should be to communicate the strengths, skills and the real memorable value that you gained through the part-time experience, while responding through a job application.
Mentioned below are a few handy pointers as you work to incorporate your part time work experience in your resume building process:
- Focus on the impact: Refrain from adding simple statements of the role or tasks associated with your part time experience. Highlight the impact or outcome of your actions in relevant terms. If through your diligence in customer service, the sales of the local restaurant where you served grew by a fair margin, then express that in clear quantitative terms!
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- Make the experience relevant: Draw a parallel between the expectations of the job description you want to target and the marketable skills you gained through the part-time job. Did you learn the basics of a foreign language while working at the local inn? Did you learn to manage a team to achieve the monthly targets at the departmental store where you worked?
- Express achievement of collective goals: Along with describing how you individually made discernible impact, highlight how your efforts particularly led to the accomplishment of the objectives of the team, company, community, etc.
- Mention recognition: Do not forget to correlate the tasks describing part time experience with the awards or any other recognition that you may have received. They are extremely valuable for a recruiter.
- Additional Experiences: In case you feel that certain part-time experiences are not directly related to the jobs you are seeking; you can segment the same in a separate resume section ‘Additional Experiences’ or ‘Additional Information’. This along with helping to project a steady work history, would enable you to portray your work in the most effective and positive light.
Transferable skills that can highlight part-time experience:
Communication: Effective communication is the indispensable quality you need, to make a mark at any task. Needless to say, it is held in very high regard by recruiters. Recall your part time experiences where you achieved objectives on the strength of your communication skills. Did you represent the sales team through a presentation to the client? Did you lead the communication planning for the annual charity event in your neighborhood?
Time-Management: In the backdrop of the extremely fast-paced corporate environment forming the modern workplace, the ability to multi-task and prioritize deliverables is a vital asset. Enumerate tasks wherein you were required to simultaneously perform multiple functions and influence diverse goals. Were you the star server at the local coffee shop, exceeding customer service benchmarks, influencing revenue growth and improving staff morale all at the same time?
Teamwork: Advancements in technology notwithstanding, the ability to get along with others is another crucial skill that cannot be slighted. It is crucial because even if you work in an individual capacity, your contribution, through some indirect link is tied with the larger goals of the organization. Consequentially, you become part of the team that constitutes the organization as a whole. Cite instances from your part-time experience where your positive engagement with other staff members were visible factors for the team fulfilling its commitment.
Leadership: This skill is often misconstrued to be associated with positions of authority or top leadership, however, leadership is really reflected through actions and not the position you held. So, in case you are wondering, how your part time experience can prove useful to denote your leadership competence, well, you can stop wondering. Think of incidents where you influenced decisions on increasing the foot fall at the retail store or how to introduce a marketing promotion for the latest product offering. Any instance, where you took the onus to influence or make decisions and present a solution.
So, create the best resume that not just lists your experiences but derives value from those experiences, even if they are part-time. Every experience teaches us something. If not some skills, then something about ourselves. We need to be alert to understand how they can be turned into a compelling career story.
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