My Top 5 Resume-Building Tips

As the school year is still ramping up, you might not be thinking about your summer plans. But alas, now is exactly the time to be thinking about your summer job! Take advantage of everything at UVic this year to pump up your resume and get a variety of experiences. Employers aren’t just looking for job experience!

Here are five things at UVic that have made my resume look fantastic.

1. Finding a hobby.

Literally any hobby. Include an “Interests and Activities” section on your resume and list them. Do you like to play soccer? Join an intramural team and put that on your resume. Do you like to sew? Put that on your resume. Are you really passionate about sustainable development? Write that down too.

Last year, I went into an interview with “Ultimate Frisbee” listed as an interest on my resume, and turns out my interviewer was very involved in the sport. It gave us a talking point to break the ice, and helped settle my nerves about the interview.

An interest I have on my resume: hiking!

2. Getting involved.

Find a club that suits your interests, or join your student union. UVic has so many clubs that suit so many interests: political, academic, religious, athletic, environmental, social—and the list goes on. In addition to these clubs, most programs will have a student society for and run by students in each subject. Society of Geography Students (SOGS), Bureau of Sociology Students (BOSS), Biology Undergrad Society (BUGS), and the Engineering Student Society (ESS) are only a handful of these student societies.

3. Volunteering!

Employers love volunteer experience. Sign up for a one-time volunteering event, like being a UVic Orientation Leader, or find a local organization to volunteer with regularly. Even though you’re not getting paid, the skills you earn and effort you give to the community will pay you back in ways you might not expect—plus it’s fun!

Learning In Motion (LIM) posts local and international volunteer opportunities (log in with your UVic Netlink ID), and Volunteer Victoria is a great resource to find local volunteer volunteer organizations!

4. Co-op, co-op, CO-OP!

Seriously, do NOT disregard this resource. Even just going through the co-op program can seriously make your resume look good and teach you great interview skills. Plus, doing co-op placements can help you find what you’re interested in and hone your career path before and after graduation.

If you’ve missed the September application deadline, don’t fret! There are two intakes each year—September and January—and both get you ready for placements during the following summer! The earlier in your degree you apply, the better, so you can fully take advantage of this awesome resource.

resume, cover letter, top tips, resume building, co-op, uvic

Me this past summer during my first co-op placement, where I worked at the Sunshine Coast Arts Council. As part of my position, I got to participate behind the scenes of an art gallery and earned lots of experience working at a non-profit organization!

5. Develop a personal project.

Start a blog, pick up photography, start a YouTube channel, write poetry, build things, draw things—whatever you’re interested in, create it and put it out into the universe. Having a portfolio—even if it’s just for fun—can really help you out when applying for jobs. List it on your resume, and provide all the links so employers can see it.

As a project for a class last year, I started a blog and then continued to post on my own time, and every time I went into a job interview, I received positive comments on it. Projects like these give prospective employers a little glimpse into your skills, talents, interests, and personality, and can help you score an interview—if not the job altogether.

So, what are you waiting for?

It’s still early in the school year, and you have another seven months to explore your interests and increase your job prospects at the same time. If you’re going to take anything away from this post, walk away with the advice to not just go to class and go home. Life’s a lot more enjoyable when you explore and challenge yourself, and employers will notice!

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