February is rolling around, which means that all of you college kids are back in school mode after obscenely long winter breaks and that first week of classes during which “going over the syllabus” actually counts as a lesson plan. So enjoy being back at class, but also know that now is when you can actually start doing the little things to make sure your resume is solid when you leave school.
There’s more on your resume than a GPA and internships…
Although your college career counselors might have you believe otherwise. Of course, maintaining a high GPA is important, and internships are even more so, but there are other things you can do to greatly improve your resume without expending all of that energy on actually studying. Here’s a list of a few tips any college student can do while they are in school to make sure there resume is as impressive as possible, even without awesome internships or a high GPA.
4 Things to Remember for Improving Your Resume During College
1. Projects are more important than classes.
Unless you are in a very specific field with very specific class requirements, the college classes you take aren’t going to matter all that much. Your resume is just going to show your degree. And putting “relevant coursework” on your resume is okay, but only if you have nothing better. What you can put on a resume that looks great is an “academic projects” section. Listing academic projects on a resume allows you to demonstrate how you implemented what you learned in class. And that’s far more important and impressive than just saying “I took this class.”
So that being said, look for classes with major projects at the end. Do some research and see what tips others might suggest. Talk to the people in your department. Find out what classes are creating things, not just studying things, and make sure you sign up for those classes. Take on an independent project. And if you are in the humanities, you better be writing some long papers. If you graduate with a degree in English or History and haven’t written a paper longer than twenty pages, you should be kind of ashamed of yourself.
2. Sometimes focusing on your studies is actually a bad idea (get a job).
Sometimes I get recent graduates with very little to put on their resumes, no part time jobs, no extracurriculars, and they tell me that they focused on their studies and didn’t have time for much else. Well, that’s a terrible idea. Yes, GPA is important, but it’s three numbers on your resume. You need actual stuff to fill out the rest. Also, don’t be afraid to get a job during the school year, especially if it is even tangentially related to what you want to do. Part-time jobs and extracurriculars are far more important to getting a job when you graduate than your GPA, provided your GPA is still solid. Even restaurant or retail jobs are good if you’re still a college student. When employers see that you don’t have anything on your resume but your degree, they aren’t going to assume you were studying day and night. They are going to assume you were hung over or stoned most of the time.
3. Anyone can join a club, so go lead a club.
Speaking of extracurriculars, it’s worth noting that being a member of a club is a good start. But with just a little bit of extra effort, you can be an officer of a club. And once you’re an officer with responsibilities, you can start describing those responsibilities on your resume. And yes, there’s some work involved, but honestly half the time you just have to be the one to order pizza for the meeting. Just getting into a leadership position completely changes your resume, and it doesn’t take that much more work. And if you really want to look great, found a club.
Professors 300×225 Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume While Still in College
4. College Professors know about opportunities.
You should get tight with a few professors in your field, not just because you want to get some great recommendations, but because Professors hear about opportunities for students first, whether they are internships, research assistant positions, or calls for submissions. Plus professors are people to. It wouldn’t hurt to have somebody to talk to who isn’t surviving exclusively on ramen noodles and five hour energies.
Those are 4 great tips for now but there are so many more. Remember, if you don’t have anything to show on your resume when you get out of school, then you just wasted four years and a lot of money. Even the most idealistic people who consider college an opportunity for young men and women to find themselves and explore their interests would have to agree that if that exploration doesn’t result in anything tangible than you weren’t doing enough exploring. So good luck all of you kids and remember that it’s never too early to get a new resume and start looking for jobs.
- Article Name
- Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume While Still in College
- Jason B.
- Updating your resume while still in college is immensely beneficial for future graduates. Here are 4 easy ways to improve your resume.