Friday, May 14, 2010

What Counts as Experience on a College Grad's Resume

You've worked more than you think!

This post was written by Brianna Raymond, a Content Writer and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) at PongoResume.com.



If you took advantage of an internship during your college years, you've already got something great to list under the Experience section of your first professional resume. Employers put a lot of weight on internships (if they're relevant) since they prove that you were interested in your career path well before you received your degree.

But what if you don't have an internship to vouch for your experience? What if the only jobs you've had involved manning a cash register or serving up pizzas? Fear not! Here are a few things you can add to your resume that count as experience:

1. Relevant Coursework

Only college students can get away with coursework that qualifies as experience. You can add this as a new section heading on your resume, and list all the college courses you've taken that are at least somewhat relevant for the job you're seeking. For example: If you want a writing job, you can list any English writing and Communication courses you took that taught you something about the language, and something about communicating through media.

2. Extracurricular Activities

Sorority/Fraternity Roles
No, your medal for Most Creative Keg Stand doesn't count, but congratulations on that accomplishment! But if you served as your fraternity's treasurer and you're seeking a job in accounting, you can work that into your experience. Example: Managed cash flow of fraternity funds collected through organized fundraisers.

Student Council Involvement
Did the experience help you learn how to negotiate? Did you manage projects or work with other groups on campus? If you were elected, your communications skills are worth highlighting since you effectively convinced people to vote for you.

Academic Clubs
Did you plan events on campus for spring break? Did you organize concerts or blood drives? Did you collect tickets or pass out t-shirts at those events? Think out of the box and get creative with what qualifies as experience.

Volunteer Work

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