A college student’s first job does not necessarily require job experience. All it takes is willingness and a strategic résumé structure to be considered a candidate for any company.
Ideally, résumés should never be more than one page long. According to career experts and experienced students, it is more important to be precise then lengthy. Aside from length, research into the companied receiving the applications is just as important to make an impression when prior work experience is absent.
“As an undergraduate student, I always [sent] my résumé to a lot of different companies without even taking the time to research the qualifications or job duties,” said Jared Harrison, graduate. “The key to getting a job is to be detailed but concise, so that you can show [employers] you are prepared and have done your research.”
Students also note that focusing on one’s skills is another step to a decent résumé. Whether one’s skills are acquired from previous employment positions or other forms of experience, it is important they are included.
Gloria Ruiz, senior, shared how helpful including a set of skills on her résumé was to landing her first job. “On my first résumé, I included all of the skills that I have gathered throughout my life,” she said. “From managing social media accounts, to being able to lead cheer-leading choreographies in high school, I made sure to mention them.”
Leadership positions from clubs and extra-curricular, for example, are good ways to communicate one’s dedication to a specific craft. Indication of membership to a particular movement or club showcases one’s interests, passions and abilities.
Another aspect to résumé development that experienced students allude to, is the significance of a cover letter. Even if companies do not specify for one, students should consider writing cover letters in order to detail reasons why they should be working for the company. The cover letter is a students’ opportunity to expresses why they are passionate about the position and to note personal experiences that may be of relevance.
Lynn provides student the opportunity develop a résumé at the Hannifan Center for Career Connections, where career coaches are readily available to sit individually with students and prepare them for job applications.
Anne Marie Van Casteren, coordinator of programming of student engagement, explained the main purpose of the Hannifan Center for Career Connections.
“We connect students to internship opportunities, part-time and full-time jobs,” she said. “We help them with their professional development as far as their résumé, cover letters and anything that can get them one step closer to their professional goal.”
The HCC connects students with resources, opportunities and employers who are eagerly searching for anyone interested in securing a career of meaningful work, with room for personal and financial growth.
Students can secure a session with a career coach by visiting the HCC today.