Career Planning

How to build a resumé in college and land a job after graduation

By UniversityParent and Donna West McPheeters 

“Will my student be able to land a good job at graduation?” Though the economy has improved in recent years, college parents still worry, and with reason.

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High School Parent | College Parent

Despite a brisker job market — hiring of new college grads was predicted to rise 8.3% in 2015 according to “Job Outlook 2015” by the National Association of Colleges and Employers — many students will graduate without an offer.

How can you support your student throughout her college years so that she’s one of the success stories? Preparation is key. By intentionally building a resumé in college, your student will create the experience she wants to showcase instead of having to spin a haphazard assortment of activities into something they’re not.

It’s never too early to start. Here are six critical steps your student can take as she builds a resumé in college:

  1. Make academic achievement the highest priority. Connect with professors — develop a mentoring relationship with at least one of them. Pursue research opportunities.
  2. Get involved on campus. Commit to at least one organization a year; seek leadership opportunities; quantify accomplishments.
  3. Work part-time on campus. Find summer jobs and internships that connect to classroom learning and career aspirations.
  4. Commit to at least one community service or volunteer opportunity each year.
  5. Take advantage of electives that build her resumé.
  6. Create a simple system to identify and record college experiences as she goes along.

There is plenty of support for your student on campus. Her academic advisor is a good resource, as is the Career Center. At the Career Center she can:

  • Research and network to identify the position she wants, with the company she wants, in the location she wants;
  • Get help writing a resumé that sets her apart from the competition;
  • Practice for interviews.

Not only will she be highly qualified, she’ll be confident and well-prepared. That’s how she’ll seal the deal!

About the Author:

Donna West McPheeters is the author of “How to Find the Job You Want” and “How to Build Your Resumé While You’re in College.”

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our Community Forum and College Parents’ Facebook group.

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