One complaint new grads often have about the job search is that employers want applicants to possess relevant experience, even for entry-level roles.
Some people have that experience. They completed an internship at the company they’re applying to, or did a work-study program that helped them gain relevant skills. But not everyone has those opportunities, and that’s where Forage can help.
When you complete a free virtual experience program (VEP), you’re demonstrating to potential employers that you’re curious and motivated. What’s more, you’ll have completed a real-world project that shows you’ve got the skills to get the job done. Here are five ways a Forage VEP can help you find career success.
1. Learn More About Companies and Jobs
All of the Forage programs are built and endorsed by well-known companies. You’ll complete a project with their information and directions.
Finishing a task you’d be expected to do in that role is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the job you want to pursue. What’s more, because it’s company-specific, you’ll get an idea of what it might be like to work at that company.
Completing a VEP is another way to demonstrate your interest in working at that company. Many applicants say they want to work at X or Y company. You, though, are proving you’re interested in working there when you complete the VEP and have the completion certificate to prove it.
2. Add the VEP to Your Resume
What you learn in the classroom supports your career goals. But highlighting the steps you’ve taken outside the classroom to learn more about your industry can give you the edge during the hiring process. Including the VEP (or VEPs!) on your resume demonstrates you’re a motivated student who’s willing to go above and beyond.
There are three places to include the information on your resume, under:
- Extracurricular activities
No matter where you include your certificate information, here’s how to word it:
Please note, you should not refer to any Forage virtual experience program as an internship.
[Company Name] Virtual Experience Program Participant
[Completion date] — [Number of hours]
Tasks completed include:
- Task A
- Task B
- Task C
3. Share Your Certificate on LinkedIn
As the online destination for professionals, sharing your achievement on LinkedIn shows how motivated you are and could help you catch the attention of hiring managers.
In addition to adding the completion certificate to your LinkedIn profile, create and share a post explaining what you learned from the experience. Tag the company to alert them you’re talking about them (in a good way) and a recruiter may take note of your accomplishment and check you out!
While you’re at it, tag Forage. We love to hear about our user’s successes, and we try to like (and sometimes share) as many posts as possible.
Here’s how to add the VEP completion certificate to your profile page:
4. Share It on Other Social Channels
While LinkedIn is a great place to share your completion certificate, consider sharing it on other social media accounts as well. Companies are also on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok and love additional social media love.
5. Discuss What You Learned During Interviews
Finally, talking about what you learned during your VEP in an interview shows that you’re interested in and committed to the career path. And it helps the interviewer understand that you’ve got the skills and experience to be successful in the role.
When you’re asked why you applied for the role or to discuss your skills, include what you did during your VEP:
I completed the [program name] virtual experience program. In it, I [discuss the overall project] and gained experience in [mention one or two skills you developed and how you developed it].
Here’s an example:
I completed the lululemon Omnichannel Marketing Virtual Experience Program. I created an integrated marketing plan and gained experience in product messaging. Specifically, I had to create a consistent marketing message that fit lululemon’s voice and tone while selling a new product to the target audience. In the course I…
Take the Next Step
And there you have it! Five ways you can leverage a Forage virtual experience program for career success. Sign up for a VEP today!
Showcase new skills
This article was updated 8/30/2022.
Ivy Cheung, Student Success Intern, contributed to this piece
Image credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky/ Depositphotos.com