How can I Build up my Resume Without Going Back to College?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 January 2019
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If it has been a long time since you left college, or a long time since you held a job, your resume may suffer from "white page syndrome," where the margins on the page are actually bigger than the printed area. If this is the case, don't despair. There are many quick, legal shortcuts to improve your resume without spending the time and the money to go back to college. Here are a few shortcuts to a great resume on a deadline.

Take online courses or tests. Brainbench®, for example, is an online test provider that offers top-of-the-line certifications for as little as 49.95 US Dollars. Brainbench® only works if you already know the subject you want a certificate for, as the company doesn't provide training or education, only tests. There are over 600 tests available on the website, and most of them are not easy. If you pass, you have the option of getting a hard-copy certificate showing your achievement, but even if you don't, this is a great addition to any resume.

Make it look professional. Use resume templates, available for free download online or through specialty software. You can download an industry-specific resume from the Microsoft Office website or from and then modify it to fit your needs and highlight your strengths.


Finally, another great way to improve your resume is to gain media exposure. This is easier than you may think. You can, for example, write an article for a local newspaper, become an expert writer for virtual article libraries, or offer to write something for your alumni newsletter. If writing is not your forte, create a seminar or lecture you can present to local clubs or non-profit groups. Always create a press release for your event, and then keep a copy in hand in case it is requested with your resume.

Have you won any awards or honors? Mention them in your resume, no matter how small. Volunteered as a literacy tutor or to help organize community events? Say so, and make sure you mention in your resume your duties and position. Even if the work was non-paid, it will still look good if you mention that you helped organize a campaign that raised thousands of dollars. It shows determination and efficacy.



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Post 3

Another idea is to join a community organization. Becoming an activist for a specific cause, or affiliated with a political campaign can be a good option for filling a resume with gaps.These types of activities can also keep you proactive in your job search. These types of activities show initiative, demonstrate leadership skills, and show that you are active within your community. Community and political action also showcases your teamwork skills and your ability to negotiate with others; an important skill set employers look for. When I was in college I did some volunteer work on a political campaign. I learned volumes about marketing, networking, and community organizing.

Post 2

Volunteering is a great way for those with a recent criminal record to rebuild their resume. Many employers will not hire those with criminal records unless they prove that they are on the right track. If you have a recent felony, the odds are stacked even higher. Volunteer experience can give employers a good indication of the type of character that a potential employee has. The length of volunteer work, your volunteer responsibilities, and the fact that you have the initiative to do it for free is a big positive. Like parmnparsley stated in the previous post, “volunteering is also a good place to network because non-profits establish and maintain a ridiculous number of professional contacts”. A personal recommendation from a non-profit director could mean the difference between a fast food job and a meaningful position that will help you re-establish your career.

Post 1

Serving your community by volunteering or mentoring are some of the easiest and most rewarding ways to boost a resume. You can do anything from volunteer time at your local humane society to finding a small non-profit that can use your help. There are many organizations that can use the help of professionals as well; making the work more than menial. Donating just 5-10 hours of your time a week can be very beneficial to a charity organization, and can result in glowing recommendations. Just make sure that you work hard during the time that you commit. If you show that you are passionate about the cause you are supporting, it could become one of the best items

on your resume. Volunteering is also a good place to network because non-profits establish and maintain a ridiculous number of professional contacts. If you get in good with some of the permanent staff you may just get an offer for a great paid position.

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