With the rise of the internet and online applications there are are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people applying for the same job. This can make landing your dream job nearly impossible.
The key is to figure out how you can stand out from the crowd of students just as desperate as you. If you start laying the groundwork while you’re in University, you’ll put yourself ahead of the game when it comes time to start applying for jobs.
Here are eight ways to build your resume while you’re studying:
Become a leader in a campus organization.
Joining a campus organization can be a great way to meet people and learn new skills. Get involved in a horseback riding club, an entrepreneurs society, a sports club or an organization related to what you are studying.
Simply being a member isn’t always enough, so take on a leadership role to have an edge over your peers. Committee members often have certain responsibilities (e.g. finances, lead meetings, advertising, etc) which can be a great opportunity to improve your skillset.
Take time to learn new skills.
Interested in design? Take an online course – we like CreativeLive. Want to learn a new language? Check out your local courses or download Duolingo. Learning new things on your own shows initiative and your willingness to improve yourself.
Volunteer in your community.
Volunteering shows you care about your community and you are willing to donate your time to make a difference. You can usually find volunteer opportunities at the local food shelf or homeless shelter.
Creating your own internship can also be a good way to build skills. If you are interested in social media, reach out to a nonprofit to see if you can help run their social media accounts. As a young person, you might have insightful tactics to help them improve.
Meet with a career counselor.
Take a gap year.
A gap year is one of the best ways to develop “soft” skills or personality traits. In the workplace, it’s important to have a grasp on conflict management, taking calculated risks and logistical planning. Traveling during a gap year can create more confident, flexible, mature and overall more well-rounded individuals. Spending time in other cultures can help you develop these important people skills.
Get a part-time job.
This is the most common way students build their resume. This is where you develop basic work skills like time management, good work ethic and interpersonal skills.
Working a part-time job and attending University shows your ability to juggle multiple engagements at once. Make sure you don’t take on too much, your main focus should still be on your studies. You can always save it for summer if the thought makes you feel overwhelmed.
Network with professionals.
Seek out events to meet other students or professionals. Attend social events around town or participate in local conferences or workshops.
Meeting new people is a great way to get your name out there and build connections. A recent study found 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. Get out there and starting meeting people!
We might be a bit biased on this last one, but it’s only because we’ve seen first-hand how beneficial internships abroad can be. Interning abroad can open a whole new world of possibilities.
With Start Me Up, you intern with innovative startups in tropical locations around the world. Check out our six awesome reasons to intern abroad (link to blog) or what you can learn working for a startup (link to blog).