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An excellent resume isn’t just a list of your strongest skills and accomplishments. A solid resume has the power to get you that great first impression, an interview invitation, and it can open doors to future opportunities.

Here is some advice to get a resume that stands out during your college career:

Gain experience through student organizations

Companies like commitment and leadership, and the best way to achieve that in college is through internships and organizations.

It’s not about the number of organizations you join, but the experience you make out of it. Try out any organization you’re interested in, and see if it’s the right place for you. Worst case scenario you drop out of it, and you find a better fit in a different organization.

Try to start your search for organizations early on in your academic career. Companies like it when they see that you can commit to something for a long time, so it’s better to start earlier than later. After some time participating in your chosen clubs or organizations, you can even apply for leadership positions.

I know that some of us are extremely introverted (like me), but there’s something out there for everybody, and your experience from being a leader can transfer to your next internship or job offer. One of my favorite quotes is, “You need to be uncomfortable in order to grow.” Challenge yourself so you can grow as a person.

Study abroad (after the coronavirus pandemic please)

Many companies prefer it when a candidate has studied abroad in another country because it can give you a broader perspective. According to the Erasmus Student Network in an article from HuffPost, employers are more likely to hire applicants with skills that can be gained through traveling abroad like collaboration, flexibility, different working ethics and effective communication.

According to the University of California, about 97% of students who studied abroad found a job within 12 months after graduating from college, in comparison to college graduates who did not study abroad where only 49 percent were employed within 12 months.

Within the University of Houston itself, there are many programs ranging from affiliated to exchange-programs that you can choose from. You should do your research to find the program that’s right for you, as well as the place of destination, time of stay and the courses to study. Sometimes you can take online courses from UH along with in-person classes in the country you chose, so you can attend two universities at once.

Tips for creating your resume

Fonts

You want your recruiter to see you as a serious and professional candidate, so make sure you use the same font and font size (typically times new roman size 11) throughout your resume. There shouldn’t be any colorful or cursive fonts because that could make you look unprofessional. 

Quantifying accomplishments

Something to make your accomplishments more useful in your resume is to use action words as a description and quantify the kind of work you did. For example, if you’re in the field of communications and you’ve had some experience managing an organization’s social media, you could list the percentage you grew their following by or the increased engagement rates for their publications.

Your recruiters want to see your accomplishments and the impact you can make, and you’ll need to be able to speak to numbers and sell yourself so they can see that. 

Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying to

Recruiters want to see your skills and experience to see if they can utilize them at their company. So, try to focus your resume content to be specifically relevant to each job you apply for.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There are many resources available in school such as University Career Services or mentors from organizations that can look over your resume. You can even use VMock, a resume grader website, to check your resume for accuracy.  

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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