Applying for a first job as a student can be tricky. If your student is looking for a part-time job or an unpaid internship to help during their studies, chances are they are worried about their resume. Indeed, it can be hard to know which skills to promote when you have not yet graduated from college. That’s where soft skills and individual interests can make a huge difference.
Employers appreciate that our students don’t yet have a degree. They understand they can’t expect a business-level skill set. However, students don’t need to have completed their degrees to apply for part-time jobs. More importantly, if your student is looking for a meaningful part-time job as an entry-level experience in their dream industry, they need to understand which extracurricular skills are going to make a difference. We’ve identified three skills that can make their resumes stand out.
A foreign language
If your student took foreign language classes in school, there is no reason to give up on their language skills when they go to college. While foreign languages may not be relevant to every degree, you can still help them find a dedicated tutoring program, such as Anna Spanish, to nurture their knowledge. Alternatively, it’s never too late to learn a foreign language. After all, going to college means students are meeting students from a variety of backgrounds. They could make friends with foreign exchange students or bilingual students. It could be the boost they need to get curious about languages. Perhaps they want to greet the exchange student from Berlin in German, or they become interested in the business applications of Chinese for their studies. There are plenty of tutoring programs that can help discover new languages.
Nowadays, digital communication is at the heart of our everyday exchanges. Encouraging students to build a digital network in college can increase their profile visibility. Indeed, college students can use social media platforms to build a professional network even though they haven’t yet started their careers. Learning the key principles of effective networking can be vital for their professional future. Many employees miss out on opportunities because they don’t know how to create a positive and productive network for success. In short, it’s never too early for students to reach out to fellow classmates, professors, and relevant local influencers.
When most roles require employees to be team players, it seems fair to demonstrate the same abilities on a college student’s resume. While students may not have professional examples to showcase their skills, they can mention their involvement in team sports. Indeed, a team player is an individual who can support the team to achieve goals. Team players are reliable and flexible. They understand their role in the team and are ready to rapidly change their approach if it can help them win. Additionally, team players are also good communicators who know how to be respectful, listen to ideas, show support, or challenge whenever required. Being part of a ball game team can highlight a similar set of skills, including respect for each other, support, communication, and initiative to seize valuable opportunities for the team.
The bottom line is that there is more than degree-related skills. A good resume needs to offer a healthy mix of soft skills, extracurricular skills, and professional knowledge. Students can also display soft and extra-curriculum skills to make their resumes relevant to businesses.