Most of us understand it is difficult for students to find work, and the majority of that difficulty may be due to a lack of work experience.
Experience is not the problem, however; never has been. The true challenge lies in a student’s inability to identify where relevant experience comes from… and then sell that experience on a resume, social media profile and during the interview.
Most students believe the only experience that matters is the experience we get from working a “real” job. That is simply not true! We develop skills through the breadth of our activities, whether they come from work, volunteering, at home or at school.
As a student, you must realize that everything that surrounds you do builds your skills:
- Work on a project at school with classmates; you just enhanced your teamwork, problem solving and leaderships skills
- Attend a meet-up or professional fraternity/sorority function; your networking skills just improved dramatically
- Play an intramural sport; you just increased your leadership and communication skills
- Eat a sandwich while playing a video game… okay, not everything builds your experience
Once you’ve identified where you get your experience, make sure you adjust your resume to ensure that you are promoting yourself properly.
Tell perspective employers about the activities that make you more employable… and the experience they provide you. When asked if you have ever worked as part of a team, describe important projects you led in school. When asked about your leadership experience, tell them about mentoring a classmate and quantify the results of their improvement.
The ability to connect your activities to your skills is essential to your success!
Throw in an internship or three, and pretty soon you’ll be too busy talking about your hobbies, volunteering and classroom activities in a passionate, confident manner. And you, nor the recruiter, will need to worry about your “lack” of relevant experience.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Equals6!
About the Author: Michael Sanderson is the VP of Education and Training for Equals 6 and is committed to enhancing the knowledge and skills of everyone