TRANSLATING STUDENT LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE TO THE WORKPLACE
You’ve probably seen a flurry of emails this past week about upcoming elections for iSchool student organizations. ALISS, AIMS, WINFO, and IUGA all need new officers. Student leadership is a great way to connect with the iSchool community, but it’s also an opportunity to develop core workplace skills. In addition to technical abilities, hiring managers seek candidates who are collaborative, organized, communicate well, and can oversee projects and manage people. All of these are skills you can build as a student leader.
Finding the right language to highlight your student leadership experience on a resume or in an interview can be a little challenging. Check out these tips for translating your student leadership experience in the job search process.
IDENTIFY YOUR STUDENT LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCES AND SKILLS
Take inventory of the projects you’ve been involved in and the roles you’ve held as a student leader.
- Did you help make decisions and come up with a plan for the year?
- Did you organize events?
- Did you manage a budget?
- Were you overseeing social media and communications?
As you think about your projects, accomplishments, and roles, start to identify the skills you needed to build in order to be successful. Student leaders often demonstrate the following strengths:
- Decision making
- Self-reflection and growth
- Goal setting
SHOW HOW YOUR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE RELATES
Once you’ve identified your core student leadership skills and experiences, it’s time to do some translation. Use the job or internship description as your guide. For each qualification outlined, think about your relevant student leadership experiences and responsibilities and use industry language to describe your skills.
For example, a program manager position might ask for experience solving problems and demonstrating communication skills with the ability to customize your message to different constituents. A metadata librarian job description might include attention to detail and effective collaboration skills as desired qualifications. These are skills you have as a student leader, but you need to show an employer how you’ve demonstrated your strengths with tangible examples.
ON YOUR RESUME, LEAD WITH RESULTS
When an employer looks at your resume, they care less about the tasks you were responsible for and more about what you achieved. Hiring managers want to see your ability to make an impact. Your resume bullet points should each include an action verb. the task, and most importantly, the results. For example:
- Organized and moderated library career panel attended by 30 MLIS students resulting in a greater understanding of the job search process.
- Collaborated with 5 employers to organize a hackathon event attended by 50 students enabling attendees to develop problem solving and communication skills.
Quantify your bullet points as much as possible and make sure you are incorporating the actual keywords from the job description. This is the only way to ensure you get through applicant tracking systems and a real person reads your resume.
FOR INTERVIEWS, CREATE STUDENT LEADERSHIP STAR STORIES
No matter what industry you hope to move into, during interviews, you will almost always encounter behavioral questions. Behavioral questions typically start, “Tell me about a time when….” Student leadership experiences be great examples, but you’ll want to do some preparation in advance. We recommend crafting something called STAR stories (Situation, Task, Action, and Result). Focus on the actions you took, the impact you had, and always tie your answer back to the job you are interviewing for. You may want to create a document with all your STAR stories and a list of the skills demonstrated. That way, no matter what behavioral question you encounter in an interview, you’ll always have a story to demonstrate your experience.
If you need help showcasing your student leadership skills on your resume or translating your experiences in interviews, set up an appointment with Caitlin or Julie in iCareers!
Snoopy Pic of the Week:
Snoopy practicing his public speaking!
iSchool: More info and registration via iCareers
- Feb 27: Networking for People Who Hate Networking; 12:30 – 1:30pm, HUB Room 322
UW Career Workshops and Employer Events
- Feb 24: A Workshop for International Graduate Students; 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Hub 332
International graduate students (master’s and doctoral) are invited to join Core Programs for a hands-on workshop to start your career exploration. This tailored workshop will present an overview of career exploration strategies on the topics of networking, informational interviews, LinkedIn profile, and job search as an international graduate student.
Free food and beverages will be provided. Send questions to Ziyan Bai at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feb 28: Seattle Central College Library’s Open House for MLIS Students; 10:00-11:30am, 1701 Broadway, Broadway-Edison Building, Library room 2101-A
The open house will include: Q&A panel of community college librarians; structured and unstructured networking time, tips for applying to community college libraries; learning about Seattle Central Library’s opportunities for MLIS candidates– Reference Assistants, Teaching Assistants, and Directed Fieldwork projects; and self-guided tours of the library space.
This event is free and open to current MLIS candidates at University of Washington. RSVP encouraged: https://tinyurl.com/v377df2
- Feb 28: A Day In the Life of a Product Manager; 4:00-5:30pm,CSE1 403
Speaker: Trevor Bloking, Senior Director of Product Management at SugarCRM
Workshop: Negotiations and Trade-offs
Space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible! For more information, contact Nicole Garakanidze at email@example.com.
Positions for Consideration
- Enterprise Knowledge Management Summer Intern, Seattle Genetics; email firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral
Note: This position would be a good fit for MLIS students looking for enterprise taxonomy experience and for MSIM students in the IA/UX specialization track
- Network Security Analyst, The Cheesecake Factory, Incorporated; Handshake
- Product Strategy, Palo Alto Networks; Handshake
- Engineer, Software Development & Design, McMaster-Carr; iCareers ID 10334
- Librarian (Emphasis in User Experience and Technology), Chabot College; iCareers ID 10367
- Data Management Librarian, Texas A&M University Libraries; iCareers ID 10386
Questions or feedback? Contact us at email@example.com | iCareers