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6 Resume Boosters for College Students With Little Professional Experience

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Oct. 30 2014, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

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We all hear things like “this will look good on a resume” but do you really know why? And when you are just starting your career, it can seem like nothing you do is worth adding to your professional resume. In the early stages of our career, resumes may seem daunting.  We just spent roughly two decades of our lives trying to gain knowledge, but we have nothing in particular to show of it- or so we think.

Well, we compiled a list of resume boosters that you may have overlooked.  Hopefully these ideas will help you land the job!

1. Job experience

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(even if it seems unimpressive)

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Does working at McDonald’s really help you get a job after college? As it turns out, it does! Jobs like cashiering, tutoring, and waitressing teach people valuable skills like communication and time-management. You might have work with money or deal with complaints. If you really want to make your job experience stand out on a resume, consider what kind of career you are interested in having. For instance, if you see yourself teaching Kindergardeners after college, consider working at a daycare. Doing so will get your foot in the door of your field.

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2. Sorority involvement

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Some might think that sororities are all about parties and gossipy people. However, there is a lot more to Greek Life than what you see in the media. The House Bunny and American Pie don’t show you that most sororities actually have GPA requirements and designated study hours. They also work with charities, hosting events and raising money. This teaches you how to balance your priorities as well as how to collaborate with a team. Sounds like resume material to me!

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3. International experience

Although it feels like a vacation, studying abroad really does look good on a resume. According to careeroptionsmagazine.com, 91 percent of employers value candidates that have traveled to another country. Whether you are going to Italy, Japan, or Egypt, traveling abroad shows that you are not afraid of putting yourself in unfamiliar situations. You learn to be culturally aware and independent. Best of all, if you look at the statistics on nafsa.org, you will see that only about 0ne or two percent of students actually study abroad, making you stand out!

4. Personal projects

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Traditional resumes don’t usually list personal projects. However, if you blog weekly or program software in your spare time, it may be worth mentioning on your resume if it relates to the position you are applying for. Personal projects take a great amount of accountability and initiative. After all, it is easy to let things slide if no one is counting on you. You may feel that your personal project is so minor, it isn’t even worth mentioning. Just remember that experience is experience. Don’t downplay your efforts!

6. Related coursework

In college, we are constantly assigned projects and presentations that relate to our intended career. Why not list one of the assignments you have put your blood, sweat, and tears into? Much like personal projects, we often overlook coursework because the experience seems so minuscule. However, if you learned from it and are proud of your work, it may be worth adding to a resume.

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6. Taking classes outside your major

Although general education classes may fall under this category, I am talking about joining a class out of pure interest. For example, a journalism major does not need to take Retail Management or Apparel Design. However, it may be beneficial to take these classes and put them on your resume if applying for a fashion magazine. You don’t have follow a laid out path to land a job.

There are many opportunities out there to build your resume. However, it is important to keep in mind that each job is unique, and that you will have to revise your resume accordingly. Learn about a position and what the company is looking for before submitting a resume you wrote a year ago. This will give you a clear view about what skills you should showcase. After all, highlighting your skills and abilities is what a resume is for!

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