Applying for your dream job after college can be stressful, especially when you consider the competitive nature of the job market. Making yourself stand out is important, but you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons.
Gaps in your resume after college make you appear to have little motivation or drive, or that you are perhaps too picky when it comes to where you work. This can put your resume on the fast track to the garbage. Employers want to see candidates who were active in trying to apply what they learned while still attending college or immediately after. This gives you the best chance of standing out over other college grads in the same situation.
Want to pad your resume to increase your odds of landing that great job? Here are a few places to start:
Internships - While still enrolled, work on landing internship positions. Internships offer you an opportunity to get real experience doing the jobs you'll be applying for later. As an added bonus, some colleges give credit for internships. Other internship positions can provide a source of income to help offset the cost of school. Most importantly - you can put that work experience down on your resume. If you intern at a major company this can make you a serious contender in the job market.
Startups - New companies are hungry for success and in some cases they're cash strapped. That means they can't always afford experienced talent and are willing to bring on students and recent grads with less experience because they're more affordable. A startup could also saddle you with more direct responsibility, providing you with huge opportunities for growth and learning.
Volunteer - In some cases, work is work. Volunteering not only looks great on a resume because it shows that you're not selfishly driven by income it also shows that you're willing to do what it takes to grow yourself personally and professionally.
Another great way to prevent gaps in your resume is to get hired quickly by using FirstJob. FirstJob helps recent college grads improve their odds at finding that perfect job.