When it comes time to find internships, many students realize that their résumé is underwhelming. Employers look for all sorts of qualities in college graduates. Were you involved on campus? Did you have leadership positions in those involvements? Did you build a portfolio? Did you acquire a unique skill set? If you feel like your résumé looks a little sparse, here are some tips to fatten it up in no time.
1. Go to class. Forget your grades! Just kidding – don’t do that. But what a class has to offer you besides just an A on your transcript can also be incredibly useful in developing your résumé. Instructors will often make announcements pertaining to opportunities for students to join student organizations or find internships. Aside from this, whether or not attendance is taken, your instructors will also know your face and be more inclined to help you in any way they can. This is especially true if you meet with them. It is useful to make appointments with your professors during their office hours and discuss the ways you can get more involved, improve your résumé or network, all of which can lead to possible jobs or internships.
2. Do your research. If you have an idea of the kind of job you want after graduation, it is beneficial to look up the LinkedIn profiles of people who work at the same companies or have the same positions that you wish to obtain. If you don’t feel comfortable connecting with them, looking at their involvements in college will you give you an idea of what kind of organizations you should join and accomplishments you should be making at this stage in your life. Once you know how these people got to their positions, you will have a better idea of the kinds of activities in which to participate. Also, be sure to follow the social media and blogs of professionals who work in your desired field. This will help you gain knowledge about the profession and help you find opportunities to get experience and prepare you for the job you want.
3. Actually read your school emails. Mass emails sent from your university can be particularly overwhelming. Sometimes this bombardment of emails is too much, and we resort to just opening and closing them to make the notifications go away. However, these seemingly redundant emails contain valuable information about opportunities that you might not have heard of otherwise. For example, honors society deadlines, leadership opportunities and nearby internship offers are usually included in these emails.
4. Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It’s important to look for ways to immerse yourself in more than one organization and to branch out into different areas. Employers find it impressive when a potential employee has extensive experience in more than just one field. Even if you know the market you want to get into, it pays to dabble in a little bit of everything. You never know what life will bring your way.
Your university provides many different ways to help you gain more experience and skills. Take advantage of this and seek out positions that relate to your goals. Do not sit back and wait for opportunities to arise—go out and find them.
-by Kiara Mitchell, PRSSA General Member
Kiara Mitchell is a public relations student at The University of Alabama and a marketing & promotions intern for the Crimson Tide Athletic Department. You can read her personal blog: Candidly Kiara, or connect with her on LinkedIn.