“Welcome back to campus, seniors! Make sure to visit our career services office and perfect your resume in preparation for job applications this fall.”
This statement is preached by every career development professional throughout the nation to college seniors. And while it might be the last thing you want to do after getting back on campus for senior year, bringing your resume up to date is essential.
It is important to make updates shortly after a summer internship or job is still fresh on your mind, so you can highlight what was truly important about those experiences. Don’t forget to update any new on-campus or community involvement. It’s never too late to pursue a leadership opportunity or jump into a cause you care about.
Your online platforms deserve the same attention. Take some time to polish your LinkedIn profile and add relevant updates. Maybe it’s an appropriate time to create a post reflecting on your summer internship experience. Double check that your resume and online profiles show cohesive dates and position titles to avoid any confusion from future recruiters.
Once your resume and online presence are up to date, is it time for the full-time job search? Not exactly. There are a few important steps to take before you sit down with a recruiter.
Study your own resume.
You can easily search for jobs and submit an application, but there is something incredibly important you must do with your newly polished resume: you need to study it. Understand how each position on this document has shaped you and what your resume as a whole says about you. Identify which experiences best align with the formation of specific skills. This will give you the ability to talk at length with recruiters and interviewers about yourself, your experiences, and why you would be a good fit with their company. So, how can you start this process?
Ask yourself a few questions.
The key is to start asking questions like:
- Why was it valuable to take on that leadership position in college, or spend a summer interning in Indianapolis?
- What did you take away from this role?
- How were you challenged during that experience?
- How did the work you contributed to that organization shape who you are?
Does this really matter?
In short, yes, it does.
The reason why you need to comprehend your resume is because it will help you better understand yourself, what types of jobs are best for you, and eventually help you nail the interview. Knowing who you are is valuable. It gives a level of clarity into what makes you happy or unhappy, how far you can truly push yourself, and shows where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
This feeds directly into the next step of the job search: realizing what jobs are best for you. If you know yourself then you have the ability to apply to jobs that will yield the best opportunity for long-term success and happiness. (We hear Orr Fellowship is accepting applications!) Applying to your first full-time professional opportunity that is best suited for you will get you excited about the possibilities, which will enhance your ability to talk about your resume and allow you to have great success in your interview.
You’ve done the hard part, now it’s time to let your experiences speak for themselves. You’ve got this!