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How to Strengthen Your Resume Without Changing Jobs

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So you’d like to advance your career, but changing jobs is not a realistic possibility at the moment? Don’t despair. There are many ways to beef up your resume without getting a new job. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Join a professional organization.
For almost every occupation, an organization exists to promote the interests of people in that field. If you want to advance, membership can be beneficial in many ways.

2. Volunteer for projects related to your career goal.
Take on tasks that might relate to the job you hope to hold someday. Look for a chance to help out and learn from people with whom you hope to work in the future.

3. Get certified.
Many occupations – from software design to human resources to grants management – have some type of professional certification. Having the appropriate credential for your field shows that you are both qualified for the work and serious about the profession.

4. Chair groups and committees.
If you hope to move into management, look for opportunities to assume leadership positions. This will not only give you experience in leading others, but will help you answer interview questions about management and leadership.

5. Do detailed research.
The Internet provides almost unlimited resources for increasing your knowledge. You can also learn from talking with people in other organizations. If you want to convey expertise in a particular area, research it thoroughly and highlight it on your resume.

6. Write articles.
Professional journals, newsletters, and even local papers are often looking for content. If you possess special expertise or have completed an interesting project, write an article or commentary. Do this a couple of times and you can add a “Publications” section to your resume.

7. Do volunteer work.
Find community, civic, or professional organizations that relate to your career goal and get involved. You can gain skills, knowledge, and networking contacts.

8. Look for in-depth training opportunities.
Don’t list every one-day workshop on your resume, but extensive learning experiences should be included. For example, a technical school class or three-week leadership development program would be worth mentioning. And if the training would be helpful in your current job, your employer may be willing to pay for it.

9. Serve on non-profit Boards.
Another great way to get leadership experience is to serve on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization. If you have special interests, useful expertise, or work for a well-known company in your community, they might welcome your participation.

10. Make a splash with thankless tasks.
Take on one of those tasks that no one else wants to do, then do it in a memorable way. One gentleman, for example, became head of the charitable contributions drive for his company. Instead of just asking people for money, he organized a golf tournament and silent auction with all proceeds going to charity. This quite appropriately showed up on his resume.

11. Start working towards a degree.
Enrolling in a college or university program is a big commitment, but getting a degree is a definite career booster. And it can enhance your resume as soon as you start the program.

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