Preparing to Get Your First Job

As you plan your college career, think about what employers like to see on a resume.

  • Education: major, minor, and/or certification
  • Work experience: general employment, summer internship, and co-op
  • Special experience: study abroad (see the January blog “Looking Ahead“.) and examples of leadership
  • Service activities: volunteer efforts at any level

Work Experience

Work experience can come in many forms: general employment, summer internship, or co-op and each has many aspects that interest employers. Any type of employment can demonstrate reliability, dedication, independence, maturity, and team work. Summer internships may or may not include engineering experience, but co-op positions almost always do. Generally, a co-op student works on site for a company on an engineering project while receiving guidance/mentorship from a supervising engineer. Students who participate in a co-op experience are typically paid by the company. In addition, the student earns college credit while retaining full-time enrollment status at Michigan Tech.

Special Activities and Service

As people prepare their resumes, they usually think of listing college major, GPA, and work experience, but extra-curricular activities should not be forgotten. Employers are looking for students who are well rounded and service, leadership, and international experience are important. This experience can be obtained through athletic, professional, academic, and social organizations. If your resume needs some of this type of experience, it is important to get involved early. Start checking out organizations now and plan to join this spring or next fall.