Recently my thoughts have been revolving around careers and the future. Part of this stems from the approaching summer break in which many of us need to find a summer job. This has led me to think about graduating university and what exactly I want to do once I’m done. Despite this being my first year, the speed of which this year has gone by has made me realize that my graduation will come quicker than expected. As for many others, that graduation date is much, much sooner.
Growing up, people always told me that going to university would guarantee me a job and that it was the only option out there. Now, I believe that has changed. I’ve learned that having a degree doesn’t always mean I’ll be handed a job the moment I graduate. It has also made me realize that employers are looking for much more than just a degree. The childhood ideal that university meant a high paying, wonderfully exciting job has been crushed. So what exactly are employers looking for? What else do they want besides “completed degree at so and so university” on my resume?
What they want is experience. There’s an ongoing idea that employers want a certain amount of experience, but students are unable to get this necessary experience without first being hired for a job, beginning an endless cycle. So how does one get experience and build up their resume so they’re able to get a job? Here are some tips I have scrounged up to help make your resume look amazing and get you the job you want, whether it's for after graduation or for work during the school year or summer.
1) Take university courses that give you skills that help you both in the real world and in a job environment. Besides the courses you need for your degree, most of us have some extra courses that we need to take to get the required amount of credits. There are so many courses that will help build your skill set for the future such as: personal finance if you feel you need to improve your money management, public speaking if you want to build up your communication skills, or principles of management to enhance and understand the skills needed for management. These are just a few. I’m sure there are some more that would help build your skill set.
2) Network. Build a platform, social media is making this incredibly easy, and get to know some people in the field you want to enter. Knowing people does help. This can give you opportunities that you may not have qualified or heard about before.
3) Jobs, internships, and volunteering. All of these things help build and improve upon your skills. This may seem like an obvious one, but going beyond just a job (internships or volunteering) can really set you above others.
4) Get references that will reflect your skills needed in the field you want.
There are probably many more tricks to help you out but these are just a few examples. Good luck to everyone looking for a summer job and even more to those graduating this coming May!
By Taris Breau