Strengthen your resume with these tricks
January 28, 2019
As the time for career fairs and summer internship applications approaches, it’s common to worry about polishing your resume to perfection. While scheduling a meeting with the Career Center or your academic adviser can help organize and fine tune your resume, it can be difficult to figure out what to put on it in the first place. Here are some ways to get involved on campus that will boost the strength of your resume.
Apply for an internship
Wait, aren’t I preparing to get an internship by going to the career fair? There are certainly plenty of opportunities to land an internship by attending career fairs this spring, but it isn’t the only way. Departments typically send out internships, research and job opportunities through their newsletters, so finding an opportunity related to your major could be as easy as keeping an eye on your inbox.
Students in LAS can apply to ATLAS, a University-sponsored program that connects students with tech-related internships around campus. Even if an internship is unpaid, you can use the experience to bulk up your resume and apply for one that is paid, though more competitive.
Look for volunteer opportunities
Choosing to volunteer isn’t just for the good of the community, but for your resume and peace of mind as well. If you didn’t have the time or opportunity to work or land an internship, volunteering is a great way to show you can balance academic commitments with other responsibilities. Like a job or internship, volunteering allows you to develop skills such as teamwork and time management, something you can emphasize on your resume.
Try to find volunteering opportunities related to your major or career goals so the experience can double as a chance to network with individuals and employers in your field.
Highlight your professional skills
Not all experiences you list need to be on-campus activities. Do you have any hobbies you work on seriously? Do you have skills you’ve been using to earn money? If you’re an amateur photographer and sell prints online or if you design websites in your spare time, make sure to mention this work on your resume. Experiences that are not affiliated with the University can be as valuable as you make them. Being able to show you have skills you’ve put to practical use outside the classroom is a great way to impress potential employers.
Show commitment to your field
The saying “quality over quantity” is true with extracurriculars as well as work experience. Instead of spreading yourself thin, it is better to demonstrate dedicated interest in the direction you plan to pursue. The same advice holds true if you aren’t certain about what you want to do just yet.
Avoid trying to juggle positions or involvement in several clubs or organizations and just focus on the ones most meaningful to you and most applicable to your major or career path. Be involved, but don’t overdo it.
Natalie is a sophomore in LAS.