Weekly Five: Ways to boost a resume

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Students are always looking for new ways to gain more experience and build an impressive resume. With more people attending college than ever before, landing a great job after graduation requires much more than a degree. There are some simple steps that any student can take while attending BYU to boost a resume and look more attractive to hiring companies.

1. Look for internships.

Internships are a great way to add relevant experience to a resume and to get real-world knowledge of a field. Most internships expect the students to be amateurs, so it is a perfect step between attending classes and getting started on a career with a job. For many students, an internship during school will eventually lead to a job after graduation. Students can get full-time internships on semesters off or can work a part-time internship while taking classes.

Kris Tina Carlston, the director of the Pre Professional Advisement Center at BYU, recommends that students get involved and make a difference. She said that there are a lot of opportunities on campus to do this and students should take advantage of them.

“A lot of BYU students graduate with one or two internships under their belts,” Carlston said. “But students from comparable schools have three to five internships. Doing these internships is really beneficial.”

2. Join a professional association.

Almost every field has a professional association made just for students. Memberships in these associations can be put on a resume, showing dedication and interest in the field. The associations often hold events that will teach members valuable skills needed in the workplace. They also hold great networking events to help students meet influential people and find potential job opportunities.

3. Get involved in service.

Service is not only a great and selfless thing to do, but it is a valuable activity that will actually make a person more attractive to hiring companies. Service shows a feeling of social responsibility and a dedication to the community itself. It can show an interviewer that a person is self-motivated and willing to go above and beyond in helping others and doing work.

4. Find a mentor.

A mentor can be a professor, a previous boss or any other connection that is willing to help a student excel. A mentor should be specific to the field that the student hopes to go into. A mentor is helpful for many reasons: he or she can give crucial advice, teach important lessons, introduce the student to important people and give a recommendation when needed.

Monte Marshall, a career counselor at BYU, strongly believes that all students should try job shadowing someone in the appropriate field.

“Spending time with people is really valuable,” Marshall said. “Sometimes job shadowing will even lead to volunteer opportunities, which are great as well.”

5. Get involved with campus organizations.

Student involvement with the campus is not only attractive on a resume, but it can help students meet mentors and find other opportunities. There are many clubs and programs available on campus that any interested students can sign up for.

Tamara Gray, a student leadership coordinator for BYUSA, has found that students who get involved with campus organizations gain important skills.

“I think students should get involved to give back to the university,” Gray said. “Students who don’t get involved anywhere in their campus community while they have the opportunity here are significantly behind in their progress. It gives a competitive edge going out into the world.”

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