A version of this article first appeared on the TWC.edu website.
Demonstrating your leadership skills through work, volunteer, internship, extracurricular and/or community activities will make you stand out as an applicant on your resume. And don’t forget to add any awards and other recognition that will illustrate excellence.
Here are some tips as you prepare your resume for the Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship application.
Leadership roles, whether in the classroom, at a part-time job, in clubs, sports, or organizations, show that you are trustworthy and disciplined.
Common areas for college students to demonstrate leadership:
- Participation in student government
- Founding a club or group
- Office or chair of a club, group, fraternity/sorority
- Captain of a sports team
- Tutoring or teaching assistant
- Volunteer or fundraising positions
- Political campaign or organizing
- Class project
The secret is showing the resume reader you are a well-rounded candidate, that you use your time in such a way as to develop skills and competencies that are enticing and marketable on the job market.
Another opportunity to position yourself is through clearly stated responsibilities at any spot you spend time. It doesn’t have to be running the place, but should state (and include numbers wherever possible) what you are relied upon to make happen in a timely, efficient and satisfactory manner.
Common areas for college students to show responsibilities:
- Research assistant for a professor
Example: Assisted Professor X in drafting of annual $2,500 grant proposal and assembling of final presentation for six-member department panel.
- Volunteering in your community
Example: Delivered 12 warm meal kits to community seniors two days per week during the semester.
- Club membership
Example: Co-chaired philanthropy committee’s annual 5K Fun Run for Charity, acquiring sponsors and personal donations to break 2018’s $10,000 goal.
- Retail associate
Example: Monitored sales floor and assisted customers with item selection and checkout.
Example: Facilitated diners in a section of four-six tables by timely addressing various needs during the course of the meal.
Example: Supervised two infant children on Thursdays and Saturdays over course of the semester, keeping schedules and overseeing child welfare.
- Private tutoring
Example: Aided underclassmen students comprehend and apply advanced mathematics classwork on alternating weekends.
- Campaign volunteer
Example: Participated in Get Out The Vote weekend drive by visiting 42 homes over last weekend of October.
3. Awards and Honors
These aren’t just given away, they are earned. Demonstrating achievement is always a pleaser. Similar to leadership, receiving an award or honor involves character and discipline. Being recognized for continuous, long-term effort sounds a lot like work. That’s because it is. And hard work at that. Employers and hiring managers recognize the effort that goes into this, and the necessary third-party validation demanded to be awarded.
Common areas for college students to be recognized:
- Dean’s List
- President’s List
- Competitive scholarships
- Academic major award
- Honorary college, fraternity, society
- Civic awards
- Weekly/monthly/quarterly student or employee award
Filling out these areas will offset shortcomings elsewhere. By no means are these the only places a student could use to compensate for missing experience, there is no cure-all to the predicament most students find themselves when applying for that first internship or job. We are all too individualistic to fit nicely into tidy little buckets that apply to everyone, and what works for some may not work for others.
The important takeaway is to present yourself as a well-rounded, appealing candidate in the areas other than professional experience that make up a resume.