At Iowa Campus Compact, success means helping colleges and universities graduate students who are Civic-Minded Professional. They have the core skills for career and community success, including critical thinking, problem-solving, communications, cultural competence, empathy, team work, and application of knowledge. Research shows these skills can be built through quality community experiences like service-learning courses, volunteer projects, and community-based research, so the civic-minded professional has had experience that proves and tests their skills.
In the last year, we’ve given presentations to higher education staff and faculty, students, and business leaders about the importance of making these experiences central to what college has to offer. We have seen a lot of success with programs like Campus Compact AmeriCorps, Tyson Community Internships, and Principal Community Scholars. We have helped campuses build Civic Action Plans to integrate this focus across campus. And we’ve helped faculty redesign courses to be community-engaged.
In our conversations with employers, we have learned even more about how much they value community-engaged experiences in those they hire and how much they look for it on resumes. The problem? They’re not finding it. Too many students don’t clearly articulate their community-engaged experiences and the skills they built from them in the job search.
To help, we developed a new tool to help students consider new ways of designing resumes and cover letters that feature these important experiences and skills. Check it out below (download to be able to see all the featured tips) and share with aspiring civic-minded professionals!