As a soon-to-be college graduate, I have become career obsessed. Whether it is searching every database for my dream job, revamping my resume, or writing my cover letter over 15 times, it’s gotten pretty bad. Who can blame me? Everyone has been popping the big question the past month, AKA the infamous “What are your plans for after graduation?” Hmm…I’ve been wondering the same thing!
With an incredibly competitive job market, the rat race for my generation is exhausting. Every job description states 2-5 years of experience. So you mean you want me to get experience BEFORE I get experience? Sounds impossible. However, having a professional, clear, and experienced resume does make a difference. No, that doesn’t mean dog-sitting for your neighbor is going to land your dream job. My advice to all you college undergrads is one beautiful, 3 syllable word that your adviser has mostly likely shoved down your throat all year: INTERNSHIP.
This might sound crazy but at the end of my freshmen year in college, I planned out the next 3 years. I knew that in order to be successful right out of school and land a decent paying job, I would have to work my toosh off by juggling 5 classes and an internship. I made a promise to myself that starting fall semester of junior year, I would have a new internship each semester so that my resume would be top of the line once graduation came.
Today, I can proudly say that I didn’t break that promise. My resume is rich in different types of experience. I’ve worked in a big-shot corporate setting and a small town mom and pop store. Companies want to see that you are self-motivated and care about work. Internships also display that you have good time-management skills. Once they see you have taken it upon yourself to go above and beyond, you will stand out. Hiring managers want to know how you made a difference at a company. Include specifics and numbers in those bullets on your resume. Did you answer 5,000 e-mails a day? Tell them!
I recently gave my resume an Extreme-Makeover: Job Application Edition. My internships were the golden ticket, but the format of my resume was bleak. It had too many bullets under each job, left out really impressive tasks, had very broad statements, and the list goes on. My boyfriend sat down and helped me revise it for over an hour. Not to brag, but the finishing product looks awesome. I uploaded it to a few career websites and the next day I had people contacting me on behalf of my resume. They had found it online and were seeking me out to work for their company. I felt accomplished and satisfied that my hard work had paid off.
If you still have time to complete an internship(s) or a related job before the real world, start now! I promise it will pay off. It will get exhausting but in the end be so worth it! Your resume will beat out more people than you think.
For more tips and career convo, follow me on Twitter @aileencasmano