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What Counts as ‘Experience’ for Your Resume?

01 December 2023

Building your experience as a student involves both personal and professional growth.

All different kinds of experiences can provide you with valuable knowledge and help enhance your resume – but what type of experiences do employers most want to see, and how do you highlight them effectively?

To help answer these vital questions, we caught up with our pals at Capgemini for their expert opinion!

First Things First: What Do We Mean By Experience?

The first thing that comes to mind as a clear example of relevant experience for your resume includes work placements, internships, job shadowing or part-time/casual jobs.

These are all solid examples that help an employer see where you’ve gained skills and learned about the world of work.

But they aren’t the only experiences worth highlighting!

For young people yet to gain work experience, you can proudly showcase plenty of other activities and commitments on your resume, such as:

  • Hobbies & Team Activities: Hobbies and team sports/activities are a great way to let your soft skills shine. From communication to commitment to timeliness – there’s lots to show off here!
  • Networking Attendance: Highlighting where and when you’ve attended professional networking events related to the industry you’re applying to.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Whether you’ve taken on a role in student council or helped plan the end-of-year bash, these are great experiences to show you’re someone who likes to get involved.
  • Volunteering: Volunteering with a non-profit organisation is also an excellent way to gain experience. You may also volunteer at an event such as a college fest, music festival, or book fair.
  • Career Fair Attendance: Whether held at your school or externally, mentioning how you’re committed to exploring your future marks you as someone who’s driven and proactive.

How to Highlight Different Experiences on Your Resume

You’re probably thinking, ‘That all sounds great, but how exactly do I add it to my resume?!’

Well, that all depends on the specific experience you want to add! Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you out:

Adding work experience, casual work, volunteering or internships.

    • Include a job title (you can just say ‘Volunteer’ if you didn’t have a specific one while volunteering.
    • Include the company or organisation name.
    • Share a timeline of how long you worked/volunteered, for example, ‘June 2023-Present’ or ‘March-May 2023’.
    • Dot point out your key tasks, what you worked on/helped to deliver and the skills you developed.

Work Experience

Event Volunteer, Capgemini, July 2023-Present

●      Volunteered to organise monthly team events to support team culture and fun.

●      Organised our first pizza party, the highest-attended team event to date.

●      Planned budget and coordinated event times with management.

●      Developed excellent time management and communication skills.

Adding networking, careers fairs or other event attendance

    • Add these in a new section on your resume title ‘professional exploration’ or ‘professional development’
    • Include the name of the event and when you attended, for example, ‘Capgemini Apprenticeship Roadshow, August 2023
    • If you participated in any activities while at the event, you can include these as a dot point, but otherwise, you can just list what you’ve attended.

Professional Development

●      Capgemini Apprenticeship Roadshow (Attended), August 2023

●      ‘Future of Work’ Career Talk (Attended), April 2023

○      Took part in Q&A to explore vital skills for my future.

●      Smiths High School Career Week (Attended, Feb. 2023

Adding hobbies, sports or extracurricular activities.

    • Add these in a new section titled ‘Extracurricular activities’.
    • Again, include what you’ve been doing – whether you’ve been part of a team or community and how long. For example, ‘School Council Representative, Year 9-10’ or ‘Community Organiser, D&D Student Group, April 2023-Present’
    • Add a few dot points that showcase why this experience has helped you – mention the skills you’ve developed and what it helps you bring to the workplace.

Extracurricular Activities

Digital Animation Creator, May 2021-Present

●      Passion for digital animation, self-taught & utilise my skills in different ways – for fun and with friends (helped design the invitations for my friend’s birthday and school fete posters).

●      Developed an excellent range of digital skills, problem solving and creativity.

●      Online portfolio:

Your Experience? Show It Off!

We know writing a resume and applying for opportunities can feel scary if you haven’t yet gained any work experience – but we hope this has helped you realise that experience can come from anywhere!

The things that fuel you and that you dedicate your time to are always helping you to learn, grow, and develop your skills.

That’s definitely worth shouting about!

Find Out More

Capgemini is a diverse organisation of 300,000 team members in nearly 50 countries. As a global leader, Capgemini partners with companies to transform and manage their businesses by harnessing the power of technology.

Capgemini is guided daily by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future.

Find out more about everything Capgemini has to offer early career starters via their employer profile right here at Explore Careers!

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