How can you rise to the top? Photo by flickr user goh-wz.livejournal.com licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Today’s guest post comes from Jay Willingham, a current senior at UT Austin (Hook ‘em). He also runs the up and coming site, CampusByte. Head on over and check it out! If you’d like to write a guest post for HackCollege, please read the Guest Posting at HackCollege guidelines and then send us an email!

First off, this is not an article about “how” to write a resume. Hopefully you’ve got that already figured out by following a sample or a resume guide. This is about the 5 most important aspects you must incorporate into your resume that will cause your potential employer to stop, take a second look and leave a lasting impression.

5. It All Starts in High School

It is imperative that you don’t go into listing every single activity or club you belonged to in high school. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to show just how “well rounded” you are when you get to your college activities. But what you should point out and include are achievements of major significance, such as Valedictorian or Salutatorian.

4. Academic and Honor Organizations

Not only do academic and honor organizations add an important component to campus life, they provide invaluable experience in the practical aspects of leadership, risk management, communication and teamwork. It’s crucial to set your sights high and seek a leadership position by becoming an officer within the organization expressing the strengths of your chosen major.

For example, if you are a political science major, shoot for the office of President. If you are a pre-law major choose the office of Parliamentarian or if you are a finance major, Treasurer.

3. Internships

The earlier you do this in college, the better. If you happen to be one of the few people who, as a freshman know without a doubt what area you want to focus on and major in, then more power to you.

Start looking for internships in your area of concentration either every summer or, if you can handle the workload, during the school year. Nothing looks more impressive than someone who knows what their goals are and sets out a plan to attain those goals.

2. Volunteering

Again, volunteering within your area of concentration demonstrates your commitment and self-discipline. For example, if you are a pre-med major, volunteer inside a hospital.

If you are a radio-television-film major, find any kind of volunteering position that gets you into an actual radio or television network.

1. Entrepreneurial Endeavors

Nothing is more convincing on a resume than showing your potential employer that you already have real world experience in starting a company on your own, no matter the size.

This smacks of your determined, organized, creative, and adventuresome nature leaving the door wide open to endless possibilities for any future employment opportunities.