When the nursery teacher had asked, what you wanted to become, we all had answers like doctor, engineer, bank manager and etc. After 10th class we, came a step closer to that by choosing the right stream. And now after your board exams, you all will be in a rat race to get into the college and course of your choice. Success isn’t guaranteed. Same college, same degree, still everyone gets different job offers. Why is that? What differentiates us from the others? The answer is our resume. A resume is not all about degree or grades, it is much more than that. It is your complete profile. It includes everything that you have been doing so far. Your resume makes you stand out in the crowd. Your resume is the first impression you make on your prospective employer. Your resume gives you a chance to carefully think through everything you want your employer to know. A resume should include your career objective. If you told the nursery teacher that you wanted to become an engineer, then through your resume, tell the employer what kind of engineer you aspire to be and what you can offer to the organization. So, how to build a resume and what to write in it. Your resume will include job related skills, your activities in college, your hobbies, past experience etc.
A resume should have a right mix of academics and co-curricular activities. Participation in such activities will show the employers your hobbies and team and leadership skills. You can choose from sports, social activities or dance, drama, music, art, photography and various other clubs in your college as per your interest. If you have an engineering background you may opt for various technical societies which regularly participate in competitions like NASA CANSAT, hackathons, SUPRA FSAE etc. If you are not a computer science engineer and still aspire to be a coder, then various technical societies in your college could provide you the platform to learn coding and participate in various competitions. If you don’t have the degree but have correct skills that match the job profile, then definitely you can grab that job. Let’s see it from another perspective, suppose your hobby is robotics but your college does not offer any specialization in it, so why don’t you join a robotics society and get the exposure which your degree programme could not provide you. Apart from learning new skills, participation in these will show the employer that you have management as well as team building skills. Moreover, if you are from technical background but wish to change your career, then just go and join various non-technical societies in the college. All these activities will not only hone your skills but you will also learn to work in a team. Try to express leadership and team building skills through your college activities rather than showing them simply as hobbies.
For a certain job, you require a particular skill set as per the job profile. For example, a mechanical or civil engineer needs to learn various design software and tools, a computer science student focuses on coding languages, app development etc. As a mechanical engineer you should know various software like Solidworks, CAITIA, Lotus, Fusion 360 etc. Both offline and online courses are available for the same. Your college will be the right time to learn these kinds of stuff. There are chances that they may be a part of your course else you can take skill-building classes. You can even try certified online courses on various websites like course-era, internshala etc. Your focus should be choosing the job that suits you and working on the skills required. Not only you can learn technical skills but could also pursue language, communication skills, business management etc. from world-class universities online. You can even learn the subjects that are not taught in the college. Just go through what the industry seeks from young people like you and then choose the right course or skill building class. Your skills are very important for grabbing a job. Honestly speaking, curriculum of most of the college does not match the industry requirements. Then you must yourself work on these skills. If we see all those founders of various organisations who were college dropouts, even without completing their education, they became successful. Why is that? Because they had the right skills. So you must take skill building seriously to improve your chances of getting hired.
In today’s time, another important factor is your soft skills. Employers will judge your soft skills during group discussions, extempore, and personal interview. As soft skills are less referable to your qualifications and more personality-driven, it is important to consider what your soft skills are and how you might show evidence of them before you apply for a job. Soft skills include attitude, communication, creative thinking, work ethic, teamwork, networking, decision making, positivity, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution. You should try to complement your cover letter by showing off those soft skills in your resume. Well, you may have heard the advice to include as many numbers as possible in your resume to illustrate the impact you made or the results you contributed to. This works for soft skills, too! Make sure each bullet point describes a skill the hiring manager is looking for, then use facts and figures to show—not tell—just what a “skilled manager” or “effective communicator” you are. While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills are what open most of the doors to come. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success. These skills may be deemed soft but are very powerful when it comes to grabbing a job. Soft skills become tie breaker between people with similar profile.
Internships are very important when an employer is looking for a candidate. Internships are a great way to utilize and improve your present skills and learn various new skills too. It shows the employer that you have work experience. Choosing an internship will depend upon the jobs you are targeting and your skills and interest. As we had talked earlier that if you are from technical field but wish to change your career then pursue a non-technical internship. Internship will add to your work experience and boost your chances of getting hired. Suppose an employer wishes to hire a mechanical engineer then he will definitely choose the one with prior shop floor experience. Grabbing an internship is very easy, you can search online on various platforms like internshala or lets intern, else you can get them by your contacts or there will be companies visiting your college to hire interns. Internships also offer you a chance to work with the same firm after you complete your degree. That’s called a pre-placement offer. Choose the field you wish to go in future and then do an internship in that field. Definitely, it will improve your chances of getting hired and during the interview you can tell them what you have learnt so far through this internship.
Add your technical skills, activities, leadership experience, past working experience, projects and soft skills to your resume and you are ready to face the employer.