QUESTION: During COVID-19 pandemic, I couldn’t get an internship. Now I’m graduating with no experience which is atypical for my chosen career path. What should I put on my resume?
Besides internships, other things you can add are volunteering, awards, and activities. I would even dive deeper and use your education as experience. Talk about projects you were involved with during classes related to your desired career profession. Highlighting this shows your industry skill and knowledge.
School projects, simulation work, group projects, and other immersive coursework are all relevant and should be outlined in your résumé. Mention any group projects you’ve led or coordinated. Remember to incorporate key terminology when explaining what you’ve learned from your academic work. This information will provide recruiters / hiring managers with great insight to your capabilities.
Aside from internships, there are several areas to explore to find and highlight valuable experiences for new college graduates. Whether academic projects or coursework, volunteer experience, community involvement, clubs, and even sports, offer opportunities to draw upon relevant skills and experience. Skills such as leadership, teamwork, and collaboration are all valuable.
On one hand, you may not be alone. On the other hand, you can set yourself apart by showing what you’ve done since that time to overcome any lapse of experience you were unable to obtain. Fill in the gap by joining a professional association, obtain a certification, or continue with professional development relevant to your field. Connect with people in the industry to make up for lost time.
It will not be easy to overcome your lack of an internship, which is expected in your field. However, if you have not already done so, I would suggest documenting and describing any school projects that may have a relationship to your job target. Also, start reaching out now to companies, seeking brief, unpaid, virtual volunteer assignments that could partially make up for a lack of an internship.
No internship, no worries! Sadly, this has been a common experience for many in the Class of 2022. Instead, highlight the team projects, sports, and events you were involved in. Call out your leadership and volunteer experiences and what skills you gained from them. Showcase any awards you’ve won and being on the Dean’s List. Communicate everything you DO have and move forward with confidence!
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