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

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Resume Tips

Alright, so you’ve followed our instructions in Leveraging your College Leadership Experience Part I and you are ready to start creating or updating your resume to reflect your transferable skills from these involvements.

In Part I, you created a spreadsheet of your involvements and transferable skills and then compared those skills to those listed on various internship job descriptions.   Keep this handy as it will be an important tool.

Let’s use Joe as an example.  Joe is searching for a summer engineering internship and sees the following key words on job descriptions (initiative, ability to work in small groups, attention to detail).  He wants to use his experience as Fundraising Coordinator for his college’s chapter of Universities Against Cancer (UAC) to demonstrate these skills to a potential employer.

List your involvement or title with the associated time commitment:

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (2009-2010)

Add one sentence that summarizes your responsibilities:

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (2009-2010)
Led a team of college students in UAC’s mission to increase awareness and contribute to research.

Underneath, include 3-7 bullet points that highlight your key accomplishments and the transferable skills you identified in Part I (these should be listed in order of their importance to the internship you are seeking):

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (UAC) Annual Gala (2009-2010)
Led a team of college students in UAC’s mission to increase awareness and contribute to research.
  • Spearheaded the creation of the UAC chapter at our university
  • Worked as part of a diverse team to plan the annual Fundraising gala
  • Exceeded our yearly fundraising goal

If possible, include numbers or other qualifiers:

Fundraising Coordinator, Universities Against Cancer (UAC) Annual Gala (2009-2010)
Led a team of 27 college students in UAC’s mission to increase awareness and contribute to research.
  • Spearheaded the creation of the UAC chapter at our university
  • Led a diverse team of students in our goal to plan the annual UAC Fundraising gala that sold more than 400 tickets
  • Exceeded our yearly fundraising goal by 25% resulting is a $17,000 donation to cancer research.

While Joe doesn’t have experience working for an engineering company, he has been able to communicate to a recruiter or employer why he would be a great pick for the internship.  He was able to demonstrate several of the key skills from the job description and highlight his initiative and leadership abilities.   Most importantly, he has been able to impress an employer enough to grab an interview.  When he has the opportunity to talk face to face, he can provide more information about his fundraising and leadership experience (more advice about that to come in later entries).

If you are a student who has already participated in several relevant internships, then utilize your college involvement to fill skills gaps and demonstrate your willingness to do more than the minimum expectations.  Employers are constantly looking for young leaders who go above and beyond a job description.

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