How to write your first job resume

Here are some tips on how to use what you've learned outside of work in your next job search.

Amy White |

Were you the captain of your high school soccer team? Do you look after your younger siblings? You might be surprised at how much your hobbies and interests could help you in your next job, or even lead you to a career you'll love.

Whether you're on a search for your first job or you want a part-time gig to supplement your primary income, look outside of your work experience when applying for your next position. When you volunteer, join a club or sports team, or take care of family, you're learning skills like leadership, commitment and teamwork--all qualities that are invaluable to have on a job application. These extracurricular activities also reflect your interests and talents, so look for jobs in an industry you're passionate about.

Here are some tips on how to use what you've learned outside of work in your next job search:


If you've volunteered, whether it's cleaning cages at the local SPCA or building houses in other countries, you should definitely let employers know. It says a lot about your character, and shows that you have a drive to work (for free, even!) and you enjoy helping others.

Clubs and sports team

This demonstrates your ability to work as part of a team and collaborate with others to achieve a common goal. If you held a leadership position, like captain, vice president or treasurer, make the hiring managers aware of your ability to take charge and accept responsibility. Just leave out all those yellow cards you got freshman year.

Babysitting and tutoring

Did you ever tutor the neighborhood kids in math? Cook for your younger brothers and sisters when Mom was running late? These may seem like small jobs to you, but they could lead you to a career as a teacher or cook...or cafeteria lady. You'll also impress employers with your patience and willingness to lend a helping hand.

Just because a large chunk of your experience doesn't come from behind a desk or counter doesn't mean you're not qualified for the job you want. Use your skills to your advantage and tell employers what you've learned through your experiences outside of the working world. And when you're trying to decide the kind of job that's right for you, look to your everyday life for inspiration-- if you love animals, jobs like dog washer, pet sitter or veterinary assistant could be right up your alley. If you're good working with your hands, look for construction jobs. And hey, all those years as the class clown could lead you to become the next Will Ferrell...or at least Carrot Top.