A few weeks ago I met with a student to review a resume. The resume was completely blank, only including the employer, dates of employment and position title held. The student was currently working in a Grocery Store and was targeting a Sales job. They had no idea where to begin or what to include in their resume as they had never held a “Sales position.” Being familiar with the grocery store, my first question to the student was “Are you responsible for charity promotions?” The student responded with a resounding “YES!” They then informed me that last year they were number one within their store for charity promotions and that they were currently in the top three of their store. DING DING DING! First thing that we could add into that student’s resume that would be relevant towards a position in sales.

So you, too, had to work while you were in school, you are of the majority of students within the College of Business, not the minority! There is a way to make any experience you have gained, even if it is not direct experience, count towards something for your desired job! Here are some questions to ask yourself; I’ve asked these of many students who have come in my office with a blank canvas of a resume:

Did you hold any “irrelevant” part-time jobs? – Most of you probably waited tables, or held some type of cashier position during college, you can make this count!
– What were your weekly or monthly sales goals set by your employer?
– Did you meet them or exceed them? If you exceeded them, by how much?
– Did you receive any promotions, special recognitions or awards?
– Were you responsible for training or mentoring new employees?
– Is there an action that you made that caused a positive result for the company?
– Did you do anything to increase sales or revenue for your company? How?
– What was your impression on customers?

Employed positions are not the only thing that can count on your resume; you can make extracurricular activities count!
Did you hold a position in an academic club or Sorority/Fraternity?
– Did you organize events? Promote membership? Manage Projects? Have direct reports?
Were you active in a collegiate level sport?
– What was your role on the team? Did you fundraise? Did you hold a leadership position?

DID YOU TAKE CORNERSTONE? (Yes you did or you will, ALL College of Business students are required to complete Cornerstone!) Correct me if I’m wrong, but in Cornerstone you are required to create an action plan on how you will raise a minimum of $1000 for a charity or non-profit. Cornerstone IS EXPERIENCE! You were responsible for promotions of your fundraiser, you worked in a team, you successfully executed an event resulting in money raised, you created marketing materials, plus much, much more!

Each of you will have a different story, you just need to learn how to tell it with the experience you’ve gained. Any experience is good experience, remember that! Things that you are doing on a day to day basis sometimes become mundane and you have created blinders to the actual value of those tasks. My best advice to you; Start with jotting down your day to day duties in your role – then take those duties and turn them into actions you made with quantifiers ($$ or %) as the results. This will show the value of hiring YOU for an open position! You may need help with the second part of this task; for that, stop by the Office of Professional Development and meet with your Career Coach!


Victoria Farinas – Marketing Career Coach