Career Advice

Update Your Resume to Include Life Experience and Skills

Job Bullet 11 July, 2022

Your resume offers potential employers a brief glimpse into the life you’ve lived and the skills you’ve accumulated over that lifetime. Whether you’re just starting your career or have been at it for what feels like a lifetime, the odds are good that you have talents, skills, and experience that aren’t related to your previous jobs.

It is important to work those into your resume as well. These skills and hidden talents often offer potential employers a better understanding of who you are as a person and how well you’ll fit in with the company culture. More importantly, though, they’ll come to understand the untapped resources you have to offer their organizations. Here’s what you need to know about including life experience and skills on your resume.

What are Life Skills?

The term “life skills” is often used to describe specific skills that are innate and untaught. They can typically be broken down into three categories:

  • Thinking Skills - These include things like problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, and thinking outside the box.

  • Personal Skills - These are skills like working without supervision, time management, self-awareness, and similar skills.

  • Interpersonal Skills - In many careers, these skills are vitally important and include things like empathy, teamwork, adaptability, communication, and active listening.

The fact that these are often unlearned skills doesn’t mean you can’t learn them or even improve upon them as part of your career development efforts. However, it is vital to list them on your resume if you possess them. So, how do you go about doing that? The great thing about resumes is that while they are rather formulaic, they do leave room for interpretation and creativity. Create an additional section or heading entitled life skills where you list important skills you’ve developed and nurtured over a lifetime that may prove relevant and essential for your future employment. This one section can be the difference-maker in your job search efforts.