© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Resume Creator"
Writing an effective student resume is easier than you might think. Most employers want experience before they will make the hire, but how are you supposed to get experience if they won't hire you? That's a tough conundrum to defeat, but fortunately, with a well-written resume it is possible to wriggle your way around it. The key to writing a strong student resume is to write it in a way that highlights your experience solving certain problems which the employer is most concerned with. If you can establish your credentials and success solving those problems, the employer can consider you a legitimate candidate for the open position, even if your experience doesn't exactly match the job.
For that reason, the first step towards writing your student resume doesn't have anything to do with putting words down on a computer screen. It involves putting accurate information into your head. Before you even start writing your job history down, spend as much time as you need learning everything you can about the target opportunity and environment. This should involve not only learning about the official, written descriptions of the job that you hope to attain but the informal, cultural factors of the company and position. As you get this information, try to answer some simple questions: What problems does this position have to solve? What actions do they most often take to solve those problems? And what results does someone in this position achieve to be considered successful?
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Once you have those questions answered adequately in your mind, you can begin writing that student resume. As you do, you are looking at the answers to those questions and making a case that your job experience, educational background, internship history, activities and interests add up to someone who has confronted similar problems, taken similar actions and achieved similar results. If you don't happen to have solved these problems in the same field or industry, don't worry about it. For most employers hiring at the student level, there aren't very high expectations of directly relevant experience. Instead they are looking more for potential, for character, for intelligence and for someone who has successfully met similar or parallel challenges. The are also looking for a person who has passion and energy for this career field!
The benefits to writing a student resume using this strategy don't stop with a strong, convincing document, either. If and when the resume you've created gets the attention of the hiring manager and you are called in for an interview, the work you have done really pays off. Chances are, that interviewer will be trying to ascertain whether your experience, skills and successes have adequately prepared you to meet the challenges and solve the problems of the target company. Fortunately for you, you have already done the research on those problems and found ways to answer exactly that question for yourself. As a result, you should be able to go into the interview prepared to make sure that the hiring manager believes that the answer is "yes." And displaying your passion for a particular industry is very important to convey to an employer and one attribute they are looking for when considering hiring a recent graduate.
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