Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Where did you go to school? What did you study? What clubs did you join? Were you an officer or some other kind of leader of any group?
Did you do any volunteer work through your school? through your church? through any other organization? on your own? What did you do? What did that involve? Who was helped? Who else was involved?
List every single thing you’ve ever been paid to do – babysitting, lawn mowing, errand-running? a part time sales job for an event? your first job? your current job? What did you actually do in each of those jobs? Not just the title, the actions you took each day.
What hobbies do you have? What skills do those involve? Do you do them with others?
Now stop and think about the personal relationships you have. How do others see you? What do you do that makes their lives better?
What recognition have you received in any of these areas? Awards, letters, verbal thanks, hugs from happy kids you’ve helped?
What have you created along the way? a school paper? a trim yard? a satisfied customer? a book? a safe place for someone?
When I used to teach people how to build resumes, by the time they answered all these questions, they realized they had a lot more to offer than they’d thought. Give yourself credit for your experience and achievements, especially when you’re selling your work or applying for a job. It’s an essential piece of marketing.
It’s not always easy to blow your own horn – you don’t want to be a braggart. But when you’re trying to sell a piece of your work, people will slow down and take a closer look if you’ve mentioned previous sales or awards in your cover letter. If you’re fortunate enough to have a lot of credits, choose the most applicable to the work you’re pitching and offer a link to your full resume.
This is really good advice – I need to remind myself to follow it regularly!