Friday, February 3, 2012

How do I gain the experience employers want?

Good question.  When many students graduate from college, they only have their education to highlight on their resume.  Many employers are seeking work experience, so how do you get both?

  1. Consider internships.  While you are completing your education, you may be able to work as an intern in your field of interest. Many times the work experience will count towards your degree (consult with your academic advisor about this).
    • Positives - this is your chance to actually work in your field and learn from professionals in a real world environment.  This is actual experience you can document on a resume.
    • Negatives - the only real negative is that many internships are not paid positions. Just consider that the time invested is as valuable as your degree and will pay off in the long run.
  2. Volunteer.  There are many non-profit agencies that are very short-handed and rely on volunteers to support their efforts.  Similar to an internship, this counts as experience and can be listed on your resume.  The biggest difference is that there is usually not as much structure and you may be doing many tasks that are unrelated to your major as well as relevant work.

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