College is one of the most exciting times of a young person’s life.
All of your hard work through school has been building up to that point, and it’s a time when you can finally experience independence like never before: forming new friendships, learning how to look after yourself, and discovering skills and knowledge that can help you bring your career dreams to life.
It can be a lot of hard work to keep up with your classes and manage your time effectively in order to succeed and still have fun, and one of the most frustrating aspects for many college students is the fact that even exam success doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get a job at the end of it
In today’s world, competition for places is very high, and recruiters are looking for more than just your grades.
This is why it’s vital for college students to always think of the future and do what they can to get ahead of the game.
When the time comes for you to start applying for jobs, many other graduate candidates will be applying for those same positions and have the same degree or diploma as you, so how do you set yourself apart?
Here are some top tips to give your resume the edge:
1. A Part-Time Job
One of the biggest issues facing graduates today is that so many employers demand experience from job applicants, but it’s impossible for young workers to actually get that experience if nobody will give them a chance in the first place.
One way to remedy this is to get yourself a part-time job while in college.
Yes, the experience you get at a fast-food joint or retail store might not be exactly relevant if you later pursue a career in accounting or science, but employers will still value the fact that you have experience in the workplace.
Plus, it’ll help you get some extra cash.
2. Get Involved with Extracurricular Activities
When recruiters look at applications for jobs, they often see more or less the same qualifications on every single resume.
Countless people have done the same degrees and got the same grades and this is why recruiters have to look a little deeper to compare candidates and find the right person for each job.
They’ll often look to see what kinds of hobbies, pastimes, and extracurricular activities each person has been involved with, and this can actually be a make or break factor when applying for some jobs.
Extracurricular engagement shows that you’re sociable, multifaceted, a team player, and eager to do more with life than simply the bare essentials. College offers countless clubs and groups to try out.
3. Industry-Specific Courses
At college, when each new semester comes along, you’ll usually get the choice to sign up for different courses. Some students take these decisions pretty lightly, while others simply choose the courses that work best for their schedule, rather than really thinking about the content and value of each one.
If you want to give your resume a little extra relevance and interest in the eyes of recruiters, make sure to choose courses that are really relevant to your desired career.
If you’re studying marketing, for example, and want to get into digital marketing, later on, make sure to focus on courses with subjects like SMS marketing or social media marketing.
4. Internships or Volunteer Work
While many college students like to get a part-time job during their college years in order to earn some extra cash and build their resume at the time, this might not always be the best or most viable choice.
In some situations, opting for an internship or voluntary position might be the better option in terms of strengthening your resume. It’s often the case that internships may be available in your chosen line of work.
Getting a paid position might not be possible without experience, but an internship during college will help you build up that necessary experience in your chosen field, which can look very attractive in the eyes of recruiters later on.
It may also allow you to start networking and building up some trusted contacts in your industry.
These are just a few possibilities you can try out to give your resume a little extra content and appeal for future recruiters.
While it might seem like you have all the time in the world when you start college, those three or four years can fly by quite quickly.
It’s important to be proactive, making the most of the time you have to put yourself in a much better position later on.