5 Tips for Building Your Resume During College

Take a peak at any college’s calendar or social media page, and you’ll find a wide range of activities going on, from clubs and athletics to social events and more, not to mention the many classes happening on campus each day. With so many opportunities to fill every available moment, students need practical and effective methods for achieving one of their most important college goals: preparing for a future career.

On average, an employer takes about 30 seconds to look over a resume and make a decision. Adding experience to your resume during college is key to standing out among other college grads.According to Pam Crosby, senior director of the career center at SEU, building your resume before you officially enter the workforce is key to your future career success. “Gaining career experience throughout college is important for students because it absolutely matters on a resume. Often, it makes the difference between landing the job or losing it. On average, an employer only gives a resume about a 30-second read. So a student’s resume not only is a reflection of their unique experience, but those experiences clearly and succinctly stated may very well be what helps a resume to stand out above the rest!”

It’s never too early or too late to begin building your resume. Whether you’re still in the college search process or are even nearing your final semesters on campus, below are five suggestions for helping you get started.

Check out the campus employment listings

There are typically hundreds of student jobs available on a college campus. SEU offers more than 500 positions in areas such as communications, dining services, athletics and many other fields.Colleges and universities typically dedicate a page on their websites to job opportunities for current students. This is a helpful resource for learning about the types of positions available on your campus as well as the tasks you would be expected to accomplish and qualifications required, such as strong organizational or customer service skills. Don’t hesitate to stop by your campus’s human resources office for additional information and professional advice.

Learn about work-study opportunities

In addition to helping build your resume, working during college is a great way to cover educational costs, especially for students who have a demonstrated financial need and are eligible for work-study, according to their FAFSA filing. Work-study funds are provided by the federal government on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to check into this option early if you think you may qualify. The human resources office at your college or university can help you determine which student employment positions are classified as work-study and how to apply for them.

Consider your interests and career goals

Adding experience to your resume is great, but carefully consider the quality and relevance of that experience before investing time in earning it. Ask yourself, “Will this job or internship support my ultimate career goals?” For example, if you plan to go to medical school, gaining experience as a laboratory assistant could look great on your resume and will allow you to put your classroom learning into practice.

Make professional connections

Repeat after me: network, network, network. From attending your campus’s career fair to connecting with a professor over coffee, take advantage of the hundreds of opportunities available during college to build professional relationships that will benefit you long after you have your diploma in hand. As for landing a job during college, your professors and the director of your academic program are a great resource for finding current entry-level openings in your intended career field.

Connect with your campus career coach

At Southeastern University, our campus career coaches play a key role in helping students design a professional resume, secure internships, refine their networking skills and more. Our career coach team includes a representative from each of our six academic colleges, who serves as a specialist on the majors offered in his or her college and the opportunities available to students pursuing those particular majors. Whether or not you have this specific resource at your college or university, there is sure to be a representative at your campus career center who can help you get started on preparing for your professional future.

For more information about the career resources available at Southeastern University, click here or call 800.500.8760. Also be sure to check out our Pinterest “Career Prep” board for additional ideas on preparing for your future profession.