Let’s face it; it’s not easy to get hired these days. According to this Forbes article, a whopping 60 percent of recent college graduates cannot find work in their field. I don’t know about you, but those odds don’t seem too promising.
Internships are an obvious way to pack your resume with first-hand experience that looks great to potential employers, but many students are finding it difficult to even land an internship position, let alone their dream job. The good news is there are plenty of other ways for students to strengthen their resumes and set themselves apart from other candidates. Here are eight ways to spend your free time that may require a little extra work on your part, but are sure to boost your chances of landing that internship or job.
- Build a digital portfolio. In addition to your resume, house samples of your work online that can be viewed by potential employers. There are many easy ways to set up a personal Web page these days, and creating a website to promote your skill set is a surefire way to show employers that you are tech savvy and took the extra initiative to showcase your work. I personally use WordPress for both my portfolio and personal blog, but Wix and SquareSpace are other great options.
- Start blogging. This goes hand in hand with creating a digital portfolio. Whether writing is your forte or not, it is a skill that is necessary in just about every job field. Blogging is a great way to work on those writing skills and create an online presence.
- Get certified. Maybe you didn’t land that summer internship, but there are other great ways to spend your time in order to add to your resume. Depending on your job field, you can get certified in a variety of areas that look great to employers and legitimize your skill set. Some great examples are Google AdWords, Adobe Certified Associate Program, and Cisco’s IT Certification Programs.
- Develop a skill. Another valuable way to spend your free time is to develop a skill that will be beneficial to future employers. Technology skills have never been more useful within the workplace. You can sign up for free courses, take online courses or look up workshops within your community.
- Apply to be a campus ambassador for a brand. Many brands hire students as campus ambassadors to promote their products. Being a campus ambassador not only builds your networking skills, but many students are often paid for their work.
- Try out freelance work. Not only can you make extra cash, but offering up your skills as a freelancer is a great way to enhance your resume. Maybe you have stellar editing skills or are good at building websites—many small companies hire freelancers to do this work for them.
- Join business clubs. Joining clubs within your desired field is another great resume builder. Do more than just attend the meetings—become an active member and participate in the events and opportunities the organization offers. These types of clubs not only teach you more about the industry you plan to work in, but also provide useful networking opportunities.
- Volunteer. No matter where you go to school, there are always volunteering opportunities available to students. Pick an organization you are passionate about so that your time volunteering is well spent. You often make great connections through these experiences, and volunteering always looks great on a resume.
What do you do in your free time to strengthen your resume?