Engineering Expo 2019

A student explains the points on his resume to a potential employer at the Engineering Expo, Sep. 11, 2019.

A 4.0 GPA at the end of your senior year is impressive, but is in no way a promise of an admissions letter to grad school. Throughout your college career it is important to start to build a resume containing unique attributes that will push your application in front of others. 

Doing this sounds easy, but can take a lot of time and effort. The most important piece of advice is to start early; do not wait until your senior year to start getting involved because admissions will notice. 

Here are some tips and tricks for crafting a stellar resume:

Join professional groups and clubs

A great way to get some experience in a field you may be interested in is to get involved with a group on campus that is designed for that skill. For example, there are a number of pre-professional fraternities such as Delta Epsilon Mu that are on campus for networking and professional experience.

Along with this, different clubs that are sponsored by school faculty are a great way to start making connections. An example is Virginia Tech’s SEED, a professional club that gives members real world practice in investing and networking.

Being a student at a huge university, odds are there is a group on campus that practices whatever you may be interested in. If not, you can always start one, which would look great on a resume. GobblerConnect is a website that lists all university recognized clubs on campus, as well as their meeting times and contact information.

Run for a leadership position

After consistently attending meetings and showing interest in a club or organization, there will be a time where executive positions will open up, and it is very beneficial to run. Holding a position such as secretary or president looks great on a resume because it shows that you devote your time and effort to something you care about. 

Grad schools and employers like to see this because it shows involvement within a community and commitment to a program’s mission. Along with this benefit, holding a position is also a great way to connect with other students and practice networking. 

Find an internship

It is important to not slack off when it comes to internships. There are few good ones that begin accepting applications as early as the beginning of fall semester. These are the key to getting your foot in the door after graduation to a school or a professional job. 

A great place to start looking for internships is your advisor. Your advisor is given materials and most likely knows people in high places that are looking to hire students for the summer, winter break or maybe even for a semester. 

The benefits of having an internship are endless. You will hopefully make a bond with the company you intern for, learn how to work in the professional world and secure your choice of major. Start looking now and don’t settle for just one over your four years here. 

Get a job

Holding a job while managing school is hard work. Skills such as time management, flexibility and responsibility are often put to the test. Grad schools love to see students with the ability to multitask and be proactive.

Work experience carries students a long way and can help with getting internships and will definitely boost your resume. At Virginia Tech, websites such as Indeed and Handshake are made to broadcast job opportunities on and off campus for students to apply. 

If you manage to tackle a few or all of these suggestions, your resume will definitely turn a few heads. All of these experiences act as wonderful conversation starters and prepare you for life after graduation. 

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