As the school, college and university gates have reopened and you are about to begin your spring semester, it’s time for you to start setting career goals. In case you are feeling that your employability skills are getting rusty, start considering other activities to make your resume up-to-date, interesting and most importantly give your CV an impressive facelift. Here in this blog, you will get to know some of the most effective tips on how to boost your resume and how to be ahead of the curve.
You will get plenty of opportunities in college to do what you love to and want to do in life. These will provide you with the chance to polish your CV that has been literally gathering dust for last few years. We are talking about those very little known ways to make your Resume stand out from the crowd. Here we are not going to talk about usual stuff that you already know like taking leadership roles, joining internship or getting good grades, here you will get to know some unique ways of making your resume way better than the rest.
- Participate in an off-campus project
Exceptional projects that relate to your major or you have interest in can bring forth your creative side. If you have mentioned your roles at any off campus project then employees will be instantly convinced that you can take initiatives and implement planning to get positive output which is a great employable skill by the way. You can start off something on your own to set the trend and motivate others to start off their own projects.
For example, if you are a marketing student then you might offer a local radio station or pizza joint free marketing consultation. Similarly, if you are majoring in public relation, you can provide a local business to set up and manage their social media websites. In case you are studying business administration in college, you can try to sell some theme t-shirts at any social event. These kinds of outside projects will show future employers that you aren't all about academics; you genuinely have interest in your subject. By taking up projects like that you will be able to get connected with people who might be able to help you to further your career after graduation.
- Write for the college periodical/newspaper
If you are studying journalism, then you should definitely consider joining your college newspaper. At the time of applying for jobs in a highly competitive field like journalism, you need to put forward some working experiences in your resume. Every employer will expect you to have basic ideas about working in a media house which you will get from working in a team at your college or university newspaper.
Having practical working experience is crucial. As a student by working at your college or university newspaper, you will be able to gain plenty of skills that will push you ahead of other graduate job seekers. Even if you don't want to be a journalist and are planning to shift to some different related career, working in a newspaper will give you a great experience with researching, interviewing and meeting deadlines; skills that can prove you competent for other jobs as well. And most importantly, if you love clicking pictures or drawing cartoon or you are always inquisitive about new things and what is happening around, you will have lots of fun finding new stories.
- Take an industry-specific class
These days you can’t just mention experienced with Microsoft word as one of your skill in your resume. However, experienced with Photoshop, Word Press or working knowledge with JAVA/ HTML will undoubtedly draw employers' attention towards your CV. To be worthy of a second look, try to enhance your academic skills as well. If your academic schedule is little light this semester, you can consider taking some additional skill-based classes. These classes will benefit you in your career in the long run.
Marianne Brigola, veteran career counsellor, says: “I always recommend students to research industries and professions before they start exploring jobs. Students can always take few extra classes that will help them with choosing the best career for them. These classes will help students to build up specific skills in their chosen interest areas. For example, if one is a student of marketing or public relation, looking into courses that offer better understanding about media analytics is most likely being beneficial for him or her.”
Similarly, if you are interested in a career in cinema, then you may consider taking specific editing courses that will give you some familiarity with how editing software and equipment works. You can take up online or offline courses to enhance your skill set. Online websites like Lynda is an excellent resource for students who want to learn new computer skills or brush up your existing tech skills.
Student counsellor Maria Waldon says, being proficient in additional technical skills like Mac Programs, graphic designing programs such as InDesign or Illustrator, HTML, Photoshop or CSS are excellent skills to adopt while being in college.
- Start writing your own blog
It's not that everyone wants to be a blogger or writer, but start writing your personal blog will help you with developing your coherent arguments about anything and everything which you care about. By writing your ideas and arguments down, you will be able to shape your debates in a more balanced way. While being on any job interview, you can always mention that you have your own blog and it is for sure any potential employer will be impressed by this as there are very few students who can show the commitment to create and maintain a blog with original entries.
In your blog, you can write about anything you want always choose a subject that interests you the most. Set aside a particular time when you sit for writing your blog. But to make your blog more appealing for employers, try to stick to something which is more academic and professional. What's more, by writing your blog, you can even earn some extra bucks, but for that generally, you need to be an ace blogger. Writing blog becomes very crucial for those students who want to build up their career in journalism and publishing.
According to Miranda Thatcher, educationist and freelance students counsellor, having your own blog is the best way to show employers, what drives you and about what you are really interested. Whether it is travelling, technology or beauty, writing blog will also help you to explore areas where your interest lies. If you have the dedication to write a blog, then employers will readily assume that you will have the same passionate attitude in the workplace. And if you work hard enough then who knows you can start off as an independent professional blogger.
- Build up your sources
While you are still in college, you can use this time to strengthen up your professional connections. The area on which you have a genuine interest, try to build up your link in related professions. Not only getting to know these people is enough, but you also need to keep regular contact with these individuals. Now maintaining a connection isn't necessarily mean you need to call them every day, these can be somewhat annoying. Send them text messages on important events and festivals to make them feel that you remember them.
To link up with professionals, LinkedIn is the best professional network. It is an excellent way for students to showcase their skills and experience. You will also get best exposure to research your career paths and will be able to connect with individuals working in any particular industry. By following the latest trend of any particular industry, you will be able to stay up to date about what is happening in and out an industry by following professionals on LinkedIn. You can keep in touch with former internship supervisor and can use them as a reference on your resume. And if you don't stay in touch with them, it will be hard for them to remember you. So try to be in contact with all previous employers, intern managers, so that your future employer can get to know how awesome you were at your last professional involvement.
Building up relations with influential people of your industry will make it easier for you to look for better work exposure. Be very sure that you never miss any upcoming work opportunities. So start today to build relations little by little with people who are working in your preferred industry for years now. They are veterans and can help you in various ways; at least they can help you find the next internship. And don’t forget to include their names in the reference column in your CV.
Are you sure your resume is presented in the best way possible?
You need to invest only one hour in turning your lame resume into a professionally written one. Don't treat your resume as the dumping ground of all your skills, educational qualification and other related information. To make your resume more convincing and pleasing to eyes; you need to organise every bit of in sequence appropriately. Think of it more like a life-list.
- Adequately demonstrate what have you done
- What were your job responsibilities in your previous jobs/ internships
- What skills do you have and why those skills will set you apart from the crowd.
Instead of just mentioning the employer's name or brand where you have worked, focus on writing what you did. Clearly, mention that you have dealt with cranky clients, have stayed after your shift to complete the day's work so that nothing gets forward to the next day, mention if you have gone out of your way to get a job done. Remember the more action word you are putting in your CV; the more competent viable candidate you are becoming to any employer.
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You may be wondering how to juggle between work, life, academics and now how to manage so many extra involvements along with your studies? Yes, it is quite understandable that when you are struggling to meet up assignment deadlines on a regular basis, you aren’t likely to make time for taking steps that we have suggested above.
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