Pressure to build a resume is high and essential

February 21, 2024

By Kelsie Lawhon, Staff Writer

With graduation quickly approaching, it can be stressful for seniors looking for their first jobs out of school. Most, if not all, job applications require applicants to provide a resume. Investopedia defines a resume as “a formal document that allows job applicants to list their qualifications and experience related to a position.” However, current college students may find it difficult to list job experience in their resume if they have little to no experience working in their field of study.  Is there too much pressure to build a resume with lots of work experience? Personally, I don’t think so.

One reason that it is important to build your resume is because previous job experience demonstrates competence. 

“A resume provides the employer with a brief look at your education, experience and skills that contribute to what you bring to the job,” Chair of the Rogers Department of Communications, Dr. Deborah Root, said. 

A resume with job experience in a specific field provides a gauge for skills that you may have been taught and perfected in college. Experience is not limited to work experience either, according to Root. 

“Experience as a college student is very valuable,” Root explained.  “It can include work-study jobs, leadership positions, co-curricular activities such as the Business Plan Competition, research, student media, productions and other experiences that have enhanced your education.”

There’s no need to stress yourself out if you don’t have a lot of work experience because your college career can set you up for success in finding a job. Projects or presentations for college classes can also set yourself apart from other applicants. 

It is best not to wait until your senior year to start building your resume. In order to build your resume while in college, it would be beneficial to choose leadership positions and other work positions that you would be interested in pursuing as a career. For example, if you want to work in social media or for an advertising agency, being your club’s social media chair would be a good opportunity to grow your skills. 

Some would say that entry level positions may not need much previous work experience because your employers will train you for what you need to know to complete the job. But, having previous experience in the field could shorten the learning curve. 

“Sometimes [employers] are looking at experience, leadership and other qualities because they know they can train you for the job.” Root said. 

Building your resume can be daunting, but it is necessary if you want to communicate your skills and competency to future employers. For students who want to begin building their resume or to create a resume, the Career and Calling office is a willing resource for Ouachita students to take advantage of. To set up an advising appointment with them, you can email careerandcalling@obu.edu.

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