Resumes Are Not Only for Job Searches

You will find that your résumé is an invaluable tool, applicable in many situations. For those who are just starting a career or education, the résumé becomes essential.

College Applications

When submitting college applications, include a copy of that hard-earned résumé. Many schools allow students to send additional information that may help admissions officers make decisions when looking at prospective students. Your résumé will not only highlight your best qualities, but will also show initiative.

Once you have been accepted to the school of your choice, you may wonder how you are going to pay for it. Scholarship, grant, and work study program applications may also allow submissions with additional information. Your résumé should be among the list of essentials included in that application packet.

Internships and Co-Ops

Even though school programs help place students in internship positions, your résumé is still crucial. Make sure that administration and faculty involved in the internship program have a copy on file. Additionally, send a copy ahead of time to the employer you will be working with or bring it along your first day. Even though as an intern your primary objective is to learn, you still want to present your most professional side to the employer you will be working with. You never know what possibilities may await—ensure that you put your best foot forward!

Work co-ops are another possibility. Unlike internships, co-ops are paid positions that incorporate classroom study and real-world experience. Competition for these positions can be tough. Your résumé should demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for one of these positions.

Following your internship or work co-op, do not forget to add your new skills, responsibilities, and achievements acquired during the program to your résumé.

Volunteer and Community Service

Even though volunteer work is not paid, it still requires the amount of responsibility you would show for a "real" job. Many volunteer organizations want and need to know the caliber of their volunteers, particularly if the job entails work with a special population such as children, the elderly, or the disabled. No one can and should expect to walk into a volunteer organization and be given a job on the spot simply because the work is non-paying. Have your résumé on hand when seeking volunteer work. Even if part of your reason for volunteering is to gain work experience, bring the best version of your resume that you have available.

Speaking Opportunities, Networking, and Professional Opportunities

Many professional opportunities allow you to share your expertise with others, which in turn help you build credibility in your profession and related organizations. Public speaking, positions within professional organizations, and more all present opportunities to further develop your career. Decision-makers need to have an idea of your background and expertise, and a well-written resume can help convince others to select you for these types of opportunities.

Seeking these types of opportunities also help you build your credentials, and you can include speaking engagements, professional organization involvement, and more on your resume. It is a win-win situation! Your resume can help you land these opportunities, others can learn from your expertise, and you build more credentials to add to your resume.