Your diploma is not the only achievement worth sharing

When it comes time to apply for jobs after graduation, you need to highlight achievements beyond your diploma. Sure, your diploma is a huge accomplishment, and something to be proud about, but chances are every candidate applying for the same job you are is going to have a diploma. So, what is going to make you stand out? Here’s the answer: Everything else you accomplished throughout college! You should be doing some things right now while you are in college, so that you can highlight them on your resume after you graduate.

Create a portfolio of achievements. Depending on the job you are applying for this could mean many different things. Of course, if you are applying for a job in any sort of design, architecture or arts, you are going to want to show your skills with printed, mounted work or perhaps make an online portfolio. Also, you want to make your resume and cover letter represent your artistic ability, so steer clear of the standard black typeface on white paper and create your resume using Adobe Indesign. This allows for more creativity and expression of skills.

Get certified! Another way to “beef up” your portfolio is certificates. If you are going for a job in marketing, there are several creditable places to get certified in areas that will really impress employers. For example, Google is currently allowing students to get certified in Google Analytics and Google Ad Words – for free. These are highly valuable skills to companies, and with approximately 10 hours to dedicate to the online tutorials and exam, you can be certified. Also, Microsoft is offering certificates for passing exams in their various programs such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. So, not only can you put on your resume that you are “proficient” in Microsoft Word but also have a certificate from the company to prove it.

Join national organizations. Basically every profession has a national organization affiliated with it. This allows for networking, but is also a way to get credited and gain experience in the organization. Examples of these organizations include AMA for Marketing Majors or IMA for managerial accountants. They occasionally offer professional development opportunities through seminars, webinars, retreats, and conventions. These could be valuable bullets on your resume and are something to discuss in the interview.

Create a personal advertisement. When applying for jobs, you want to make sure to market yourself in a way that demonstrates your skills and creativity. This could include making a video or even a website. You need to put your best face forward and a personal advertisement is one way to go about this.

Graduating college is a huge accomplishment. When applying for jobs after college, you want to show your employer that you not only did that but way more. Prepare yourself now, join organizations, get certified, and start creating your portfolio to ensure best results during the job search.

jessica-albright-thumb-150x150Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society,  Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.