Posted June 26, 2013 by

Summer Activities that Make a College Student Resume Look Good

Leslie Anglesey

Leslie Anglesey

Being a college student is a full-time job in itself and many students look forward to the summer as a time to take some much-needed time off. Working to earn money for school, traveling or spending time with family and friends may be on the agenda, but which activities can be added to a resume to make a student a stellar job candidate after graduation? Here are some ways of spending time out of class that can make a learner go to the top of the pile:

Get a Summer Job

Landing a summer job that is related to a student’s major would be the ideal situation for college students. This looks great listed on a resume, and the description should include references to any opportunities that included extra responsibility or handling special projects. While writing, choose words to describe the experience that directly ties the work to the degree program by choosing industry-specific terms as appropriate.

Students should be careful of overstating the work that they performed over the summer. Prospective employers will confirm their job title and responsibilities as part of their reference check before extending a formal offer of employment. Lying on a job application is never a good idea and can mean losing out on being hired or even being fired after the fact.

Become an Intern

Companies are looking to hire grads who have the academic skills for jobs, but they also want to see some practical experience, too. Working for a company as an intern is a great way to develop important transferable skills, such as working as part of a team, assertiveness, and negotiating ability. Students can start applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. Any experience gleaned in this manner will make a student a better candidate in his or her job search.

Volunteer in the Community

Volunteering allows students to gain experience and develop leadership skills. Working with any type of organization can give a person a different perspective on the community that he or she lives in. If a student has a choice between volunteering for an organization or working as an intern, the internship is the better bet as far as resume-building goes. Hiring managers are more likely to be impressed by someone with relevant education and experience.

Fellowships or Independent Study

Pursuing a fellowship or independent study program shows initiative and sets a college graduate apart from others holding a similar degree. Upper class students who get extra credit for their work may be able to complete the requirements for their degree before their peers. Not only will they be able to save on the cost of tuition, but they will also be available to hit the job market (and start work) sooner than their fellow students.

Develop an Individual Project

Students who aren’t actively working at a job or an internship during the summer can still work on activities that will flesh out their resume for future employers by finding their own projects to work on. There is plenty of leeway to find one that fits a student’s interests and career goals.

The project could be launching a summer business, making a short film, or starting a blog. It shows that the student can think independently, and find resources he or she needs to bring a project from the idea stage to reality. It shows graduate school admissions committees and future employees that this is a person who can be focused on a goal and diligent about seeing a complicated endeavor through to completion.

Take a Trip

Time spent traveling is not time wasted when it comes to a future job search. It’s all part of learning if a student is better prepared to answer questions from a prospective employer about why he or she would make a good candidate for an available position. If spending time exploring another part of the city, state, country or going abroad means that a student learns something about him or herself, it’s a valuable exercise.

These summer activities can help a student present him or herself as a good candidate to a prospective employer. Writing them in your resume can make a difference in a job search.

Author bio:

Leslie Anglesey is an associate professor in the University of Southern California and an editor in the company providing essays writing help. You may connect with her on Google+.

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