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College Years Provide Amazingly Awesome Resume

If you’re like most of us – you’re not overburdened with worldly wealth during your time at college. Not by a long shot – and that probably means you need to work to supplement your savings and loans.

However, getting a decent job when you’re a student isn’t always easy. Convincing an employer that you’re ready to take on the kind of responsibility and tasks that use your skills and pay you a living wage is hard! And often, they want you to have already graduated and worked for two or three years in the field before they even consider your application.

You can get around this, however, by looking at some of the “soft skills” you’ve acquired while a student.

While you’ve been studying have you ever done any of the following:

  • Worked in a team?
  • Analyzed data?
  • Prepared documents on a topic?
  • Edited your work?
  • Solved problems?
  • Researched a topic?
  • Given a presentation?

If you remember nothing else form this article, I want you to remember this one thing:

Doing something in the controlled environment of college still means you did it.

That’s right. That time when you handed in three papers in over two days? If you were able to do that it means that you managed your time well, set priorities, worked efficiently and respected deadlines.

There is no job where that is not useful.

Are you starting to see where I’m coming from?

When you prepare a resume, your experience can and should include all of your experience – not just the things you were paid for. The things you actually did in school count.

So instead of having a “Work Experience” section where you simple list how well you wipe down tables and count out cash, you can have a “Relevant Experience” section where you can also include how well you prioritize and communicate and research and problem-solve.

I’m not telling you to be dishonest here – not by a long shot. You should include your relevant traditional work experience as well. I’m just asking you to give the useful, relevant skills you developed in and out of class as much importance as the ones you acquired in the jobs you’ve held.

This alone will set you miles ahead of the competition when it comes time to apply for work, and will broaden your options to boot.

The people who make hiring decisions are looking for the solution to a problem. That problem varies from place to place, but it is always present. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be hiring at all.

You can use your skills and experience to solve that problem, but an employer won’t know you can do it unless you tell them.

Today’s guest article comes from Megan Dougherty. She finds it hugely frustrating that doing the “right thing” by following your passion, going to college or trying to start something for yourself so often leads to years of financial desperation. It shouldn’t. You should be able to live the life you want, now. It’s not easy, but it is possible. Find out more over on her site, Paying for Life.

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3 Responses to “College Years Provide Amazingly Awesome Resume”

  1. Andrew says:

    Great Article! Thanks! Getting a part time job is very important for students, good grades is not everything (but it helps). If you can say to graduate recruiters that you held down a good job for a couple years while in college, it will put you 10 steps ahead of other students with the same grades.

    • Megan says:

      Having a job is certainly a bonus, Andrew – but it isn’t strictly necessary – or always possible! Sometimes, it’s really important for students to be able to focus fully on classes – and I feel that that should be used to advantage in the job hunt too. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Karyn S says:

    Another thing would be to join an organization related to your major while in college. I did that and it helped me get my foot in the door in my career.