Critical steps for building a resume in college and landing a job after graduation

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“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 good reason. Despite a brisker job market — hiring of college grads was predicted to rise 7.8% in 2014 according to a study 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 resume 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 resume 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 resume.
  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. 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 resume 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!

The original guest post by Donna West McPheeters, author of “How to Find the Job You Want” and “How to Build Your Resume While You’re in College,” was updated by UniversityParent.