We talk a lot about how important a resume is, how to set one up, etc. I bet there are a bunch of you behind your computer screens thinking “I’ve done none of this. I don’t have time for an internship. What does this mean for me?”
You really do a lot. As college students, we have a lot on our plate, even when we’re not directly planning for our career. So what are we doing every day that is helping us get to where we’re going?
Classes- major and electives
First of all, you’re studying. That is your number one job. Getting the degree you’ve invested time and money into. A Bachelor’s is showing your future employers that you can commit. The classes you’re taking are teaching you how to think, furthering your knowledge base, and expanding your horizons. Every time you learn something new you are becoming more valuable to your future employer. Don’t think it’s not important.
Jobs– even the part-time, work-study, fast food ones
There are certain skills that every employee needs. You can pick up these transferable skills at almost any job, but employers need to see evidence of them. Working at McDonald’s might not be glamorous, but you can show the skills that you learned and refined working there (like time management). School is a full-time job, adding anything on top of that is impressive and needs to be noted.
Every hour you spend doing volunteer work, whether it’s at a nursing home, a community garden, animal rescue, politics, or whatever else you can dream of, is building your resume. You’re creating relationships and developing your skills and interests. It helps.
Sports teams may not seem like the most resume-worthy activity, but it’s a lot of commitment. I’ve never heard of a sport that didn’t practice for several hours a week (if not a day), as well as have games. Even in the off season you need to stay in shape. You’re also working on team building (even if it’s not a team sport, you still have your team to keep you working hard), and leadership skills.
Being a part of a organization on campus may not seem like a lot if you’re not a leader at this point, but your interests are important. They’ve actually done studies and found that people who are involved in student orgs tend to get better grades and are more likely to get a degree. Don’t worry about being in the major-related clubs either, if you don’t want to. Doing something you like means you’re more likely to stay involved, and eventually get a leadership role.
Now, you’re probably not doing everything on this list. That’s a lot. But you’re probably doing more than you realize. So don’t worry so much about having the perfect “resume” activities. Spend some time developing yourself, too. Don’t forget to stop in to our Drop-In hours to figure out how to put all the stuff you’re doing on your resume!
Of possible interest:
- Writing a Resume (Career Handbook)
- How Your Skills as an Athlete Translate to the Working World (UPenn)
- Boost Your Resume by Volunteering