Resume Reality Check 101 for Inexperienced Transfer Students

By Rachel Chan on February 19, 2018

So, now that you’ve worked your way up and have managed to transfer into your dream four-year university, everything should be pretty much smooth sailing from here on out, right? Or so you thought before you realized that compared to your fellow traditional junior counterparts, you are way behind in terms of leadership and internship opportunities. Especially if by any chance you happen to be someone who, unfortunately, has had zero experience with any of the mentioned criteria. A wave of panic overwhelms you as realization dawns on you that you only have two years to craft a decent resume.


Breathe. Everything may seem somewhat stark and confusing at the moment but calm yourself down and take a step back to evaluate the overall picture. One of the best resources you can utilize on campus is the university’s career services whose counselors are more than willing to guide you through not only formatting your resume but also providing advice about what you should or shouldn’t include i.e. transferable skills that you have attained through coursework or extracurricular activities that you formerly participated in. In addition, take the time to familiarize yourself with on-campus organizations and figure out what sort of activities you might be interested in. Join relevant Facebook university-affiliated student groups and pages that will notify you of on-campus organizations and student government offices that are recruiting new leadership, interns or volunteers.

Involving yourself with transfer students-related affairs might be useful in helping you integrate into the campus culture, as it cultivates a sense of belonging. Now, you might feel tempted to participate in as many student-related societies as a means of demonstrating your proactivity. Take it from someone who crashed and burned while attempting that numerous times over the past two years: unless you are an excellent multi-tasker with awesome time-management skills, don’t try to overload yourself especially if your university is on the quarter system. Pace yourself and short-list the student organizations that truly resonate with you. Dedicate yourself to two to three student groups at the very most.


The process of searching and applying for internships may initially seem intimidating, particularly if you are uncertain of where to begin your search for internship opportunities., LinkedIn, are pretty reliable third-party intermediaries that not only allow you to upload your resume and bookmark listings of interest, they also establish the initial link of communication between prospective interns and recruiting institutions. Be open-minded in your internship pursuit: explore both unpaid and paid internship possibilities. Contrary to popular conventions regarding internships, an unpaid internship is an excellent avenue to kick-start your internship experience as you experiment with and acquire new skills from various unfamiliar career paths. As the saying goes, don’t knock it before you try it!

Lastly, network, network, and network! Attend and participate in university-administrated networking and mentorship events. Being a regular at these functions is often advantageous as they are frequented by alumni and faculty who are able to empathize with your situation, seeing how they most likely experience similar plights themselves and worked their way up their respective industrial ladders. If possible, work on forging a mentor-mentee connection with an alumnus in your field of interest as he or she could provide a wealth of advice and resources that would potentially boost your employability.

Whatever it is, don’t let precious moments unknowingly slip away due to your preoccupation about the future. Everything will eventually sort into place over time no matter how uncertain or messy the future may seem to you right now. Savor your time as an undergrad over the next two to three years! Work towards the future but make time for what is important in the present.

By Rachel Chan

Uloop Writer
I am currently a senior pursuing an Art History major!

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