The job market is tough out there, especially for graduates who are competing against thousands of others for the same jobs. The way you construct your resume and cover letter will definitely give you a leg up on the competition, but there are also other ways to improve the content that you include on your resume.
One problem that graduates are typically faced with is the fact that they have little to no work experience. Employers obviously understand this, so they won’t hold this against you, but they also understand that opportunities to gain real-world experiences are available to students all the time. The students who take advantage of these opportunities are usually the ones who will stand out to hiring managers.
Students have access to a variety of resources. They can apply for a number of internships or volunteer positions, most of which are unpaid, and these types of positions are usually easy to find within your school. Internships are designed to not interfere with your school work; they typically occupy only a few hours a week and they do not impact your ability to study or complete your course work. While working for free may not be at the top of your list, you need to realize that it will give you an advantage over your competition and it’s in your best interest to jump at the opportunity.
Just think about it from a hiring manager’s point of view. He or she is deciding between 2 candidates for a position. Both received excellent marks in school and both have beautifully written resumes and cover letters. One, however, used one of his summers to intern for 12 weeks. Looking at these applications strictly from a qualifications point of view, which one do you think has a slight edge over the other?
Sure there are tons of factors that can influence one candidate’s qualifications over another, but your best chance is to always stay ahead of the competition. Experience is never frowned upon.
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