After graduation, you may find yourself in a job market competing against a more experienced workforce. Often, a potential employer's first impression of you is your resume, so you want it to stand out and not blend in. The best resumes don't tell an employer what type of courses you took or grades you made, but what kind of experience you have. However, when your schedule is full of class and study time, it's hard to find time to gain relevant experience. Still, there are plenty of things you can do now to build your resume for life after college.
One such way is to be involved while you are in school. A great way to get your feet wet is by joining clubs and organizations that are related to the career field you are interested in. Many schools have academic organizations and student clubs that anyone can be involved in. Are you a political science major? Get involved with your school's Student Government Association. Do you have career aspirations of becoming a personal trainer? Join the Yoga Club. Not only will you gain relevant experience, but you will be able to show an employer that you desired to learn more even during your free time.
Another great way to build your resume is by volunteering your time. Heading up a food drive at the local homeless shelter or helping organize a fundraising event demonstrates your leadership skills. Volunteer experience can also tell a potential employer a lot about your character and what type of employee you would be. If they see that you are someone who sacrifices your own time to give back to their community, they will know that you are the type of person who is willing to work hard and put others needs above your own.
Most importantly, employers like to see that you have previous work experience. While most students do not have time to hold down a full-time job and go to school, the experience you can gain holding down a part-time position or completing an internship can greatly benefit you. Job experience shows an employer that you are capable of being professional and possess a strong work ethic. It can also result in valuable recommendations from bosses or internship supervisors who have worked with you and know what kind of employee you are.