How to improve your resume outside of school

Whether you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree or are in the process of doing so – there are many ways you can update your resume before getting your hands on it.

Of course, internships, student leadership courses and obtaining good grades are a given. But there are still other little measures that can go a long way to improve your resume.

Get a part-time job

This suggestion may seem trivial, but by taking on a part-time job alongside your studies, you are showing potential employers that you are a motivated individual who can manage your time and find that crucial balance between achieving your grades, socialising and earning money to support both of these.

When attending careers events at the university, there is always an emphasis on how to boost your CV through evidence of key transferable skills, including time management, planning, initiative and professional communication.

These can easily be exhibited through simple acts such as organising in-store events if you are working in a shop, being able to work in a team and working towards deadlines.

Find a work experience placement

If you’re really keen to jump straight into a graduate job that is relevant to your dream career when you’re done with university, this option is probably the most beneficial for you.

Work experience will boost your CV and overall graduate job application in a number of ways, ranging from demonstrating that you are already accustomed to their work environment and are familiar with tasks you will most likely have to carry out, to show you are an organised and motivated individual.

As you will be studying and therefore not have too much free time in the week to be an intern, the best time to apply for work experience is during your semester breaks.

This additionally shows your enthusiasm and determination to kick-start your career – since you will be spending well-deserved time off working instead of sunbathing and catching up on your favourite television shows.

One downfall of work experience is that it can most often be difficult to obtain in your preferred field or at your preferred level of work. But if you persevere and manage to secure a good placement, future employers will be extremely impressed.

In addition, success in many careers is now heavily dependent on contacts, so it is important to gain as many as you can along the way – who knows, if they like your work, they may even offer you a job when another batch of holidays come up or even when you graduate.

Join a student society

When writing a CV, many struggle to find interesting and appropriate things to fill it with, other than their qualifications and work experience.

Each university has at least a hundred student societies for you to join, including sports teams, from football to Ultimate Frisbee, and more obscure groups like pirate societies and tea-drinking clubs.

Whether you choose to join a student society relevant to your career path or wish to have some fun and meet people that share your common interests, it is without a doubt something that can really enliven and boost your CV and make you stand out more to potential employers.

As well as demonstrating your hobbies, participation in student societies can also demonstrate transferable skills, such as your ability to be organised and not only work well with others but negotiate with them.

Each society requires at least one president, vice-president and secretary, which are all roles that are demonstrative of indispensable transferable skills to an employer, no matter what the graduate job description.

Volunteering and fundraising

Fundraising and volunteering are great ways to improve your job prospects while doing something for other people.

As well as giving something back to the community, volunteering and fundraising are good ways to develop a range of skills necessary for success in life – and these strengthen university and job applications, too.

Charity work shows university admissions tutors that you’re someone who contributes to society and who is, therefore, likely to get involved in the university community.

Gap Year

Gap years are an ideal way to explore different experiences and discover your own passions.

They are more than just time off – they are often a combination of job experiences, hobbies, travel opportunities and volunteer roles, all rolled into one.

They can also be an opportunity to round out prior experiences. For example, you could spend six months in South America practising the Spanish you first learned in high school.

However, even if you don’t learn a new language, gap years show future employers or admissions officers that you are capable of communicating effectively within diverse environments and cultures, a skill that is increasingly necessary in our globalised world.

This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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