Dear Sam: I have more than 10 years of experience as an IT programmer and recently earned my college degree. My career goal is to obtain an IT management position, and I was wondering how I could, or if I should, put my experience as Trustee Chairman at my local church on my resume to highlight my experience with budgeting and management. If so, where would it appear? – Anonymous
Dear Anonymous: There is often confusion over whether engagements of a more personal nature should be included on a resume. The rule I use to evaluate whether these positions make it on a resume is to examine whether they add “value” to your candidacy. For example, suppose you are a salesperson and have extensive involvement in your local community, the same community where you would be selling. In that case, your personal engagements will reinforce your likeliness to succeed based on your extensive network. As you are trying to break into management, yes, this position will likely add validity to your general and financial management capabilities. To incorporate this into your resume, I would be sure to note the skills you possess — based on this engagement — within the qualifications summary on page one of your resume. Then, add a section at the end of your resume titled “Professional Involvement” or something similar, and detail this position as you have those appearing within the professional experience section. Remember, if you give this section some weight, then the hiring manager is also more likely to do so; hence it is key that you showcase the value of this opportunity and the skills it has allowed you to develop.
Samantha Nolan is an Advanced Personal Branding Strategist and Career Expert, founder and CEO of Nolan Branding. Do you have a resume, career, or job search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at email@example.com. For information on Nolan Branding’s services, visit www.nolanbranding.com or call 888-9-MY-BRAND or 614-570-3442.