Unsolicited advice: resume edition

We spend all school year looking forward to summer. It’s a time to kick back, relax and enjoy some time off from the grueling schedule of being a college student. As a soon-to-be-graduate, I can only hope that many of you spend your summers working on more than just your tans.

During college, these summers are the time where you can fully immerse yourself in another occupation. And, trust me, you’ll be glad for every opportunity you took once you start sending your resume out to employers just before graduation.

One great way to build up your resume starts right here on campus. From applying for student leadership positions, such as a position on SMU Student Senate, working for your favorite organization on campus to finding a more work-study based job, there are plenty of options available on campus.

If you are more interested in getting involved in an organization, many have leadership positions that look great on a resume. However, a work-study could benefit both your resume and your wallet, since many are paid and involve working with professionals in that field.

One piece of advice I would offer to younger students looking to boost their resumes would be to work in areas that are similar to your own academic interests. For instance, I’m an English and journalism major in the honors community so, for a couple years, I worked in the honors office as their media coordinator and organized Hilltopics, the honors newspaper. On the journalism side, I got involved by working as a video editor for SMU-TV and then moved into an executive producer role. By taking these positions, I was able to learn more about the fields I enjoy while also earning experience and adding great entries to my resume.

However, the summer is the time to focus on the Holy Grail of undergraduate resume boosters: internships. Almost any field you want to go into will have openings for internships. From Cox, to Simmons, and even Meadows majors, there are options available to you, but you have to search them out. A great way to find out where you could get an internship is to speak with your professors. Many SMU professors have worked in the field they’re teaching about and will know people in the business to set you up with. Also, try to find out more about SMU alums who are well-connected and could help their fellow Mustang get a job.

While laying out on the beach and cruising around with your friends may sound like the ideal summer, try to spend some of your time building your resume. Whether it’s a summer job in your hometown or a grueling internship with a high-powered firm, any experience will show your future employer that you were focused on your future during your undergraduate years.

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