How to Build Up Your Resume Without Ever Leaving the Couch

In the past few months, we’ve all pretty much become experts at working from home. What first seemed like an impossible task has become second nature. This fall semester, many students will be continuing to work from home indefinitely. While you may feel like life has been put on hold, there are so many ways you can make the most of working from home and build up your resume at the same time.

While we may not have the luxury of attending in-person career fairs or networking events this semester, working from home can still be just as rewarding. From starting your own business to working at a remote internship, the possibilities are endless. With a little creativity and some hard work, you can still take steps to progress in your career.

Start your own business.

The beauty of the internet is that there are entrepreneurship opportunities for everyone. Whether you tie-dye t-shirts or make custom jewelry, you can set up an Instagram account or Etsy shop for your products. Not only is this a great way to earn some extra money, it also looks great on a resume. Show off those entrepreneurial skills!

Some of my favorite shops started by students are All Hale Collection, which sells gorgeous athleisure sets and scrunchies, and Jewels for June, which features beautiful handmade bracelets that benefit the Bahamas Humane Society. 

Haley, the founder of All Hale Collection and a recent graduate of Texas State University, says “with all this time I have because of quarantine I got to spend more time on what I love to do, which is sewing! I posted some sets on my main page and got a lot of questions, and it pushed me to finally make All Hale Collection.” It may seem scary at first, but the risk will be so worth it. “I was scared to do it, but got so much support from family and friends, and have gained more support from ladies around the country.” Haley explains.

Similarly, Marissa, the founder of Jewels for June says, "After being laid off and transitioning from traditional to online classes, I began to have so much time on my hands. I finally had the opportunity to focus on my passion, helping animals, and build my resume — all through creating Jewels for June. As Jewels for June’s founder, I can tell you that there is an intangible value in each bracelet sold. Our customers know that their purchase is going towards a pup at the Bahamas Humane Society and her journey to the United States. And our customers will be reminded of their contribution each time they wear their gorgeous arm candy!"

Work a remote internship.

Many companies are transitioning their internship programs online to accommodate the world’s circumstances right now. Spend some time looking for job postings on LinkedIn or your school’s job board. You can even DM or email a brand you love and ask about internship opportunities —  that’s how I got my first internship!

Brianna, a rising junior at George Washington University says, "I worked a few different remote internships and volunteering roles during the pandemic, and it was definitely an adjustment but still a great way to build contacts and gain skills! If you’re looking for an internship opportunity from home, my advice would be to search companies or organizations related to your area of interest and reach out to them directly."

A remote internship definitely is different than an in person one in terms of day to day tasks, but it can offer valuable skills that you will take with you for the rest of your career. Skills such as time management, email communication, and focus are crucial skills you will learn when working from home. For most people they can take years to perfect but getting started practicing them now will give you a leg up on future job opportunities. 

Take an online class.

If you’re looking to fill up your schedule this semester, consider taking a class you normally wouldn’t have time for. Whether it’s that Shakespeare class you always wished you had room in your schedule for or an interesting minor, now is the time to try something new! edX allows you to take courses from Harvard and MIT for free, and you have the option to earn a certification. Even if the course won't go towards your degree, it is a great way to learn about something that interests you while diversifying your education. 

Build your online presence.

Skills related to online culture and social media are so important in today’s job market, and they can apply to any career path you choose. Start that fashion blog you’ve always dreamt about or create your vegan cooking YouTube channel. No matter your interest, find your niche and lean into it. 

When I was in high school, I started my own fashion account on Instagram and blog, Carlianne's Closet (yes, that was a shameless plug). I have always been interested in fashion and thought it would be a fun way to express myself and document outfits I love. Now that I am going to school for fashion, it is great to have my blog as a talking point and something on my resume that cements my passion for all different aspects of the fashion industry. It has also provided me with a community of women who I consider to be my Instagram friends who I can go to for advice, because there is only so much you can learn on your own. 

You don't have to become the next Emma Chamberlain but having something you are passionate about manifested into a project is a rewarding experience that will teach you valuable skills. Even if it doesn’t directly apply to the job you want, having something unique that will set you apart from a sea of applicants is always a good talking point.

Learn a new skill.

If you have some extra free time, now is the time to learn a new skill! You can take online classes on pretty much anything from coding to Microsoft Excel to perfect your skills. Having hard skills is such a valuable trait in any industry, so use this extra time to your advantage.

While working from home may not be everyone’s favorite scenario, it is important to make the most of what you’re given and run with it. With the flexibility of an online schedule comes a whole new world of possibilities to bolster your resume.

Follow Carli on Instagram