As a woman involved in many different aspects of campus life, while simultaneously working my bootie off to earn a degree to propel me into graduate school and eventually my dream career, the daily stressors of college life dance on the windy crevices of each wrinkle of my brain as much as they do in yours. It is an art to navigate the balance between lack of involvement and spreading yourself too thin. The secret to squashing these stressors is to reconstruct them. They aren’t stressors if you embrace every meeting, volunteer hour, and friendship formed. They aren't stressors if you are growing from your experiences and planting seeds to those around you. They aren’t stressors if you love everything that you are doing. And honey, you deserve to be the happiest, strongest version of yourself.
So, no matter where you fall on the spectrum of knowing how to make the most out of your college experience and create a resume to reflect the best version of yourself, it is never too late for improvement. Follow these few simple steps to building your boss babe self, consequently translating to the best version of your resume for your life post-undergrad.
Ditch the “Resume Booster” Attitude
Resume boosters this, resume boosters that. We aren’t living this once in a lifetime, four-year college opportunity to run through a robot routine with the sole purpose of building a resume and jumping into our careers. This is a priceless time that demands to be savored. Yes, this is a crucial stage for growth, self-discovery, education, and career prep, but this does not require you to participate in activities for the sole reason that they look good on your resume. We are not in college to build our resumes. We are in college to build ourselves and our dreams. Try to focus on making your college experience and preparation for the future like your daily (or twice daily if you're like me) cup of coffee: strong yet sweet, energized yet comforting, dependable yet able to seek support, and consistent yet versatile.
Let Your Passions be Your Guide
While having a detailed, decadent resume may seem ideal to future grad schools and employers on paper, what is more essential is the person behind the resume. Do everything because you love it, not because you think someone will love you for it. The best way to build your resume is to have it genuinely reflect who you are by getting involved with things about which you are passionate, yet simultaneously push you outside of your comfort zone to keep you growing and on your toes each and every day.
The Magic Happens Outside Your Comfort Zone
If it feels uncomfortable at first, it probably means something amazing is about to arise. Pop the comfort zone bubble. When you do, feel everything that splatters back on you as shimmering growth, success, and new endeavors soaking into your pores. Try new things. If you are questioning whether or not you should try something new, you probably should. Do not ever let the fear of failure or the unknown stop you from doing something amazing. This comes in many forms. Timid about taking on a leadership position in your chapter? Talk to a current officer and learn about all you have to gain. Scared to go to an interest meeting by yourself? Do it anyway. Walk in with confidence and strike up a conversation with the person next to you and potentially find your new best friend! Don’t think you’ll get the interview? Confidently show them why you’re the best candidate.
Thank You and They’ll Follow Through
As much time and effort as you put into preparing for your interview, so did the interviewer who not only took the time to look over your application and resume but to spend time speaking with you and many other applicants. Besides your resume and dazzling personality allowing you to stand out, it is pivotal to leave a genuine lasting impression. Always send a thank you email or handwritten thank you letter after every interview.
Find a Mentor (you’ll know!!)
It’s funny that I say find, because it’s almost as if these mentors find you when you need them most. While the classes you take, clubs you join, and communities in which you invest yourself may be up to you, the people who enter your life along the way seem to be completely out of your control. In college we often find ourselves lost or stuck on our paths, but always hungry for knowledge and advice. When a great mentor enters your life, gracefully accept the guidance. This is a great person to not only write fantastic future letters of recommendation for graduate programs, internships, and jobs but also to give you life recommendations whenever you need them most. It’s not always what you know, but who you know.
Building your resume, and ultimately growing as a person during your college years is scary. But, if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough. Embrace the fear and let your true self shine and lead you to where you are meant to be!
Xx, Lauren Whitman
University of Delaware, Delta Delta Delta