Yayyyy, finally made it to the LAST section of the resume. This is an optional section, but it is highly encouraged. Here’s why –
The ultimate goal of your resume is to get you an interview. To show you have the relevant experience, background, and education. It’s a way to trim down applicants. Once you have the interview, it’s on you to perform. Luckily, you are a veteran and are apt to shine in situations where you are being evaluated. You may not realize it, but you have the natural confidence and charisma that others don’t necessarily have. It has been trained in you from day one and is so much of who you are, that it feels normal.
Now, don’t get overconfident. Be yourself, be open, and be humble.
We’ll get to how to go about the interview process later. But, this section is intentionally included to give the interviewer a “primer” to ask about you outside of work. Most people don’t personally connect with their work. They may like their job, and what they do every day; but, most likely, they don’t personally connect with it like an entrepreneur connects with a company they are the founder of. What they very likely have a personal connection to are things they do outside of work: family, non-profits/volunteer work (this is why we have the volunteer experience section of the resume), sports, community involvement. At a minimum, showing you also have those interests, even if they aren’t the same as there’s, humanizes you.
Ultimately, your goal is to personally connect with those interviewing you. Once you’re at the interview, they know you’re qualified. There’s nothing really that can be done in an interview to prove you’re technically qualified.
Note: There are some skill oriented interviews. Typically you will see these for computer engineering/programming type positions. Additionally, management consulting firms will hold what are called, “case interviews.” These however aren’t based in technical skill, they are more focused on problem solving abilities and overall aptitude to progressively think and work through a problem.
The goal of the interview is for them to like you. In order for them to like you, they need to personally connect with you. The best way to get them to personally connect with you, is by talking about topics that they are personally invested in – OR – show that you also have personal interests outside of work. AND, you’re so personally invested in them, that you’re a high achiever outside of work, just like you are at work.
So, how do we go about that? Afterall the entire purpose of the resume is to discuss your professional accomplishments. Well, at the very end of the resume, we recommend an “additional information” section. This section should be no more than 3 lines. And it’s where you are free to discuss whatever you like. Having said this, it’s not a place to list your hobbies. But, if you’ve accomplished something significant in your hobbies, then you should list it. You want to show you’re a top performer in everything you do.
In the professional experience section, we talked about not listing your military awards. This section is where I list those awards. You don’t have space to spell out what they award was, but you can list them out.
What is considered an achievement worth discussing or listing? Maybe you really like to work on cars and you recently rebuilt an antique/classic car entirely on your own in your garage. Perhaps you are super into homemade soap and you run a small business where you sell your soap at the local farmers market and online. The topic isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that you’re showing what you accomplish. Showing that you don’t sit on your ass outside of work watching America’s Next Top Model and play video games all day. Everyone watches TV, we know that. But the type of people who CRUSH IT at work, often times, are the type of people who CRUSH IT outside of work as well. Who invest their time proactively. THIS is your opportunity to give them a tiny bit of insight into the type of person you are.
A big focus for companies is building and cultivating their culture. So they are very focused on what types of people they are letting into their organization. Once you’re in the interview, you want the resume to move to the side, and for them to see you as a person, rather than a piece of paper.
Have you been coaching you son/daughter’s youth soccer team for the past three years? Maybe you were a division 1 athlete back in college. Maybe you’re an Eagle Scout.
The point is, talk about what you’ve accomplished outside of work. Talk about things that are significant that you think others might be interested in.
In many interviews, they will ask you what you like to do outside of work. About your family. About your personal life. But they won’t necessarily. Having this section gives them a primer to do so.
Example from my resume for formatting and example purposes below.
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at Pat@TransitionVetCoach.com.
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