Back in the olden days—you know, maybe 1995 or so—peoples’ CVs and resumes were pretty much boring pieces of paper filled with work experience, education and references. These days, the classic resume may not be enough.
Many potential employers don’t even take the time to call those stellar references or do a background check on your work experience anymore. Now, bosses are looking for more than your diploma and formal training—they are increasingly attracted by your projects and real-world skills.
To make your resume stand out above the rest, consider taking on a side project that is relevant to your career field. Business News Daily explains that any side business or project can be beneficial in the eyes of a future boss. In addition to showing that you are acquiring new skills, having a side project can show that you don’t waste your evenings and weekends, but rather you use your free time to do something meaningful.
If you’re not sure what kind of project to take on, consider the following:
Write a Blog
If you love to write, starting your own blog can be fun and impress a future boss. It can easily show off your writing skills as well as your website building skills, if you know how to effectively use video and other graphics and how you respond to comments. Even though this is your personal blog, keep the posts profanity-free and steer clear of controversial subjects. After all, you’re including your blog on your resume to impress a manager, not turning them away.
Take Online Classes
Let’s say you want to get into teaching. Some great side projects might include volunteering at a local school or community center, but you also might want to take your skills to the next level by enrolling in some teaching classes online. Find classes in the area you want to teach like early childhood education, mathematics or educational technology. Not only does this give you more experience in your field, but it also shows that you can learn on your own. Plus, this experience will prove that you are organized, independent and willing to learn in your free time.
Start a Small Business
When it comes to choosing a side project for your resume, you can’t go wrong with transforming a hobby into a side business. For example, if friends and family always rave about your cakes and pies, consider moonlighting as a baker for parties and small events. If you love working on cars, start a small repair shop from your garage. Or, if you want to try your hand at app creation, visit a site like iBuildApp and teach yourself how to make one. All of these side ventures will show employers that you are self-motivated, understand business and have a good work ethic.
No matter what you decide to do, pick a project that is important to you and show any potential employers that you are interesting and hard working.