Graduation is an exciting time. Your educational career is ending and your real one is about to begin! But one of the biggest challenges that many new graduates face is leaving college without much – if any – full-time work experience. And when you’re just starting out, this can feel like a huge hurdle you have to overcome. Especially when many jobs (including entry-level positions, for some backwards reason??) ask for prior experience, on top of a degree. The good news? Most people will have had at least one part-time job by the time they graduate. Even if it’s not related to the industry you want to work, you need to learn how to make a part-time job to count when you’re on the job search . You learn valuable working knowledge in every role you take.
In this guide, we’ll look at how you can make the most of your part-time job on your resume to help you land your first post-graduate role.
1. Start by researching your target role.
In order to showcase your skills to the best of your ability, it’s a good idea to do some research on the job you’re trying to get. This gives you a better idea on what are employers in your industry looking for in their ideal candidate. As you conduct your research, make a list of the key skills listed in job descriptions similar to the position you want. This will give you an idea of the types of skills you need to include on your resume.
2. Pinpoint the transferable skills gained in your part-time job.
Now you’ve got a better idea of the desirable skills that employers are looking for, you need to pinpoint the soft skills that you picked up during your part-time position. Examples of valuable transferable skills include organization, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. Taking inventory of these skills is vital to make a part-time job count on your resume.
Make a list of the soft skills you possess and cross-reference these with the research you’ve conducted. This will reveal the top transferable skills you should include on your resume that will help you stand out as a candidate.
3. Add achievements to your resume and quantify them.
In your work history section, you’ll obviously list your previous part-time positions and any volunteer work. But to truly leverage this experience, you also need to outline your responsibilities and what you achieved while working there.
By adding accomplishments to your resume, you’ll show recruiters how you added real value to the companies you’ve worked for, as well as showcasing your skills. If you can quantify these results – even better!
Here are some great examples of how to quantify your experience.
- “I was responsible for training seven new members of staff and ensuring the settled into their new role.”
- “My team was able to solve all customer support requests within 24 hours.”
- “I developed a new process for inventory check that reduced time to restock by 18%.”
4. Work to a savvy three-step structure.
The best way to ensure that you make the most of your part-time role on your resume is by using a savvy three-point system. Under your work experience section, it’s a good idea to structure your experience as follows: outline, responsibilities, achievements.
First, start by outlining the position, including the name of the company and your job title. Underneath this, give a bullet-pointed list of your main responsibilities on a daily basis.
After listing your responsibilities, add in your achievements when possible. This not only shows what you did in the role, but how you made a positive impact on the business overall. This is what potential employers want to hire – a new team member who will help grow their business.
It’s not hard to make a part-time job count on your resume.
The job search can feel daunting if you don’t have a great deal of experience. Even more so if you don’t have any experience in the field that you’ve graduated in!
Don’t let this stop you reaching for the stars. Soft skills are the key for getting your foot in the door to your first full-time job. So do your research, pinpoint your transferable skills, and carefully craft a resume that makes the most of your part-time experience.