An Easy Solution to the Empty Resume Problem

There's no tougher time to write a resume than when you're just starting out. Even if you have great grades, tons of applicable skills, and a passion to learn, it's pretty hard to disguise the fact that, in terms of actual work experience, your CV is pretty bare. Don't fall back on that 18-point font just yet, however: Thanks to the great minds at 99u, we now have the perfect way to bulk up a skinny resume.

In short, the answer is to include personal projects.

"Don't limit yourself to the confines of a traditional resume," writes Jenn Godabout of Behance, an online platform for creative pros. "Recognize that under 'Skills' you can list everything from Photoshop to silk-screening, that studio time can be just as important as past employment, and that unpaid side projects show dedication, initiative, and responsibility. If the majority of your experience is personal, studio, or classroom work, add more of a description than you normally would, explaining the kind of timeline you were working with and why you chose the subject matter."

The secret is to look at your classes and extracurriculars with new eyes. As Thorin Klosowski of Lifehacker points out, "Most people don't walk out of a college with a lot of relevant work experience, but chances are you have plenty of experience in the field you're looking to get into."

Give yourself credit for all the work you've done, even the unpaid stuff, and you'll have plenty to brag about to potential employers.

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