College is a crucial time for filling up your resume with projects and experiences that will help you find work after graduation. While it may be difficult to gain professional experience while still in school, many companies will appreciate your other leadership activities and extracurriculars – they can be just as valuable as traditional jobs.
Internships are the No. 1 thing that most companies look for from recent college graduates. These are your experiences that are most closely related to actual professional experience, and can prove invaluable in helping you stand out among the applicant pool. Many internships are offered during the school year, not just summer, and can range from a few hours per week to full-time. Don’t limit yourself to the traditional “fetch coffee and bagels” types of internships at large companies; look for opportunities like shadowing a professional at your favorite company, or working as a research assistant – almost anything can be considered an internship as long as you have the right paperwork.
Get involved! Joining clubs on campus is not only a great way to immerse yourself in the full ‘college experience,’ but also, believe it or not, can look really impressive to hiring managers. Clubs like Student Government, Major-Related Clubs (Psych Club, Marine Bio Club, etc), and artistic clubs like Art Club or Choir – or Her Campus! – can all add enrichment to your life and your resume. Additionally, holding leadership positions within your clubs can help you stand out as someone who knows how to lead their peers and work in a team.
Almost every university has weekly, if not daily, events happening around campus. Keep your eyes peeled for flyers, emails and professor’s announcements – events like career fairs, company tours and guest speaker events can all turn into great resume fillers.
Community service is an important and often overlooked activity – most sorority and fraternity houses organize recurring events and encourage/require house members to attend, but even outside of the Greek community there are plenty of opportunities to help your community. This is not only a great addition to your resume, but can be a great “good deed of the day” and a way to meet new people.
The best way to pad your resume is to just go out and do stuff! Venturing out in to the world, even just to grab an iced coffee or hang out with your friends, can open doors for you that you never knew existed. Every job has minimum qualifications for the amount of experience they’d like their applicants to have, so your best shot is to just go out and experience the world!