Why Do I Need a Resume While I’m in College?

September 8, 2015 Uncategorized

young woman with resumeI’m still in college – the world of work is years away so why do I need a resume?

Because you do! With a well-constructed resume, you will be more prepared for potential opportunities that might arise during your college years. These can include part-time, temp work, seasonal jobs as well as fellowships, assistantships, and internships. Plus, you will be ahead of the game when it comes to searching for jobs after graduation.

So where do you start? Here are five tips:

  1. Qualifications Summary: A summary of your top qualifications is often more effective than an objective statement, especially if your career goal is undefined.

Don’t write a vague objective that focuses on what the job seeker wants; this is of no consequence to the person making the hiring decision. We recommend that you format a profile section clearly giving the reader a picture of the value they offer a potential employer. Keep it brief with a few hard hitting sentences.

  1. Education Gets Top Billing: Education is normally provided toward the bottom of a resume, however, students are better served by moving their education toward the top.

Education is often the most valuable information a student has to offer since they have no experience in the targeted field. As the job seeker gains experience, the education section can move down in priority.

Make sure to include the name of the college or university, the city and state, when you anticipate graduating, extracurricular activities and courses related to your job target when formatting the education section. You can include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or higher.

  1. Describing Unrelated Jobs: During their college years, students have temp, seasonal or part-time work experience that is completely unrelated to future career goals. Don’t pack your doc with irrelevant details. However, potential employers value candidates that demonstrate dependability and a strong work ethic even if it is unrelated to their industry.

Highlight the most important aspects of your work experience. Go into detail about projects you were involved in that show your leaderships skills, determination and drive. Extract the skills that are relevant to the employers’ needs and leave out the details that do not provide value.

  1. Think Like an Employer: Take a look at your experience through two sets of eyes, your own and that of a potential employer. Research job ads or intern announcements that interest you i.e., if a particular ad states that communication skills are a must, think about times when your own communication skills came into play. If you’ve ever worked in a customer service related position then you definitely used communication skills! Emphasize these on your resume.

Now look at it through your own eyes. What do you enjoy doing? This is a good indicator of areas you might excel at in the future even if the skills and experiences aren’t directly relevant to the positions you’re targeting.

5. Length and Format: A one-page resume is plenty for most college students. This isn’t a hard and fast rule though because there are those students who have an established track record through work experience or internships. For them, a one-page resume might sell them short so it’s okay to add another page.

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