How to Build Your Resume When You Don’t Have an Internship

9 11 2011

By Samantha Anderson (@shinebright90)

Whether you are between internships or just haven’t landed your first one, you can still take steps toward a career in journalism.

Here are some tips to continue building your resume and portfolio:

1. Join a club 

Get involved in on-campus groups. Whether it’s the campus newspaper or a club like PRSSA or SPJ, there are groups on campus that can help you become a better writer or expand your skills in a specific area like photography or social media.

2. Volunteer your skills

Find organizations that can benefit from your skills and abilities, but maybe don’t have the resources available to hire an intern or pay you. LOTS of small businesses and non-profits can benefit from having an online presence, for example, but may not know how to build or maintain it.

I have volunteered my skills at my church by helping the church brand itself and keep that brand consistent throughout its online presence and promotional materials. I also oversee the production of our monthly newsletter.

Additionally, my dad started an insurance agency a few years ago and I have spent the last several months building and maintaining social media sites for his company as well as putting together a quarterly newsletter and writing marketing letters to prospective and current clients.

3. Use your skills on the job

Look for ways to implement your skills at your current job or look for a part-time job that will allow you to exercise your skills. There are MANY jobs on and off campus that could benefit from social media sites and blogs, new website content, someone to take photos of their events, someone who can write press releases, etc.

Internships are important. But you can start building your resume and portfolio now by finding valuable experiences, paid and unpaid, to continue growing and expanding your skills.

Samantha Anderson is a senior Journalism student at UW Oshkosh.

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