If any of you have ever interviewed people who were looking for jobs, I know you are familiar with looking at resumes, taking notes during the interview and trying to build an overall picture of the person who is interested in working with you. Now that you are on the other side (looking for a job) you need to remember all of these things that interviewers go through.
Remember that between your resume, your cover letter and your interview, the interviewers are trying to build a picture of you to see how it fits within their organization. They may or may not build an accurate picture.
There are some things you can do that will help add polish to that picture.
When looking at a resume, interviewers want to get a feel for what the person is like. If the resume contains civic activities and responsibilities that the individual was involved in, it gives them a more well-rounded appearance. In an effort to enhance your appearance through your resume, you should also get involved in civic activities.
First, decide what you might be most interested in and do some research to find out how you can get involved. Then pick events once or twice a year that allow you to help the community while adding to your arsenal of skills. Fundraisers, holiday events, neighborhood watches and activities, helping at the Polls and organizing food drives, etc are but a few examples of the activities you can research and get involved in.
Another area that looks really good on a resume and helps create a positive picture of you as a civic and community-minded individual who wants to help others is volunteering.
I am not suggesting that volunteer activities should be performed only to bolster your resume.
Instead, if you have ever been involved in helping a charity or participating in something like the MS walk, this information can be added to your resume toward the end in a section called Civic and Volunteer Activities.
Getting involved in civic activities and volunteering your time for a worthy cause can be very rewarding personally and professionally. However, you have to approach it with the right mentality. If all you are trying to do is get more fuel for your resume, don't waste your time and the valuable time of others. However, if you are truly interested in contributing, find a cause that you are interested in and get involved.
The combination of strong skills, education and excellent work experience as well as the civic and volunteer activities on your resume paints a picture of a well-rounded individual that could make an excellent addition to any team. So, put your resume together including the civic and volunteer activities and see if you don't get better responses.