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  • Resume Advice for Students With No Activities, Experience

    March 05, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A career counselor smiles.

    TAGS: best practices, coaching, nace insights, students

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    A second-semester senior walks into your office, resume in hand. It lists his objective, education, relevant coursework, and skills. But, he has no work experience and hasn’t listed any volunteer activities or activities on campus. What can you do to help him build a better resume? An assistant director of career services asked colleagues in the NACE Community for advice.

    The advice offered centered around correlating classes to the skills required for potential jobs. Was the student part of a team that completed a semester-long project? Has he researched a topic, written a formal paper, and/or shared his findings through a presentation?

    What other class-based projects has he done: coded software, revamped a website, written extensively, participated in class debates, produced artwork? Was there a capstone course for his major that could be cited?

    A career coach suggested adding a “Select Projects” section to his resume that would relate coursework directly to the position for which he is applying. This type of selection, said another career specialist, shows an employer that a new graduate has hands-on experience and knowledge in a subject area. As an example, a student looking for a marketing internship might reference a project from a business or marketing class that would demonstrate communication, organizational, and teamwork skills.

    A career consultant suggested that the student find three or four job descriptions of internship or entry-level jobs for which he might have some of the knowledge, skills, and abilities based on classes and projects. Using those descriptions, the student would offer bullet points of courses or projects that correspond to the requirements of the job.

    What would you recommend? Join the NACE Community to share your experience.

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