Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hey Grads! No Experience? No Problem! (Sort of)

Advice from a fellow college graduate

This post was written by Brianna Raymond, a Content Writer and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) at PongoResume.com. It originally appeared on The Pongo Blog on May 12, 2010.


I graduated from college two years ago (four now!) with the notion that having a college degree would serve in place of experience and pretty much guarantee a decent starting salary in a first job. And finding that first job was going to be a piece of cake with a degree to boast. Knowing what I know now, I couldn't have been more foolish.

What I Learned about Experience, from Experience

1. You have it, but it's not the right kind.

The "Experience" section of my pre-graduation resume looked a little something like this: Pizza Place, 3 years; Some Pharmacy, 2 years; This Gym, 5 months. In my mind, this kind of work record showed a prospective employer that I'm a good, loyal worker. But if the jobs and skills are irrelevant to the field of work you're looking to enter, your resume will appear weak and incomplete. And that's where point #2 comes in ...

2. Your free time in college counts for more than you think.

College meant the freedom to schedule my own day. To be done with classes by noon or to not even start until 4 p.m. Oh, and the parties? Yeah, those were really something. But what about student activities and clubs? Or the internships advertised around campus? Not only did my contributions to the campus newspaper and my summer internship at a publishing house give me valuable experience for the workforce, they also gave me a stronger resume that secured interview after interview.

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