Sometimes boring work experience is the only experience that you have, “but the last thing you want is for a hiring manager to get bored during your interview,” says Liz Wessel,CEO and cofounder ofWayUp, a site used by 200,000 college students to find jobs at places like Microsoft, Uber, The New York Times, Disney — and Google, where Wessel previously worked.
If you make your job sound anything other than compelling, a potential employer will think that you’re not passionate about your work, which is never a good sign, she adds.
Luckily, however, there are a few ways to kick your experience up a notch without lying:
1. Talk about your colleagues — in a good way. “To start, the most common answer I hear from people who hate their job is that they love their colleagues,” she says. “So, if you think you work with smart people whose company you enjoy, you can start there. Potential employers love hearing that you like and get along with your colleagues.”
2. Think about the best parts of your work week. “Even if it’s just 10% of your job, when you highlight that part, be sure to get animated and show how much you love it,” Wessel explains. “Don’t exaggerate how much time you spend on that one aspect of your role, but make it clear that it’s your favourite part.” This should also help ensure that your next role is right for you, since the employer will probably try to get you to do more of what you love, if they’re a good employer.
3. Talk about the results that come out of any work you do, and highlight those. “For example, let’s say that a jewellery repairman hates his job, and is ready for a new one. When describing the job, if he doesn’t like the actual work that goes into it, he can instead focus on the outcome. He’s probably fixed necklaces that were six generations old and worn by a brides during their weddings,” she says. “Now that’s special.”
4. Smile when talking about the job. Your body language can send a strong positive message to the interviewer that, despite you having boring experience on your résumé, you’re not a boring or passionless person.
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