As September lurks around the corner, its almost that time of year again: career fair season.
Besides breaking out your favorite power suit and brushing up on interview skills, career fair season means getting your resume in top shape.
The only problem? You may not have any well actual, relevant work experience. Don't worry, though, theres good news here. Chances are, you have far more experience than you think.
Here are a few ways to help get your resume ready for career fair season and help land you that dream internship.
- Make your skills transferable: You're right: if you're applying for an engineering internship they probably wont care that you've been a barista at Starbucks for the past three years. But thats not to say your experience isn't relevant. When writing your resume, think of different skills that you can bring to your internship that you developed at your current job, leadership positions in clubs, classes, etc.
Did you learn how to work on a team? Did you develop important customer service skills? Did you enhance your communication style? These are all things employers look for in internship candidates.
Choose the right action words: When describing your credentials, make sure to use the best descriptors possible. Googling a phrase like resume action verbs will help get your creative juices flowing. Try to avoid repetition, and stay away from generic, static verbs. Remember, its all about how you market yourself.
Mention relevant classes you've taken: While you may not have on the job experience yet, being that you're in college, you definitely have your fair share of classroom experience. That counts, too! Clearly, recruiters don't want to hear about every single class you've taken since freshmen year. But if you're a finance major, and you've taken a class on managing stock portfolios, by all means talk it up.
An article on experience.com says, Employers want to see what classroom experience and software knowledge you can bring to the intern position. Companies are seeking interns with fresh insight so don't hide what you've learned. The article also notes the importance of mentioning group work. This demonstrates your ability to work in teams as well as your ability to see projects through from start to finish.
- Don't forget to include volunteer activities or interesting hobbies: Students sometimes shy away from including volunteer activities or unique extracurricular activities, out of fear that they'll be deemed irrelevant. But if you manage a cooking blog in your free time, play for your schools Quidditch team, or are writing your first novel every weekend, recruiters will want to know that, too! As experience.com says, Employers don't want to hire robots they want to hire people with personality, so be sure to include this kind of information.
If you're still looking for even more info on getting your resume internship ready before career fair season this fall, check out this complete guide for more tips.
About the author: Emily Grier is a senior at Penn State University earning her Bachelors and Masters of Accounting. Emily was a 2011 Collegiate Correspondent for USA Today College and former managing editor of Valley Magazine, Penn States life and style publication. She's been published on seventeen.com, The Huffington Post, Her Campus, Thought Catalog, and in The Pennsylvania CPA Journal. She spent Fall 2012 interning in London, England.