I was talking with a co-worker one day about my new position as Councillor on my local engineering association. After learning the job was entirely volunteer based he commented “Oh, but I suppose it will look good on your resume.” To be honest the fact it might never even occurred to me. In fact, the entire idea of doing things because how they might look good on your resume sort of disgusts me.
You see I have this crazy idea that I should do thing that I actually enjoy and/or are meaningful to me. So when I choose to help out with something, or try something new I’m doing for me not for what others will think of me. Perhaps I’m odd that way, or it may be the fact I have no intention of climbing the corporate ladder anymore.
Yet the odd thing is, my resume still looking impressive. Why? Because I can tell relevant stories from the things I have chosen to do. Regardless of what you do in life you tend to learn something by getting involved. So the group or activity might be done solely because you like it, but in the end you still can demonstrate learning something from it.
For example, if you have ever helped review a budget, that is a good skill to have as it amazes me the amount of people that can’t even read a budget. Or if you have ever helped organize an event that was successful, that is also a great skill to have as a large amount of work is about putting people and tools in the right spot to do the work.
So my advice to younger people is: screw resume building. Instead focus on those things that are meaning for you. You will likely be happier in life and oddly enough still have the option of writing down something useful that you have learned on a resume. Besides when you get to the actually interview the resume is useless, other than a reminder, you story telling ability will matter the most. So good luck and forget about building a resume, instead just build an interesting life.