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5 Ways To Build Your Resume Post-College

5 Ways To Build Your Resume Post-College

If you’ve just gotten out of college, and find yourself wanting some tips for resume building, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 ways to build up your credentials and improve your odds of landing that dream job.

1.Try To Land Volunteer Opportunities.

Volunteer work is a great way to engage in resume building for a couple of reasons. First of all, volunteering gives you a way to build up experience in a variety of settings, and you can do as much or as little as you want. Volunteering is a great stepping stone in certain industries as it can let you get a feel for the kind of work paid employees in that field might have to do. Another massive plus is that volunteering with organizations like food banks or other worthwhile causes allow you to give back to the community while building up your own credentials at the same time. The third major point is that the presence of volunteer work on a resume shows potential employers that you have a solid work ethic, and you have experience doing actual work. Volunteer work can also be a great confidence builder and help fresh graduates adjust to a more professional environment.


2. Seek Out Internships.

Internships, paid or otherwise, are another great option for resume building. A lot of what I said with regards to volunteer positions also applies to internships, but there are some advantages internships give that volunteer positions don’t. The first major advantage of an internship is that it allows you to get your foot in the door in certain companies or industries. If you’re unsure if you want to pursue a specific career path or work with a specific company, you can use the internship as a “trial run” to see if you’re a good fit for that industry. Internships with recognizable companies are a step up from volunteer positions in terms of how demanding they are, and are a good way to ease yourself into the rigors of a full-time paid position. Another resume building trait of internships is that they allow you to build connections with the full-time staff of a company. If you do a good job at an internship, companies will be more likely to accept a full-time application from you down the line. Some internships are even paid, letting you make at least some amount of money while building connections and improving your credentials. 

3. Learn A New Skill Or Practice An Existing One.

Another great method of resume building is to learn skills that are valuable or marketable. For example, being multilingual, at least to some extent, looks great on a resume, so try to use some of your free time to learn or practice a new language. Try to figure out what skills are valued in the industry or jobs you’re aiming for, and learn or refine those types of skills.  If you’re not sure what kind of industry you want to get into, you can look into generally applicable skills. There are plenty of free resources to help teach you new skills, and the responsibility to keep learning them is completely on you. It’ll look pretty impressive to a prospective employer if you taught yourself a skill while also looking for jobs, but but don’t take on more than you can handle. Play to your strengths or shore up your weaknesses, whichever you think is more important. There are plenty of ways to improve and broaden your skillset that employers will find attractive, so don’t think you should just stop learning just because college is over. 

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4. Gain Real Experience. 

One of the major requirements that many fresh-faced graduates find barring them from their dream jobs is the infuriating “must have prior experience.” One of, if not the most effective method of resume building is to actually get some form of job. I know this sounds like a bit of a cop-out, and before you get mad at me for saying “just get a job lol” hear me out. Entry level positions or low-wage work may not be your dream job, but there is ZERO shame in it. You’re not going to immediately be qualified for your dream job, so having a source of income and work experience while you continue searching and aspiring for better things is invaluable. Build up your qualifications and make sure you have the money to pay your rent and feed yourself. Always have backups ready. Part-time and gig work are also options, as they allow you to gain experience and payment while not requiring as much commitment as a full time. These early positions and workplaces aren’t the end goal, but a stepping stone to bigger and hopefully more enjoyable things. Keep this in mind and the experience you gain will be invaluable later. 

5. Build And Maintain References. 

An important facet of resume building is accumulating references. People you can count on to speak favorably about you to prospective employers. As a fresh graduate, your main references will be your professors, so you should at least try to stay in contact with them and maintain a generally pleasant relationship with good communication. Other places you’ve volunteered at, and people or organizations you’ve worked with in the past or present will also make excellent references, so you should maintain at least some amount of communication with them as well. You should also make sure that the people you’re using as references have a favorable impression of you. You won’t exactly get ringing endorsements from people who had problems with you in the past. All of the previous methods on this list are great ways to gain a wider spectrum of references, but the more references you already have and are maintaining relationships with, the bigger your advantage. Another trick is to curate which references you give when applying for jobs. Know what your employer is looking for and show them the references that cater to those particular things. This is another reason you should have many references, so you can pick and choose the best ones. 


Do you have any tips on how to build a resume that we’ve missed? Please let us know. 

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