January 18, 2011 | Suzanne Shaffer | Leave a comment If starting the job hunt while you are in college is critical to your future career path, creating a killer resume to use is just as crucial and will cement your position at the top of the applicant pool. If you’re smart, the best time to start formulating your resume is while you are involved in the college experience. Keep a folder with related job experience notes and any recommendations you might gather along the way. Following are some tips on how to build a resume that will get you that job interview before you graduate: Make wise course choices You may not know in the beginning what your final career path will be. But you can make wise choices when deciding what courses to take in college. If you are leaning toward a business career (although you may not know yet which path you will take), choose business related courses. Populate your electives with courses that compliment the business objective. Likewise, if you are headed toward a career in the graphic arts, use the course offerings to compliment that pathâ€”choose art appreciation, photography, and design as electives. Although it might be tempting to take pottery making or fencing, stay focused on the bigger pictureâ€”presenting yourself as a focused job candidate. Pay attention to your grades If you thought grades only mattered in high school, you are wrong. Naturally you need passing grades to stay in college. But prospective employers will look at your GPA to compare you with other candidates. The only way to keep a good GPA (3.0 or higher) is to maintain good grades in all the courses you take while in college. If your GPA makes the grade, you can proudly include it on your resume and know that it will communicate accomplishment, hard work and career focus. Get involved in organizations Start by getting involved in campus organizations. Every student run organizations has leadership positions and positions that can enhance your resume. These organizations provide opportunities to discover your leadership potential and in the end, show potential employers that you are capable of working in a team-focused environment. Work at some internships Employers like to hire people who have job experience related to the line of work they are pursuing. Since it’s difficult to have an extensive chronological work resume while attending college, internships give you the opportunity to work in the field or fields you are interested in on a part time basis. For example, a future fashion designer might get an internship working with a buyer from a clothing store. Or those pursuing a career in marketing might get a summer job working with an internet marketing company. If you’re interested in social media, look for internships related to blogging and updating a company’s social media accounts. If you want to learn more about the benefits of internships, U.S. News just published an article: 10 Tips to Get the Most Out of your Internship. Get some relevant job experience Part-time jobs during college definitely serve to subsidize your income and often help pay for your tuition. Make wise choices when you pick those jobs, and they will be an added bonus when you sit down to prepare your post-graduation resume. Last month, U.S. News and World Reports published an article: 10 Paying Jobs that Look Good on your Resume. U.S. News pointed out that, “These 10 jobs are great choices for students because they look good on a rÃ©sumÃ©, work around class schedules, and offer decent pay. Keep in mind that if you work on campus, your boss may be more sympathetic when you need time off to study for a sociology exam or finish that chemistry lab.” Use your study abroad experience Studying and living abroad builds life skills that are attractive to employers. Living abroad requires the ability to have good interpersonal and communication skills, not to mention the ability to create relationships with diverse cultures. Such skills will not necessarily find their way onto your resume, but they will speak volumes during an interview. Some of the skills that an astute employer will pick up on when they see your study abroad experience from your resume may well derive from time spent traveling and working abroad. Employers see those experiences as added value, especially in today’s global economy. You must have both a professional resume to present your career qualifications, as well as qualitative experience to include in it. If you start early and stay focused, your resume will be the one that makes it to the top of the pile (or inbox) and get you that job you deserve after all your hard work in college. Do you have a resume tip you would like to share? Please leave us a comment.