Add experience to resume to compete in job market

Jasmine Fleming

College is a time when students are expected to balance classes, time with loved ones and commitments to RSOs and jobs. But college can also be a starting point for a career.

Thinking back to last year, my first year in college, I can remember wondering what I would do with an English degree. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I had no clue what came next. After sorting through Google results for “how to get a job after college,” I learned that graduates need experience in their chosen fields if they ever want to find employment in the “real world.”

My frenzied searches, however, are not the only evidence showing college students need practical experience to impress employers.

According to a fall 2013 study by Chegg, a leader in textbook rentals and homework help, only 39 percent of hiring managers in the U.S. felt recent grads had the skills, based on interviews and resumes, to work at their establishments.

Because of information like this, I began writing for The Flor-Ala last year. I did not know anything about journalism, but I felt like any experience as a writer would be better than none.

A year later, I do not regret that decision. I have learned so much about a field I never even considered in high school, and I am learning more and more each day through my successes and my mistakes about how to act like a professional, trust my judgment and commit myself to a publication that focuses on the needs of so many.

This is something I hope all students will do with their college years as well. From freshmen to seniors, everyone all need to look at the resources at our disposal.

Every time a student goes to class, he or she comes face-to-face with a subject matter expert who likely has the means to suggest — if not offer connections to — internships, relevant campus organizations and even jobs for a student’s chosen field. There is also an Office of Career Planning and Development that offers career counseling, help with resumes, interview practice and even career fairs.

There are so many opportunities on this campus to take steps toward a career, and all we have to do is take them. I plan to search high and low for more experiences to expand my writing, and I highly encourage every other student on campus to secure a successful future later by gaining more experience now.