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How to Get Work Experience When You Don’t Have Any

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When applying for an internship or a job, it’s critical to have great work experience on your resume. But what do you do if you don’t have any work experience? This can be the ultimate catch 22.

The good news is that college life offers students endless opportunities to get involved in almost anything that sparks their interest. From DJing at the radio station to serving on student government to leading your sorority during recruitment, there are plenty of ways to gain great “work experience” during your time on campus.

Here are three ways you can gain valuable experience for your resume without having an internship.

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1. Start Writing 

There are plenty of outlets out there that are eager for college students to join them. From USA Today College to College Fashionista, becoming a contributor for one of these networks can help you improve your writing, and it’s a great way to showcase your work by getting your name out there.

Mallory Bailey, senior at the University of Mississippi, started writing for a variety of outlets after declaring journalism as her major during her freshman year.  “Practicing different types of writing has helped me tremendously,” she said. “My words, editing skills, reporting skills, photography skills and more have grown so much.” Mallory also finds writing to be a creative outlet and stress reducer.

about.me mallory bailey
Mallory writes for College Fashionista.

2. Volunteer

Volunteer positions are the perfect opportunity to test out an industry that you’re interested in. Whether it’s volunteering for a music festival or tutoring middle schoolers, your time spent as a volunteer is the perfect way to introduce yourself to a new field.

Danielle DelMonte notes that volunteering can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to gaining experience. Volunteer positions offer a way to learn, test out your skills and expand your network. Unlike some internships, volunteering also allows you to “tailor your experience to fit your specific background and skill set.”

3. Get Involved In Greek Life

For many college students, Greek life is a huge part of their university experience. Greek organizations offer a great opportunity to learn from a variety of people, gain networking skills, and prepare yourself for life after college.

A recent study conducted by Gallup Education even found that students involved in Greek life feel 10% more prepared for post-grad life over their non-Greek peers. According to the study, greek students also feel more engaged in the workplace and are thriving in their post-grad lives.

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Zoë Björnson Zoë is a Product Marketing Manager at about.me. She loves cheese and is currently traveling the world while working remotely. about.me/kzoeb