There are some skills you learn in college that will most certainly not come in handy when crafting your resume: keg standing, dragging break-ups out for more than a year, turning Ramen into a three-course meal.
But some skills you pick up in college are serious signals to employers that you would be a great hire. Consider how you can demonstrate that you have these qualities when you start applying for jobs:
Communication comes in many forms, and you’ve been practicing them all since you started college. You talk to peers, as well as superiors, face to face; email with old friends, parents, and professors; and probably use texting, phones, and chat services to stay in touch with people. You’re an expert by now.
In the workplace, this is an invaluable skill; you’ll have to communicate with team members and supervisors about projects, and use the appropriate level of formality and authority. On your resume, this skill should shine as you effectively communicate, both through the words and design of the document, that you’re the best fit for this job.
We’re living in a technology-driven world, and there’s no doubt that your job will require some kind of technical skills. You may have learned some basics in high school, but college is where the software you use becomes more involved and specific to your particular field.
On resumes, it’s often appropriate to include a technical skills section outlining the software you know. Just make sure you are actually proficient with the programs you list or note your skill level.
Finally, all those college papers are going to pay off! No matter your industry, writing is a critical part of success, and having solid writing skills can put you way ahead of the pack. Whether you’re crafting emails, reports, papers, or press releases, the importance of writing can’t be overemphasized.
Every line of your resume is a chance to show off your writing skills. Be sure to use proper grammar, keep everything in the same tense, and double-check for any typos or misspellings.
College seems like the craziest time of a person’s life, schedule-wise. Many people juggle classes, jobs, internships, clubs, and dozens of relationships. Your parents aren’t around to help you keep your activities and assignments straight anymore and you really have to develop your time management skills.
Hiring managers look for job candidates who will be able to handle multiple projects and deadlines with minimum supervision. You can show that you’re capable of this on your resume by listing several of your relevant college activities or including a list of duties you performed at a job or internship that required time management skills.
You’ve heard that it’s not about what you know but about who you know. The working world is where you get to experience first-hand just how true that is. But don’t worry; you’re prepared for this. You’ve been building your networking skills in college without even realizing it.
Building relationships with people in different majors, classes, and organizations, as well as with professors, has put you in a great position to use those skills for your career. You may not be able to highlight them on your resume, but they may come in handy for getting that resume in front of the right people.
The multitude of college organizations and part-time positions gives students the chance to hone their leadership skills. You don’t have to be student body president to develop the best leading qualities. If you were a section editor at the school paper, social chair of your sorority, or treasurer of even a small club, you’ve got the organizational skills and make-things-happen personality that make you valuable in the workplace.
Mention any leadership roles you took on in college or jobs to bring the words “management material” to the minds of employers.
Sticking to your guns is something that really comes into play once you hit higher education. Peer pressure may have had a hand in your high school life, but it’s kicked up a notch in college with the addition of lots of freedom, lots of alcohol and drugs available, and lots of members of the opposite sex.
By the time you’ve finished those four years, you’ve hopefully figured out who you really are and what you really think matters. Even if you made some mistakes, you probably learned some lessons and developed your character into something people respect. On your resume, integrity matters; lying to get a job is never a good idea.
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