How To Make Your Student Resume Stand Out Against the Masses
Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, Generation Next, Net Generation, Millennials and Echo Boomers. With birth dates ranging between the late 1980’s to the early 2000s, this generation is coming of age and entering the workplace in droves. In most parts of the world, Generation Ys are increasingly familiar with advanced communication, media and digital technology. Gen Ys are also known for their liberal and market oriented approach to politics and economics and are more likely to have graduated from post-secondary school than their parents.
So, what does this mean for new graduates entering the workforce for the first time with a student resume? Well for starters, competition is fierce and employers expect more from you. It’s not enough to just have a degree and expect a swell job right away. Graduates need to work harder to stand out. Unfortunately, many college student resume styles are stuck in the mindset of: “I’m smart, pretty and fun. Why wouldn’t I get that job? I’ll get the next one. I would be perfect for this!” However, no matter how perfect you think you are, someone else may have you beat.
Here are a few student resume writing tips to start standing out against the masses of 20somethings:
1. Internships- The very word conjures images of drones in suits scurrying around, refilling coffee, handing out mail and sharpening pencils. But, you have to start somewhere and for many, internships can be the beginning of a career and at the very least can give you practical experience in your field and a few professional references on your otherwise education heavy student resume. Some internships are actually quite beneficial and will have you completing actual work in no time. Start by researching the top ten ideal companies you would want to work for. If they are not currently hiring, check and see if they hire interns. Many companies will hire interns for the summer, when regular employees are checking out for vacations and they’ll actually pay a decent wage. Other internships could range from paying zilch to a small honorarium. If you can afford to hang in there for the standard 3-6 months, it might actually pay off and at the very least, will look great on your not so student resume anymore.
2. Diversify- Most Gen Ys looking to enter the professional workplace have a degree or diploma of some sort, can speak English, communicate clearly, look professional and have social networking skills. If you want to stand out, you must diversify and add to your skill set. Can you speak another language? Employers are always looking for people who can speak two languages or more. Many jobs in Canada actually require employees to know French as well as English. Consider taking the summer off after school and taking language classes. Travel to France, Spain, Italy or any country whose language you’d like to learn if you can afford it. Then not only can you call yourself a cognizant global citizen but you can also add a language to your student resume.
If not a language, do you have any other talents or hobbies that set you apart from the pack? If you’ve played professional sports for years, that can translate into concrete skills on your resume, particularly teamwork, competitiveness, time management and dedication/commitment.
3. Education- If all else fails, head back to school. It’s what everyone else seems to be doing. Those who have been laid off, employees in their 20s, 30s and 40s, those who started working right away and want to continue their education- many people are heading back to school and enrollment at colleges and universities is definitely higher than ever during a recession. Consider becoming more specialized in your field. If you already have a degree or a diploma, take an additional course or workshop to add to your skills and re-vamp your resume. Consider a Masters. If you’re a Gen Y and can’t quite land the job you want in this economic situation, make sure you are fully prepared for the better times ahead by taking your schooling to the next level and hopefully you’ll stand a chance of standing out amongst the masses of Gen Ys grappling for a spot in the professional workforce.
Once you’re certain you have all the right skills to land your dream job, make sure your student resume represents that. A sloppy student resume writing style will cancel out all your hard work and effort.