Resumes for College Students: Preparing Now for Graduation Day
Just as high school seniors struggle to write their essays for college applications, college seniors often struggle with writing resumes for their first jobs. Unfortunately, their preparation for this moment may leave a lot to be desired. Here are a few things college students can do now, before they graduate, to beef up their resumes:
  • Work, either on or off campus, whether you need to pay college expenses or not. Work experience of any type is always valuable. Work experience in your field or industry is even more valuable.

  • Intern in a field or industry that is related to what you want to do after college. Even an unpaid internship counts on your resume.

  • Volunteer, especially if you can volunteer at an organization that will let you use the skills you are developing now. School organizations and nonprofits need board, IT, marketing, fund raising and many other types of volunteers. You can hone your managerial, business, technical and financial skills while helping a good cause.

  • Collect data about the places where you work, intern or volunteer so that the information can be used on your resume. How large is the organization? What is its annual revenue? How many people do they accept as interns or volunteers each year versus the number who apply? Numbers like these add substance to your resume.

  • Get high grades in your major. A high overall GPA is great; but a lower GPA can be somewhat offset by high grades in your major.

  • Keep track of projects you completed as part of your course work, especially projects similar to those you might have to handle in the workplace.

  • Keep track of awards, accolades or favorable comments you receive. Whether the award is “Employee of the Month” or “Dean’s List” or “Phi Beta Kappa,” it is worth noting.