Many people drift through college, having simply heard the common wisdom that a college degree leads to better pay and more opportunities. Often the result is less than what was expected, and this is largely caused by a lack of planning. One of the best ways to make sure that college education pays off in the end is to start working on your resume while still in school. This will help in identifying careers you are most suitable for and tailoring your activities and classes to support the goal of landing a great job.
Use the Resume to Establish Goals
Take the time to look at a few of the resume templates contained bundled in word processing software. There are sections for education, honors and awards, extra-curricular activities and personal interests. It only makes sense that the best time to be thinking about what will look best in these sections is when you are in the process of accomplishing each. If you know the field, or the type of work preferred, then talk to a campus recruiter or career counselor about what employers are looking for in each section. All colleges offer some variety in extra-curricular activities, and knowing what employers want is a great step to helping choose between them.
Building relationships with professors is the best way to get recognized with awards and research positions. There are only so many hours in the day though, and you will meet a lot of personable professors. Establishing a goal with the resume early on will let you know where to focus efforts.
Use Personal Goals to establish Opportunity
If a career or job goal has not yet come to mind, working on the resume can help. Instead of making your plans based off an employer's desires, choose your activities and areas of academic interest. Often talking about these in a resume-writing workshop, which is generally offered free to students, will help in narrowing down the field. The college years are more than just about academic growth. Use them as an opportunity to build a strong resume for a great future.