Creating a CV while you’re still in college can be a frustrating task, but with a little preparation and effort, any college student who has little to no paid job experience can make become marketable to future employers while still in school.
#1: Define Yourself:
The job market is slim. It’s worse if you’re still working towards a degree that you can’t yet put on your CV. One of the best ways to let prospective employers know your intentions, is to simply state them. By including your degree and expected graduation year on your CV, you are being up front and showing your progress.
Highlighting specific classes that would benefit you in your career is a clever idea to make you look like you have specific knowledge in a subject.
Don’t forget to include your grades. Typically a second class honours or higher will do the trick!
#2: Clubs and Organizations:
Most subjects have clubs and associations that are directed by professors and leading students. Joining one of these can be invaluable in more than one way:
- You get hands on experience and become more visible on campus and around the community.
- You will network and collect references from professors and industry specialists.
- You will use new technologies and learn up-to-date practices that will put you head and shoulders over the average student.
#3: Academic Achievements:
Are you on the honor roll, Dean’s list, or have you won any scholarships or grants for your academic efforts? Maybe you’ve been published on campus or off. This is the industry equivalent to gaining raises and promotions, so take advantage of showing off your extra efforts in school that will transfer to the workforce.
What kind of hobbies do you have outside of school? Do you volunteer, blog, or tinker? Believe it or not, those everyday passions and hobbies can make you look extremely well-rounded. Think of it this way: You are going to school for web design, but on the side you design webpages for money and tutor other students in the same program as you. In other words, you are an entrepreneur since you make some money on the side, and you have teaching, as well as leadership skills when you help fellow students learn.
If you are in the creative sector; personal abilities will also be important contributions to your portfolio as examples of your work. So, if you have ever been commissioned for a painting, photo shoot, or food art outside of school, this is the place to document it.
It’s just a matter of examining your life and picking out the skills you commonly take advantage of in yourself.
#5: Work While you Study:
Take on a work-study job. Yes, you can get paid to gain experience on campus. Every department is looking for extra help and it not only offers pay, but will add to your skill set. Much like joining a club, you will be presented with more networking opportunities and references. No matter what you’ve heard, not all work-study jobs are gopher positions. Some are leadership roles, some are administrative positions, and some are hands on.
For example: If you are going for a trade, such as welding, you can get a job actually doing various welding projects for your school. You will not only leave your mark on campus, but you will get more hours in the booth than the rest of your classmates. More hours means more experience.
It’s never too early to start developing your CV, even if you are still in college. Your goal is to be prepared for a career, so get started today and keep adding as you reach each goal you set out to accomplish. Above all else, continually adding to your CV will help you keep track of all your milestones and give you a huge dose of confidence to get to where you want to be.