Night and Day Resume Blog

How Do I Get Experience If Nobody Will Give Me a Chance?

It’s the age old question from graduating students that are looking to add their first “real job” out of school, to their resume. It’s a great question, but usually one asked by students who have had their head in the sand for four years not thinking about building the best resume they can for the future.

I know, that’s a bold statement, but please, with the global economy and online work and companies struggling to stay afloat, you can’t tell me that arms aren’t wide open from companies looking for interns or volunteers in your chosen field of study. This has been happening for centuries and if you have to ask the question, you have missed the boat.

For those students who have taken it upon themselves to volunteer, intern and even better, get a job in the field they are looking to pursue after school, bravo! You should be commended for thinking about life beyond school and taking the initiative to make life easier by working harder. For my children I have said for years…the harder you work in school, the easier life will be, because you are building a foundation for your future. Initiative, effort and practical experience equal a strong foundation.

The reason I’m addressing this is because students are often not sure where to represent their career directed experience versus the waitress, help desk, student union or any type of part time work they have been doing to help get them through school.

Great question and the answer is unfortunately not so simple.

As a hiring manager I love to see the effort students put in to work hard in and out of the classroom reflected on their resume. I always suggest leave the part time jobs on until you have been at your first “real job” for more than a year. If you have a role that was 2-3 weeks posting flyers for a concert on campus that’s a role that can come off, but if you are the music director at your campus radio station and you are looking for a job in radio….absolutely keep it on and put the fact that you posted flyers as a bullet. This shows future employers you can not only lead, but you will do what it take to get the job done and they will love that.

No matter what you put on your resume, it needs a strong foundation too, so make sure the formatting is clean and the content is clear and concise.

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