When you start job searching in college, sometimes the resume you have may look empty. It’s best to start a new resume after high school because it shows employers the work and involvement you do currently. Only place work from high school if it has relevance to the job. If that leaves you in a tough place, here are some ways to build your resume as a college student.

1. Get Certified

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A unique way to build your resume is to earn certifications. There are many things you can get certified in and adding certificates makes you marketable. Many of the courses are taught by creators of a certain subject. Even if you are not in the field many subjects, like HTML, are an amazing addition to a resume. Figure out any prerequisite certifications for the jobs you are applying for and build up from there. Certification courses are also a great way to learn other skills that may be useful in everyday life. Earning legit certifications can cost money, but there are some amazing free online courses you can take. From courses on iOS app development to marketing, you are sure to find a helpful certification. Start with certifications that align with your job. A few websites to get you started are Google Digital Garage, Free Code Camp and WordPress Academy

2. Find Unique Opportunities

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Finding unique opportunities allow you to increase your skill set and build your resume. Unique opportunities can also extend to volunteer opportunities. Take the time dive into whatever interests you. If you have those unique experiences to put on your resume it already sets you apart from the rest of the applicants. Your experience may also become a great talking point in an interview when the employer wants to know more about what you did. Opportunities like audiobook recording, Fresh U contributing writer and internships are unique and offer a variety of new skills. Volunteering your time also allows employers to assess where your values are and how they match with company values. Values could be the one thing that lands you a job! Librivox audio recordings invites volunteers to audio-record public domain books. Volunteers can also choose to listen to the product before publishing. Fresh U is a website for freshmen written by freshmen. You can apply to become a contributing writer and add your articles to build your resume. Here are two websites to get you started: Librivox and Fresh U

3. Build Your Own Brand

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Do you have a special talent or something that interests you? Why not make your own brand? Use the skills you already established and create YOUR brand. Whether it is art, fashion, photography or coding, use what you know to make something new. If you do decide you want to apply for another job, you will have your personal projects to put on your resume. If you cannot land a job, you end up creating your own. You might be surprised by the results. Check out a fabulous example from a college freshman who uses their talents and passion to continue building their brand. Here's a great website to get you started. 

4. Help Your Friends and Family

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This point ties into building your own brand. Maybe one of your friends or family might need certain skills that only you can help them out with, so feel free to lend a helping hand! Build that experience by starting with people you are familiar with. These are the people that might provide you that first opportunity to show who you are and what you can bring to the table. Hearing their advice reminds you of the support system you have. If you continue to provide those close to you with your skills, soon enough you can create your job. Whether you help with reviewing resumes, building websites or editing pictures, you are sure to place a new job title on your resume. Start off free of charge and collect advice on the way. Once you solidify your services and have confidence with your skill, place that job title on your resume.

5. Research Experience

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In college, there are many opportunities for research. You can use your research in your resume especially if it aligns with your job. Your research shows your capability to create a research question, apply theories, collect extensive data sets and provide a conclusion. Generally, in research opportunities, you will have a supervisor to make sure the research goes as planned. This supervisor will be a great place to start for employers to turn to when reviewing your references. Your supervisor will know your abilities and work habits first-hand. If it is not appropriate to place your research on your resume, list skills you used or learned from your research experience. One of the top skills employers look for are problem-solving skills, so use research opportunities to your advantage.

6. Courses Taken

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That’s right, you can place the courses you have taken in college on your resume. This does not mean to put basic core classes on your resume. If there are difficult classes that fit with the career path you are following, then insert those courses into your resume. University courses provide students with hands-on experiences and new skills. Things you learn in class have transferable skills to put on resumes. It's a good idea to take classes that will challenge you and provide meaningful life experiences.

Earning certifications, finding unique opportunities and creating your brand are only a couple of unique ways to build your resume in college. People don’t necessarily think about these subjects when stressing over a perfect resume. The resume you create should accentuate the positive. Place positive activities to highlight who you are at your best. Take your time and remember that there is more out there to accomplish.

Some quick closing tips for your resume: one-page resumes are enough and recommended for students, so adjust your resume to the job or position. Also, your resume may take a while to prepare so when you are finished with it, put it away for at least 24 hours and proofread the next day. In addition, use action verbs that highlight your contribution on previous projects and stay away from passive verbs. Finally, do not include race, religion and/or a photograph in your resume.

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