QUESTION: I just graduated from college and have no job experience or internships. What do I put on my resume?
Heading, email, LinkedIn, phone, website/blog, relevant coursework that ties to your employment goals, academic projects, Dean’s list, Clubs, leadership roles in school or your community, volunteer work. These topics not only give readers a window into your college experiences, they provide a glimpse into the attributes that make up your personal brand that distinguishes you from others.
You have more experience than you realize! You just spent two, four, or more years completing a degree. As such, your education deserves more than a single line on your resume. Highlight relevant class projects, university and industry associations, and extracurricular activities. Regardless of whether you were paid, your experience is valuable and transferable. Your job is to connect the dots.
Think about papers you’ve submitted, group projects and even case studies that you’ve completed that relate to your job target! Also be sure to include the titles of any coursework you’ve completed as often times these can double as valuable keywords on your resume.
You may not have had a job, but you’ve certainly had experiences. Consider volunteer involvement, academic accomplishments, projects, and extra-curricular activities. Thinking about your duties in those areas, emphasize skills you used that are relevant to your job goal, including positive results. Showcase your soft skills with evidence of how those strengths contribute to your success.
Transferable skills come from both paid and unpaid experiences. Emphasize experiences gained through relevant coursework, college projects, volunteer work, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and online certifications. Also, don’t disregard work that is unrelated to your career goal. Everyone started somewhere and some of our best skills come from those early experiences.
You include your tough courses, class projects, and volunteer activities, as well as any intramural sports and clubs. Most employers don’t worry about hours worked at some job. They want to see curiosity, leadership potential, and collaboration. In other words, include anything that will help them gauge what you’ve learned and show how you would fit in and contribute at their company.
Did you participate in clubs while in college? Get involved with any programs? Participate in study abroad? College activities can be leveraged to highlight skills on a resume–not just employment. A skilled resume writer will know how to pull details to illustrate your suitability for a professional role. Start a rough list of your involvement with dates and your contributions for inspiration!
Here are other kinds of experience for your resume: community service, campus organizations or clubs, study abroad, athletics, fundraising phone banks ,professional associations’ memberships, attending professional conferences or seminars, presenting at any conferences, class projects & team projects, research papers, oral presentations in classes. All of these can be included.
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