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Explaining Unrelated Work Experience

Posted On11/21/2015

ContributorShirin Miller

Position yourself to be competitive

While you should address your transferable skills in your cover letter (if applicable), your resume is the real meat of your application. The better you position yourself as a competitive candidate on your resume, the more likely you’ll get a chance to show them what you’re made of in an interview. This is particularly true when you are applying for a job for which you have little or no experience.

Think of your resume as a marketing piece.

  • Use your resume to explain your range of capabilities, instead of telling only your career history.
  • Write a dynamite candidate summary A well summarized summary section will definitely get attention.

Use a functional rather than a chronological resume

  • With a functional resume, you can emphasize your experience and your skills. You can strategically list each experience in the order of the job description. This bit of subliminal guidance can really pay off and make your resume stand out from others.
  • Remember to include skills and experience you have obtained from non-paying jobs. Being a member of the PTA or managing your son’s baseball team are both examples of experience that requires excellent leadership and organization. Any skills obtained from volunteering, traveling or hobbies are important life-learned skills that can help show your aptitude.
  • Include a skills section, and pull out all relevent skills, including your strongest interpersonal skills such as time-management for a project manager position, or confidentiality for an HR position.

Proofread, proofread, proofread!

  • After completing your resume, make sure to look it over through the eyes
    of the hiring manager
  • Ask yourself if you would you hire yourself. If there is something lacking that you can’t work into your resume, try to address it in your cover letter.

Your friendly Nelson recruiting team is always willing to give advice or feedback on your resume! Send yours to, or check out the jobs we have available.