Today’s job market is very competitive and students are coming to career centres expressing concern that they do not have any relevant experience. The labour market of today is a buyers’ market. Employers are asking for three years’ experience for entry level jobs because they can. Complaining about it won’t change much. Instead, we need to start finding places where students and grads can develop experience now. It is important to switch the thinking from getting “work experience” and move towards thinking about getting “relevant experience”
VP of being kick-ass wicked: Most schools have vibrant student life and clubs and each of those student groups need people to take leadership positions. Students can apply to gain the experience employers are looking for. For the accounting students, the title Treasurer looks sweet on a resume. And Business Technology Management students should be thinking Director of I.T or Communications for possible places. Not only will students be building on their individual skill set, but they’ll be demonstrating to future employers that they have leadership and organizational skills.
Talk about what you can do, not what you took: There is nothing I hate more than seeing a resume with the words “Relevant Courses” followed by a list of letters and numbers. Okay maybe the movie “Hangover part III”, that was just awful. No one outside of your academic institution knows what “GMS 401” is, so why include it on a resume? Especially when the phrase “Keen understanding of operations management and strategy” sounds so much better. Advise students to tell employers what they can do because of the courses they took.