Every college or university has a job board with loads of job listings for those coming out of school. But along with these job opportunities comes the requirement to have typically a year or two of working experience in order to qualify. Unfortunately, a lot of college students are coming out of school with little to no work experience to back them up, despite having a degree. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to boost your resume to get your foot in the door with prospective employers. Don't let a skimpy resume cost you a job opportunity. Here are 5 ways to improve your resume, with or without a job:
1 - Spend Some Free Time Volunteering
You don't have to have a degree or a long resume to score a volunteering position - plenty of organizations are always looking for do-gooders who are willing to dedicate some of their free time to volunteering for them. In many ways, volunteer experience is better than job experience in that the tasks you may be responsible for can actually be more rewarding and valuable than some summer job answering phones or fetching coffee all day. Search the paper, look online, or just pound the pavement in your local area to scope out volunteering positions that may interest you.
2 - Start Freelancing
You don't necessarily have to have a typical office job to gain some experience in the working field. If you've got a talent that people would pay you for, start freelancing your skills. Doing so might even help you start up a profitable business over time. Employers like to see freelancing experience, because it shows that you've got ambition and initiative. Whether your skills are writing, painting, or website-building, start marketing your services and you might be surprised with the outcome.
3 - Learn Some Valuable Skills
You don't have to have previous work experience to learn skills that are valuable in the working world. Try to lengthen your short resume by developing the skills that are in high demand. Since most companies use some sort of computer program as part of running their business, learning how to use such programs and adding these skills to your resume will look good to prospective employers. Knowing how to use programs like SAP, Microsoft Office and SalesForce that are popular in the office scene will help put you one step ahead when trying to land a job with no work experience.
4 - Get Certified
Most college students focus a lot on the "work experience" field of a resume without paying too much attention to the "certifications" section. Yet employers look at this box, and place more emphasis on these certifications than you may think. Depending on the field of work you're looking to get into, you'll want to get certifications that are applicable. For example, if you're applying for a job in the marketing field, consider getting certified in Google AdWords. Just about every industry has some type of certification associated with it.
5 - Create a Website or Blog
A website or blog is a fabulous way to market yourself and grow your network. Having a personal blog that you update on a regular basis will give potential employers some insight into the type of person you are and what sort of employee you would make. It's important to remember that if you use such a tool, the information you put on their should be professional and well-written.