Resume Tips: Leveraging your College Leadership Experience (Part I)

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Resume Tips
Tags: , ,

One of the biggest complaints/questions we hear from students who are getting ready to apply for internships is:  I have no experience…what do I put on my resume?

When I was in college, my roommate used to joke that I was in a cult.  What she called a cult was actually called Student Government and if you are a Senator at your college or university you might claim that my roommate wasn’t too far off.  Being involved with student government is a major time commitment, but I can honestly say that the skills I learned from my experience in SGA were critical to my success in graduate school, entry level jobs and entrepreneurship.

Most undergraduates know that their various on campus involvements (drama club, student government, alumni associations, acapella groups, engineers without border), give them valuable leadership skills that will make them a better intern or entry level employee…. the trick is how to capture that experience on a resume.  How do you convince a recruiter that keeping your fraternity house clean as house steward has helped you learn to delegate?  Or that selling 400 t-shirts for your dance team helped you learn the value of personal connections in sales?

In Part I, we’ll discuss how to determine your key transferable skills for leadership and involvements :

  1. Look at job descriptions for your targeted internships… most of them should list key skills they will be looking for through the recruitment process
  2. Write down all of your current involvements or leadership positions, leaving room between each
  3. Under each involvement write down the mission of the organization and/or your most important responsibilities as a member or officer
  4. Next to each responsibility, write down the most important transferable skills that you’ve learned
  5. Look for connections between your target job descriptions and the transferable skills you’ve listed

Most importantly, don’t stretch it.  Focus on your key involvements that are the most meaningful (Spirit chair for your Freshman Dorm….that was a made up position -you know it and the company recruiter will know it too).

  1. […] clubs and activities.   For help, visit our articles on Leveraging your College Experience, Part I and Part […]

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