Building Your Resume: Experience You May Be Forgetting

This blog post has been updated by Megan Elrath, Career Consultant on March 6, 2024 for relevancy, inclusivity, and formatting.

Building a resume may sound like a daunting task. You may even feel unsure about what experiences are worthy to put on a resume. In college, you have the opportunity to get involved with many different organizations that can serve as excellent resume builders. While it is important to include jobs and internships on your resume, leadership experiences in clubs and organizations can be equally as important to employers.

Explore. The University of Georgia has 800+ organizations to get involved with, and for many people this can be an extremely overwhelming. There is an organization for just about everything which means the options are endless and the decision can be difficult. You may think you need to join the first organization that catches your eye, but it is critical to explore all of the organizations to ensure you find the right fit. Explore the mission, the opportunities for involvement and leadership, and the level of commitment needed from the organization. It is essential to explore your options because you want to invest in an organization for which you are truly passionate. Consider utilizing the UGA Involvement Network to explore your options.

Invest. Exploring opportunities is important because if you decide you are going to invest a lot of time and energy in an organization, then you want it to be something that you truly care about. When you are passionate about the organization, it feels less like a responsibility that takes up free time and more like something you look forward to doing. Getting involved in one organization in which you are able to invest and serve as an active member or in a leadership role is typically more advantageous than getting involved in many different organizations (some in which you may not be an active participant). You will not feel as though you are spread too thin, and you will likely have more opportunities to develop skills that will enhance your resume and stand out among employers.

Find transferable skills. While serving as a member or leader you are able to build skills that are easily transferable to your resume. For example, your ability to recruit new members may display your skills in marketing and selling an organization, or the events you may have planned show your ability to be organized and pay close attention to detail. Even managing a budget of any amount exhibits responsibility and can help demonstrate that you would be prepared to complete this task in a professional job. In these organizations, you’ll have the opportunity to build transferable skills that will not only look good on your resume but will help play a vital role in helping you obtain a job or internship.

Update your resume. Now that you have chosen an organization (or two!), made some great contributions, and maybe even rose to a leadership role, it's time to update your resume. Use the Career Center's resume resources to make your new experience shine. Check out the Marketing Your Other Experience section for example bullet points and our Resume Examples to see how student organizations can be incorporated into your resume.

Just remember: never underestimate the skills you have gained from getting involved in an organization on campus because those could be the very skills that help you land your next internship or job!

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