How to Add Non-Traditional Experiences to Your Resume

With COVID-19 greatly impacting the number of internship and full-time opportunities available, you may have had to pivot to non-traditional experiences to build skills and boost your resume.

Popular types of non-traditional experiences include open virtual work experiences through platforms like InsideSherpa, freelance work/projects through platforms like Eagle Exchange, or skill-building programs like Praxis or Coursera. 

These experiences are valuable additions to your resume or LinkedIn profile. You can showcase your new skills and how productive you were during a challenging time. Employers will want to see this! Follow our guide below to learn how to add these experiences to your resume or LinkedIn profile. 

Open Virtual Work Experiences

What are they?
Open virtual work experience programs mimic entry-level work done at top companies. Through platforms like InsideSherpa, you can sign up for a project where you are given a hypothetical set of tasks that an employee would expect to complete on a given work day. 

Where do they go on your resume?
These programs are learning experiences. Therefore, you add the programs you complete under sections like academic or extracurricular activities. Do not represent these programs as employment. Doing so would be a misrepresentation of the experience, which could have consequences for your job search and your access to opportunities within InsideSherpa.

Here are a few examples of how to represent the experience:

Leo Cussen Human Rights Law Virtual Program
Summer 2020, 40 Hours
-Completed all four modules of virtual program through the InsideSherpa platform.
-Reviewed client communications. Summarised and synthesised relevant case information for supervisor.
-Helped to provide legal advice to a hypothetical employee who appeared to have been dismissed and/or discriminated against.

General Electric Digital Technology Enterprise Program (Summer 2020)
-Completed virtual program through the InsideSherpa platform.
-Built a L1 Process Map.
-Evaluated ERP system capability and proposed a solution to business problem.

Freelance Work/Projects

What are they?
Freelance work/projects are short-term experiences where you are hired or contracted to complete specific work for a person or organization. Typically, you need to apply for these types of experiences. They may be paid or unpaid. Through Eagle Exchange, you can find listings for short-term projects. 

Where do they go on your resume?
Freelance work or projects are work experiences. Therefore, you can add the projects you complete under your employment section. If you have a projects section of your resume, you can also add it there. 

Here are a few examples of how to represent the experience:

MyCareServices Inc.
Freelance Designer, Summer 2020
Collaborated with the founder of the organization to redesign their logo to be optimized for social media platforms.

Arsenic Mapping, Knoll Environmental, August 2020
-Researched Massachusetts Environmental database for arsenic data and located data geographically on a bedrock map using GIS. 
-Produced a final map showing the arsenic concentrations compared to the underlying bedrock.

Skill-Building Programs/Courses

What are they?
Self-paced skill-building programs like Praxis or Coursera can help you build technical skills that are sought after by employers. These are typically separate from your Boston College coursework. In some cases, you’ll get a certification by completing the course or program. 

Where do they go on your resume?
Courses are learning experiences. There are a variety of ways to list these experiences on your resume. You can add them under Education, Experience, or Extracurricular Activities. You will also want to add your newly gained skills under your Skills section. If a LinkedIn badge is available, make sure to also add it to your profile. 

Here are a few examples of how to represent the experience:

Boston College Praxis Summer Program
Virtual Participant, June–August 2020
-Completed 8-week virtual career development program to develop skills and explore career interests.
-Built a website [include link] to expand my technical skills and showcase my accomplishments.

Web Development and Coding Coursera Specialization
July–August 2020
Completed five courses on HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and Advanced Styling and Design

Image of Allison Postlethwait Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications
—By Allison Postlethwait, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communication

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