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How to Make Your Part-Time Job Skills Shine on a Resume

By Kat Boogaard

You’re doing it—you’re officially starting your job hunt for a full-time position. You sit down at your computer to pull together your resume and get the ball rolling, only to end up staring at that blinking text cursor for a half hour.

You’re totally stumped. Up until this point, you’ve only worked part-time jobs. And, while you undoubtedly learned a lot from those experiences, they just don’t seem to measure up right now. How can you possibly make them sound good enough on paper that a hiring manager would want to call you in for an interview?

Believe me, I can understand your challenge. However, highlighting your experience in an appealing way (even if it is just part-time!) isn’t as impossible as you might think. Here are three tips to help you make the absolute most of those part-time gigs on your resume.

1. Find Similarities You Can Emphasize

It’s important to remember that hiring managers are looking for one thing when they sort through that seemingly endless pile of documents: They’re searching for the very best fit for that position. So, it’s up to you to tailor your resume to portray yourself as the perfect candidate for that job—and not necessarily every job under the sun.

Yes, that means you absolutely do need to adjust your document for every new job you apply to. But, that doesn’t just mean swapping out a few minor details so it looks a little different. Instead, you should take a fine-tooth comb to the job description to draw any parallels you can between what the job is looking for and what you bring to the table.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—just because you don’t have a ton of tried and true experience, doesn’t mean you don’t have any skills. Don’t confuse the two.

Whether it’s your knack for customer service or your data analysis know-how, connect the dots for the hiring manager about how you perfectly fulfill the job’s requirements. In the end, it really doesn’t matter if those are things you picked up at a part-time job or a full-time job. If you have the necessary skills, you should emphasize them!

2. Remember That Results Speak Volumes

Sure, you may be a little limited when it comes to your professional history—you don’t have countless full-time positions to boast and brag about. However, when it comes to your past jobs, the old sentiment holds true: Quality is more important than quantity. What does this mean for you? You’ll want to place the majority of your emphasis on the results you achieved in your past positions. Don’t just say what you did—say what the impact of those efforts were.

Did you use your organizational skills to streamline the office filing system, which increased your entire company’s productivity two-fold? Did you use your customer service background to increase sales by 25%?

Remember, the key here is to emphasize results. Those say way more than any cut and dried bullet points.

3. Demonstrate Your Passion and Excitement

Experience or no experience, there’s one quality in job applicants you simply can’t teach: Passion.

So, whether you’ve been in the working world for years or are just getting started in your career, you should make an effort to highlight your excitement about the position and company, as well as your willingness to learn new things and address challenges head on.

You can accomplish this several different ways, including playing up your passion in your cover letter, sharing your excitement in the summary portion at the top of your resume, and even demonstrating your commitment to constant learning through your different volunteer opportunities and extracurricular involvements. Do what you can to present yourself as eager and engaged—that goes a long way!

Putting together your resume and applying to full-time gigs can be intimidating—particularly when you only have part-time experience to your name. However, there are several tips and tactics you can use to truly make your part-time skills shine. Put these three to work, and watch the interview requests come rolling in!

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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