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Fabulous Resume: What Does it Take for the Starters to Come up with a Good One?

November 21, 2011

“Chance favors only the prepared mind,” Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and microbiologist once said. The quote straightly jumped out of my mind during this weekend, as I was visiting Fred, an upset friend of mine. Fred is a Sophomore student major in Computer Science in Washington State University. He is trying to apply for a summer internship in a technology company, but he is quite frustrated since there is a great possibility that he will not get the position due to the fact that he didn’t had enough working experience before. From this point, I really started wondering, how many people have been rejected by their dream job company, or sometimes even just a random company, because of their lack of experience in the related field?

As many of the university students may have the same feeling, it is usually extremely competitive when hunting for a job, or an internship opportunity, especially a good one. You will be soon wiped out by hundreds of other applicants if you don’t have an impressive resume with probably a full page of related experience. Compared with the professionals, what’s the odd of success for a beginner? Little.

Today, for the majority of employers, application experience is perhaps the most valued quality when they are making their decisions in whether to hire someone or not. Indeed, it is quite understandable that they can hardly grasp one’s ability or potential without referencing his/her relevant practical experience. But at the same time, a question arises in my head: how would one get a new experience if he/she is rejected because of he/she had no experience before? And if one fails to get the position, how can he/she establish his/her experience? It seems like a vicious circle to me.  

No wonder Fred was complaining. I totally understood his concern. Sometimes it’s not because people don’t want to prepare enough, but rather, as starters, they generally have narrower paths to get to the same career goal compare with those who had “prepared” more. Yet, I believe there are still ways to solve this problem.

For example, the first thing you can do is try to find a chance to express your ideas. Insufficient working experience doesn’t equal to lack of ideas in the development of the field. In this case, setting up an interview with your employers may be a good way to demonstrate yourself.

Also, do not neglect small chances, since every chance taken is another chance to win. And particularly, small chances build your way to bigger ones. Therefore, always start with small opportunities and keep gaining as much experience as possible, and then, patiently wait for the right time to get the one you really want.

After my conversation with Fred, I was thinking that experience is actually a broad concept; it doesn’t just limited to working or internship experience, but more importantly, it is how you’ve grown from your past and what you’ve learned from the things you’ve been through. As most of college students who are just starting their careers, they should keep fighting for their dreams while also stay optimistic. After all, there is still a long way to go.

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