How Can You Bulk Up Your Resume?

Two businesswomen look over a resume on a clipboard

Your resume is looking a little sparse, and you want to add more to it so that you look like an ideal candidate to employers. The problem is that you have no idea how!

Here are four things that you can do to bulk up your resume, even when you have a busy schedule.

1. Schooling

Are you missing out on job opportunities because you’re missing a high school diploma? Or are you missing  post-secondary education because you didn’t take the right prerequisites in high school? Then this is your perfect opportunity to sign up for online school so that you can fill out these education gaps as soon as possible. You can get a high school diploma or get prerequisites for the college/university programs you want to apply for.

Online school allows mature students to complete their schooling without interrupting their busy schedules. You have the flexibility to tackle your coursework at times that are convenient for you — whether that’s in the morning, after work or on the weekends. You will have up to 12 months to finish a course.  

How will this bulk up your resume? You can add your diploma or relevant courses to the Education section of your resume. You can also list important skills you achieved through your coursework (for example, Java Programming) in the Relevant Skills section.

2. Language

Being bilingual or multilingual is an impressive asset to lots of employers. If you speak more than one language, you should say so in your resume — even if you’re not fluent. You can say that you’re “familiar” or “comfortable” with a language.

What if you only speak one language? You can learn another one. Programs like Duolingo and Memrise can help you learn a new language for free in a short amount of time. So, you can quickly write down that you’re familiar with a language on your resume.

Be strategic with your language choice. You’ll want to choose a language that could come in handy while you’re on the job. You could pick a language based on popularity — the more popular it is, the more likely you are to encounter it in day-to-day life. According to Statistics Canada, some of the most popular languages outside of English and French are Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Tagalog, Spanish, Arabic, Italian and German.

Better yet, look for job postings in the field you’re interested in and see what languages they list under qualifications. These could point you in the right direction.

3. Technical Skills

Most modern office jobs are looking for candidates with strong technical skills. So, you’ll want your resume to show that you’re confident using a variety of computer programs.

There are plenty of free tutorials online that can help you get acquainted with programs like MS Office, QuickBooks and Photoshop. If you prefer in-person learning, you might be able to find free computer training courses for basic programs at your local library.

What computer skills should you improve? It depends on what field you’re looking into. Look at job postings in your field to see which programs they mention in their qualifications. These are the programs you should learn.

4. Volunteer Work

Don’t forget to add your volunteer experiences to your resume. It shows that you’re dedicated, responsible and driven to help others outside of work.

If you’ve recently attended high school, you should write about the volunteering you completed for your mandatory 40 hours of community service. If you haven’t done much volunteer work since then, that’s okay. You can easily find opportunities to volunteer at local libraries, community centres, schools and charities.

All of these will help you fill up those gaps in your resume. You’ll look like the ideal candidate.