Your College Experience IS Real World Experience

College ExperienceYoung job-seekers are tumbling out of college with little to no work experience… and a resume that looks more like a static mini-autobiography than a dynamic story.

With the job market saturated with talent and eager workers, how can a young graduate stand out from the pack?

You need to think creatively. You need to convert the experience gained during your college years into in-demand soft skill sought by employers. Here are a few examples:

1) Leadership Roles

Being President of a group or organization adds weight to a resume. Think of your position as a professional role. At any point, did you take the initiative and reigns to lead a project? Are you managing a group? Organizing projects? Handling finances? Meeting with Executives, Boards, etc.?

The size of the group doesn’t matter, the key is to quantify the results you achieved in your position. Companies look at results not job descriptions. As Leader of Fundraising, how much more money did you raise than the year’s prior? Did you negotiate a higher rate? As Head of a Student Government, how much did you increase student participation and approval? Were you able to find a surplus in the budget and use that money to better the school? As a Writer for the School Newspaper, did you have any articles that were published locally or went viral online? If so, provide a link to showcase your success.

Every role you took can be molded into experience that is attractive, but you must think outside of the box! Show your ability to manage!

2) Speaking Roles

The aptitude to speak in public can be a daunting task, but it is certainly an asset to any team or company. A person who has experience and success with public speaking demonstrates:

  • The ability to organize thoughts

  • Confidence in oneself

  • The power of persuasion

Delve into your college experience and draw out examples where you had a speaking role and utilized the above 3 skills. Communication skills are essential in the business world, take advantage of every opportunity to practice!

3) Personality Traits

Having the right experience can only take you so far on your Resume. The reason you stay at a job for a long-period of time is usually the ability to work well with the people around you. You may be a better candidate for a position than someone who has many more years of experience because the hiring manager believes that your personality will contribute more productively and efficiently to the team.

On your resume, you not only want to reflect your talents but also your personality. For example, on my resume, which is littered with a finance/accounting background, I include that I helped start an Improv Troupe on campus and fully participated onstage. What does that have to do with accounting/finance? Nothing. Instead, it reflects not only skills at presenting and the ability to think on the spot, but also a laid-back and humorous side that could be attractive to a certain work environment. Where on your resume can you demonstrate your personality type? By giving examples!

4) Side Projects

Showing your entrepreneurial side can only work to your advantage come interview time. Building something on the side generates a favorable perception of yourself. Even if you do some moderate freelance writing, this displays your desire to learn more, take risks, manage your time wisely, and think creatively! It could be something as small as doing short fundraisers for a favorite charity. Anything that showcases your entrepreneurial spirit and ambition is attractive to many hiring managers.

5) School Load

What you learn in the classroom could actually work to your advantage! Imagine that. Taking lessons from lectures and putting them in your Education section can not only stick out to Hiring Managers but also bolster your keywords.

So, for that Marketing class you took, you could have learned about: branding, a/b testing, persuasion, sales psychology. Just putting “marketing” doesn’t give any value, delve into specifics that immediately grabs attention. Doesn’t “sales psychology” intrigue you while “marketing” sound commonplace? Think over your class schedule and use keywords that show you didn’t just read the title of the textbook, but dove into class discussions and went above and beyond the coursework.

Taking the step out of college into the real-world can be a challenge, but you don’t have to start out empty-handed. Leverage your experiences to create a captivating story for hiring managers.






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About the Author: Joe Cassandra is the Founder of the 7Minute Entrepreneur, where he shows how to attack your life with the mindset of an entrepreneur in personal finance, careers, starting your own business, and much more. Follow him here on Twitter!


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