The University Network

Real World Résumé Boosters: Skills that College Students Can Teach Themselves

We all know that colleges don’t teach you everything about life. Many of the important, real-world skills that come with being an adult, such as buying a house or balancing a checkbook, aren’t taught in any sort of academic institution. There are many who believe that such skills as these can only be truly learned through real world experience, and there seems to be some truth to that.

As far as skills go, though, our modern age of technology has paved the way for an entirely new set of skills that college students can easily teach themselves, no professor necessary. Any of these skills, if learned correctly, will enhance a student’s résumé, and they typically require only a computer.  Most of us already spend far too much time on our laptops. Why not use this inevitable screen time to learn something that would strengthen your résumé and help you market yourself.

1) SEO

These three letters have overtaken the world of digital marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a modern business term that every millennial should know. We use Google more times per day than most of us even realize, but do we ever give any thought to why certain websites show in our search while others stay buried beneath layers of web pages? It starts with keywords but there’s a lot more to it, and as marketing becomes more and more digital, the importance of web traffic becomes ever more pressing. The ability to drive traffic to a website is, in fact, the backbone of digital marketing, and it starts with search engines. The social media industry is quickly becoming oversaturated, but there are a few specialized niches where there is still plenty of growth opportunity, and SEO is one of them. Quick studies in keywords, as well as basic coding, can go a long way towards learning the key to SEO.

2) CRM

Here we have three more letters that carry almost as much weight as those that came before it. Every company with customers will know that managing their client database is an intricate part of their day-to-day operations. Companies used to have entire filing cabinets dedicated solely to this purpose, but thanks to modern technology’s convenience boom, customer relations management (CRM) has never been easier. Sites like Nimble are ideal for the needs of a typical company, enabling the user to keep track of, and store as many email templates as they need, while sites like MailChimp make it easier than ever to conduct email marketing campaigns. Technologically savvy millennials can probably learn their way around a site like this within a few hours, but it will take time to master CRM just like any other skill. For anyone interested in a career in the areas of outreach or business development, though, CRM is absolutely an area worth learning about.

3) LinkedIn Sourcing

LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool for all matters of networking. It provides a great platform for promoting our skills, but many people don’t know that efficient use of LinkedIn can be considered a skill on its own. Regardless of the industry you’re working in, there’s almost always a component that requires reaching out to people. LinkedIn makes this easy. LinkedIn also greatly simplifies the process of finding the right people to reach out to. If you’ve been tasked with reaching out to someone from a Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn can show you a list of everyone listed as working there and you can scroll through it Google-style until you find exactly who you’re looking for. The art of LinkedIn sourcing has become an important part of the modern business world, which makes it a skill absolutely worth acquiring. It can even help you find employment if you want to reach out to a company’s head of talent acquisition or recruitment.

You can learn any of these three skills on your own time, so why not spend the time to become proficient at it and boost your résumé.