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Balancing Your Job Search with Your Education

Finally launching yourself into the career you have literally been preparing years for can be pretty intimidating, especially when you are attempting to job search while finishing up your degree. Never fear! You are in one of the best stages to be searching right now.

Use your Resources

Campuses are packed with resources to launch you into your field—career coaches, professors with connections, and other students. Use this built-in community to your advantage! Ask for help with refining your resume. Discuss career options with your professors. Discover who your classmates/friends have connections with, and try to speak with anyone who could offer you insights. For the most part, people love sharing their wisdom and experience with others. Do not be afraid to ask for help or advice.

Set Goals

Instead of aimlessly shouting into the void, define precisely what you want to achieve. Would you like to be signed with a company by February? Shoot for that goal! Maybe you want to have interviewed with at least three companies by the start of your last semester. Write it on a post-it note, stick it on your wall, and know what you are aiming for. Set realistic goals. If you aim too high and keep falling short, you will only get discouraged and fall even further behind.

Schedule Smart

Instead of just finding time when you can in between classes and assignments, schedule time in your week to dedicate to your job search. This can fall in line with setting goals or be time-based. You can schedule your goals (e.g., apply to one job each week) or set time aside (e.g., 2 hours per week working on building connections and job searching). Giving yourself these windows of time or small goals to accomplish can make a huge difference in the ground you are covering in your job search. This time can also make you feel more productive since you can quantify your time spent working to reach your goals, even if you do not see immediate results.

Remember: It only takes one! Sometimes the job search can feel endless. Don’t let this discourage you. Dedicate your time and resources wisely and find the job that works for you!

Is The Education Section Of Your Resume Up To Par?

With the latest announcement that the United States government will no longer be prioritizing education over skills, many are left wondering what that means for their resume. However, your education section is not “one-size fits all.” There are different standards, depending on where you are in your career. But don’t worry, we’re breaking down the education section of your resume, whether you are a seasoned professional or a recent grad.

If You’re A Seasoned Professional

When you’ve been out of school for a while, the resume section of your resume loses its importance. Of course, it’s still important to include it, but you won’t need to add nearly as much detail. Things like GPA, academic achievements, and relevant courses do not need to be included once you are a few years past earning your degree. Simply use the space to note where and when you attended and the degree you earned.

Example:

EDUCATION

ABC University – Chicago, Illinois – May 2012

Bachelor of Science in Structural Engineering

If You’re a Recent Grad

When you’re fresh out of college, you may have less content and experience to include on your resume. This is where your education shines! Feel free to include details that highlight your qualifications for the job to which you’re applying. Significant achievements or awards and an impressive GPA help to show your self-motivation and accomplishments. (However, only include your GPA if it is noteworthy – 3.5 or above.) List out your relevant course work to showcase your experience in certain areas.

Because your education may be the most relevant display of your qualifications, recent grads can choose to move it to the top of their resume. Featuring the education section of your resume first will catch a hiring manger’s attention right off the bat and will be a bit more appealing than your summer job at GAP.

Example:

EDUCATION

ABC University, Chicago – Illinois – May 2020

Bachelor of Business Administration – Concentration in Marketing,

GPA: 3.8 – Achievements: Dean’s List 2019-2020, Senior Class President

Relevant Coursework: Marketing Research, Graphic Design, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research

Overall best practices, no matter your experience, keep it simple! If you have a college degree, there’s no need to mention anything before that. And as a general rule, if you find yourself questioning whether you should include something – leave it off!

Now that you have the education section of your resume in tip-top shape give the rest of your curriculum vitae a refresh with our resume tips!