Updated: Jan 30
Whether you've had a formal job before or not, here are 20 GREAT examples of experience that you may already have! It is important to highlight this information on resumes and job applications:
Serving with the United States military can be a great option for experience building, both personally and professionally. Your military rank, honors, and experiences are excellent options to highlight when you're applying to a civilian job. Other government-based opportunities to keep in mind include the United States Peace Corps and Americorps programs. The Peace Corps terms of service are roughly two years and focuses on service outside of the United States while Americorps offers service programs for 10-12months and within the US only. Service in these areas means that you have experience with leadership, working as part of a team, serving others, and learning new specific skills. These are all important items to highlight during job interviews!
Keep in mind that work including babysitting and farmhand are GREAT examples of work experience to share when applying for jobs! Both options include the need for responsibility, working on one's own, and caring for others (humans or animals). This type of experience is key to highlight especially if you haven't had a formal job before.
1- Military service
2- Peace Corps service
3- Americorps service
6- School trip participation
Experience on school-related teams or organizations as well as volunteer organizations are GREAT ways to gain experience as well as to learn new skills. Working successfully as part of a team is always something employers search for in job applicants. If you have that experience, highlight it! Serving in any leadership role is also great experience to highlight. If you haven't had a formal job yet but you have served as leader in one or more instance, write down the details of that role and the group/organization you served and use that information to highlight on your resume and during job interviews. Just some examples of leadership positions include a Team Captain, Class President/Secretary/Treasurer, Group Project Lead, and serving on a leadership group. Make sure to keep track of your time spent with groups and organizations like these in order to highlight them on your next resume or highlight the experience during a job interview!
7- Volunteer projects
8- School sports team participation
9- School club participation
10- Arts club participation
11- Leadership roles (Team Captain, President, etc)
12- Student Leadership participation
13- Team work
Identify any specific experience you have that may not be common. Examples include knowing a second language or having trade-based skills. Knowing a second or third language can be extremely helpful in the workplace and many employers seek that additional experience. Additionally, if you have any trade-based skills, such as mechanics, wood working, electrical, or IT-related skills, those could also be great options to highlight during a job interview or on your resume. Also consider that if you're active as a blogger/vlogger, that experience can be transitioned into formal job experience! Depending on the following you have, the type and quality of content you provide, it can all serve as examples of your experience and work ethic for a prospective employer.
These types of experiences can help you stand out from other applicants. It is possible for a company to find many candidates who possess all of the skills required for the open job position so it is even more important that you include additional experience and knowledge that can set you apart from the other applicants! You are unique! And while you might have similar background or education level or basic experience as another candidate, there are so many additional types of experience that you possess and can highlight during your job search.
15- Religious group activities
18- Learning a 2nd or 3rd language
19- Trade-based skills
In summary, there are MANY ways you can gain experience without a formal job and that experience will be valuable to a future employer! Many of the examples listed include experience for team building, leadership, successfully working on your own, and other important soft skills that employers look for.
Look through this list and note which examples fit your own experience. Think of ways to highlight your experience on your next job application, resume, and during job interviews!
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