These days, achieving a high-distinction average or mastering your taxation law units aren’t enough to land the job of your dreams. Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly looking for candidates who combine academic rigour and industry passion with focus, drive and initiative. If you’re still studying for your degree, there are countless ways to prove to your potential employer that your contribution to their business will go well beyond balancing the books.
Here are four strategies for building your resume while you study – because it's never too early to start making a mark on your career.
Volunteer at a not-for-profit
If you’re a third-year accounting student, you could be a valuable asset to a business that couldn’t otherwise pay for your skills. From under-resourced charities that grapple with financial administration to not-for-profits that could benefit from simple bookkeeping, offering pro-bono services can seriously bolster your resume. It can also show employers that your social conscience matches your commercial instincts.
Start a side project
Extracurricular passions aren’t a distraction from your career – they can make you more attractive in an employer’s eyes. Companies are seeking out well-rounded individuals with a range of interests and passions, rather than workers who live for the daily grind. Whether you’ve always dreamt of designing a mobile app, starting a fundraising initiative to help disadvantaged students or planting a community garden, a side project can show your future boss that you’re equipped to put plans into action.
Land an internship
Yes, it may be the obvious, well-trodden avenue, but for good reason. Finding an internship with a company in your industry can accelerate your path to employment and help your resume land at the top of the pile. By working with professionals in your sector, you don’t just gain valuable industry experience and a network of contacts – you’re also better placed to pursue a path that interests you once it’s time to start applying for jobs.
Learn something new
Although future tax professionals are often meticulous and numbers oriented, this doesn’t mean you can’t explore the other side of your brain. Learning a new language, taking a writing class or enrolling in a professional communication course can make you valuable for employers looking for candidates that can connect with their clients – while proving that you’re committed to your personal growth. Alternatively, it’s just as useful to train yourself in an up-and-coming accounting program, take advanced Excel tutorials or brush up on a much-hyped piece of software that businesses are planning to adopt.
From taking a short course to launching a side project, there’s no shortage of steps you can take to build a sparkling CV. What steps did you take to make your resume stand out?