Majoring in Life’s Experiences

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When scrambling to put together a standout résumé, or practicing for an interview, have you found that you don’t have any relevant experience? Take a deep breath, because, as it turns out, you can easily tailor non-related work experience to fit the job or internship that you are applying for.

The purpose of both a résumé and an interview is to demonstrate that not only you are qualified for a position, but that you would be an asset to the company. To illustrate this, list all experience that mirrors the duties of the open position for which you are applying; do not immediately eliminate experience that may seem irrelevant, like involvement in Greek life or a sports team, for example.

Instead, consider adopting this mantra: if it isn’t relevant, make it relevant. The key is to emphasize universal traits that leadership opportunities require you to have, particularly ones that could be useful, should you fill the open position. Think in a broader sense in order to convey that you are flexible and can apply things you learned in the past to current situations. Describe your leadership responsibilities in great detail and make them a talking point in an interview.

If you worked as a camp counselor, you must have been in charge of several children, a task easier said than done. Elaborate on your role, including how it required you to dictate what activities the kids would participate in and ensuring that all of them were getting along – both skills that are useful in the workplace.

If you’re on a sports team, you have to consistently work with others to achieve a common goal, not unlike the hierarchy of a company. Emphasize your ability to collaborate with others and to understand and follow the directions of a superior.

 If you’re involved in Greek life, you have acquired essential networking skills, or else you wouldn’t be in the fraternity or sorority that you are now a member of. Stress the fact that you are personable, and that you have finesse when approaching others. 

Sophomore > Magazine Journalism > Syracuse

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