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Job Skills Ways to make my resume more attractive

  1. Jan 8, 2009 #1
    Hey PF! I am trying to plan ahead for the future a little bit and thought I would call upon the great people of this forum to give me a hand.

    I am currently finishing up my 2nd year in the Chemical Engineering program at the UofCalgary. I have been able to maintain a good GPA of ~3.9 so far, and plan on continuing that trend. But in planning for my future career - I concede that grades alone will probably not get me very far. I need something to demonstrate that I am not just good at test taking - but have other valuable skills that are required for becoming a great Engineer. I have about 1.5 years left before I start interviewing for internship jobs. I currently have no resume applicable "extracurricular activities" that I can plop down on my resume (playing the guitar and drinking beer with friends have taken up most of my extra spare time, and I don't think those are welcomed resume additions), and am finding opportunities a bit hard to find.

    As people who have more experience in the field than me. What did you do, or what do you think is a great time investment for embellishing your resume as a chemE student.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post - appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2009 #2
    1) Within the next year, try to get internships, and research jobs through faculty on campus. Job experience is pretty critical if you want to get a job right out of school, and research experience is critical if you want to go to grad school.

    2) Presumably there's an honors society in your field... sometime in the third year is usually when you qualify to join... do so.

    3) Presumably there's a student club in your program (or even just in general engineering) that does outreach, etc... join... participate... and try to even get an elected office. I've known organizations that fixed bikes for kids, and build bridges out of canned goods before donating the goods to a local food kitchen.

    4) Volunteer: There's often calls for outreach to schools (including judging science fairs at school sites, or participating in an event when school children are brought to campus).... try to do this kind of volunteer work when you can. (When my dad was an engineer at Bell Labs, he got excused days at work for this... companies also tend to like to say they care about the community they are in.) Ask your department's administrative assistant if he/she sees any of these emails... and try to get on a list (some campus have volunteer offices where this can go through also... at one point I regularly volunteer tutored high risk children after their school day ended, and this was originally posted in a volunteer organization email.)
  4. Jan 8, 2009 #3


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    I second everything Physics Girl PhD said.

    Also, you might want to consider getting a part-time job if you don't already have one. Alberta is still doing reasonably well economically at the moment and last I checked there's lots of demand for workers. The life experience you can get working even crappy jobs can pay off big time in the future. Not to mention it certainly helps with reducing or eliminating student loans.
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