Translating Non-Traditional Experience to your Resume

If you’re anything like me, you’ve worked a part-time job while attending school. Did you know that while you’re standing there, trying to look busy folding and refolding cashmere sweaters while fielding questions about what’s in the back storeroom, you’re developing skills for your future career?

You might think that you don’t want to be a professional sweater folder—but the skills you’re developing are more than just folding. You’re staying on top of your tasks, you’re organized—not just organizing, but you’re using your time wisely, and by fielding those questions, you’re using your communication and customer service skills. All skills you will use when you begin your career.

Internships are not the only place to gain skills and experience–and not everyone has the opportunity to do an internship because of financial circumstances (though the Yawkey Nonprofit Internship Program is here to help with that). You can take any experience, from volunteering or working in the service industry, and finesse a professional resume.

Below I’ve included an example of different skills developed in non-traditional experiences from an actual resume.

Backroom Coordinator

  • Managing the receiving area of the store. Processing and breaking down upwards of fifteen pallets during an 8-hour shift.
  • Increasing sales by creating visually appealing displays of brand new merchandise.
  • Building furniture with care and attention to detail.
  • Overseeing the management of the receiving and processing area:
    • Managing several staff members who work in the receiving area–keeping tabs on their workflow and adjusting responsibilities as necessary.
    • Directing sales associates in merchandising.
    • Relaying to associates where and when particular merchandise should be placed on the sales floor to ensure successful sales. 
  • Assisting fellow sales associates with moving furniture from the sales floor to the cash wrap upon customer request. Once purchased, help to place merchandise in the customer’s vehicle. 

Sales Associate

  • Processing sales transactions accurately and in a timely fashion at New Hampshire’s highest-grossing store.
  • Assisting customers in locating merchandise throughout the store.
  • Creating original and exciting displays with fresh merchandise.
  • Created a new method for lowering shrink within the store by instituting an hourly cleaning regimen that focuses on the cleanliness of the fitting rooms and monitoring potential theft.
  • Training up to ten new sales associates each quarter.

No matter where you get your experience, being able to translate that experience onto your resume is the most important part. By coming to one of the CCD’s Resume and Cover Letter workshops, you can learn how to do just that.

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