Your resume is a quick snapshot that contains all of your experience and accolades in your life. You will continue to build your resume throughout your lifetime all the way until you retire. Each job you apply for will require a resume, and you will likely need to customize and update each resume to effectively display the relevant parts of your life to each specific job.
1. Speak with your advisor about academic clubs
Your advisor is a good place to start. Ask them about how you can get involved in campus life and if there are any opportunities on and off campus related to your field of study. Many, if not all, majors will have a club where students meet up, discuss classes and assignments, plan campus outreach events, and go to other like-minded meetups as a group. Not only is this is a great way to meet other students who have the same goals as you, but also to learn how other students are building their own set of skills and awards to put on their resume.
2. Visit the student activities office
The student activities office is your next stop to finding out what is available on campus to help build your resume. Not only will they know about academic organizations and sports clubs, they will also be able to help you connect with them directly.
3. Fraternities and sororities
Greek life is another great way to get involved, and leadership positions look great to employers when submitting applications to jobs after graduation. Especially if you are planning to work in the same town as the university, fraternities and sororities offer a great way to build a network of connections to potential opportunities down the road.
4. Academic clubs and organizations
When being involved in academic organizations, don’t just go to meetups to listen. Speak up and voice your opinion about what you’re doing and ask the leadership how you can help out. Typically these organizations are filled with students who are at all phases of their college career, and sometimes even alumni who are already working in your field of study. These connections can be vital to getting internships creating a network.
5. Part time jobs
A lot of students will have to get a part time job to help pay for the costs of living on their own in college, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use this as an opportunity to gain skills for your resume. Any work experience will look good on your resume, but if you can, try to find a job that is applicable to your area of study. For example, if you are studying political science, get a job with the student government. Or, if you are studying biology, see if there are any opportunities to work in the science department. All of this will look great when applying for a job or graduate school.
6. Finding mentors for references
As you begin to take classes and get to know the professors in your major, keep note of those that you think would be good mentors and possibly even references when you graduate. Start to form relationships with professors, and also speak with the graduate teaching assistants. TAs can be a great source of knowledge from someone who has already been through what you are currently doing.
Receiving awards will likely happen later on in your college career, but it is good to start looking for how to obtain awards from the get-go. Ask your professors about the awards available and take steps to get closer to receiving these awards now. Aside from honor roll and academic awards, publishing papers and receiving outstanding achievement awards look great to potential employers looking for quality applicants.