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Best Resume Building Experiences?

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I'm just wondering, what do you all think are the best experiences to build my resume to help my grad school apps? I'm trying to think ahead for next semester and into the summer when I'll have some more free time. 

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I think the best experiences are the ones that help you write a better personal statement 

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 Get involved with something that has to do with speech language pathology (research, volunteering in area/population of interest, job in an area related). Between the second and third year applying for graduate programs I volunteered at in integrated preschool where I assisted the preschool teacher. I was able to interact with the preschoolers and also had opportunities and observe therapy sessions between the slp and the students. Not only did it confirm my interest in the field, but it was also something I could add into my letter of intent. 

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For the summer, I would recommend working at a summer camp. You can gain SO many valuable skills from that experience, particularly if you are interested in working with children as a SLP, and even more so if you're able to find a job at a camp geared towards children with special needs. For me, because children are my population of interest, working at a summer camp and volunteering in schools (as well as now working as a teaching assistant for two years) are all experiences that I feel have helped prepare me for grad school, as well as helped me to complete the grad school applications.

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Tangential question - are there good places to volunteer for people who may want to work with adults? Do SNFs have volunteer opportunities or are there legal liabilities?

I have experience tutoring elementary kids (a long time ago) and mentoring high school kids (recent) in at risk populations, but not specifically kids with special needs and it wasn't SLP-related, though half the tutoring was in reading. Not sure if any of this is relevant/applicable? I'm thinking about getting some volunteer time in before this fall but am wondering where would be best. I'll mentor the high school kids again this summer, but ideally would like to do something once a week that's more SLP-related.

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I took two gap years to work in clinical research full-time. I'd say that was the experience that really helped bolster my application. I don't have the strongest stats, but I have two papers and some great experience under my belt. You can do anything related to the field, and that will really show that you are committed to the field!

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I would choose things as closely related to the field as possible, specifically CSD research and shadowing/volunteering with SLPs in a variety of settings (school/private clinic, hospital/nursing home). Schools are inundated with people who "want to help people." While I think that's true of most of us and very good :), I think competitive applicants need to demonstrate they have specific knowledge and enthusiasm for the field specifically, which is why CSD-specific experiences are so important.

CSD research is one of the most valuable because there is a shortage of PhD's in the field, so universities are keeping an eye out for students with that kind of potential. I think it also demonstrates comfort with rigor and more intimate knowledge of the field.                                                         

Also any volunteer position that allows you to work with diverse/multicultural populations is great as well as volunteering with those specifically with disabilities. I have been asked about these areas on applications as well.

BUT I also agree with others on here that any of these experiences -- volunteering/shadowing/research -- can be valuable if they make your statement of purpose more meaningful. Good luck to you!

Edited by Rezzy S.

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On 1/15/2019 at 2:12 PM, LaceySpeechie said:

For the summer, I would recommend working at a summer camp. You can gain SO many valuable skills from that experience, particularly if you are interested in working with children as a SLP, and even more so if you're able to find a job at a camp geared towards children with special needs. For me, because children are my population of interest, working at a summer camp and volunteering in schools (as well as now working as a teaching assistant for two years) are all experiences that I feel have helped prepare me for grad school, as well as helped me to complete the grad school applications.

Hi! I have worked at summer camp before. I am curious as to how you added it in to your Personal Statements and Graduate Resume? How did you word it? Thank you in advance?

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20 minutes ago, lasmith said:

Hi! I have worked at summer camp before. I am curious as to how you added it in to your Personal Statements and Graduate Resume? How did you word it? Thank you in advance?

I just included it in my resume under work experience, with bullets explaining what I did. I didn't incorporate it significantly into any of my personal statements (I think I only talked about it in one, or maybe two, of them?) because I had other experiences that I chose to highlight instead. In my resume it basically looked like this:

[CAMP NAME] - Location, Dates

CIT Trainer and Unit Leader (dates)

  • Managed and trained 9 counselors throughout the summer
  • Oversaw programming for the youngest children at camp (30-40 kids per week)
  • Developed and implemented a program for 8 counselors-in-training and worked with them for 5 weeks to improve leadership skills

Cabin Counselor and Activity Leader (dates)

  • Supervised 7-12 children (ages 8-11) directly and 100 children (ages 6-16) indirectly
  • Developed and facilitated educational and social activities for small and large groups of kids
  • Provided evaluation and supervision for 3-4 activity department members

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7 minutes ago, LaceySpeechie said:

I just included it in my resume under work experience, with bullets explaining what I did. I didn't incorporate it significantly into any of my personal statements (I think I only talked about it in one, or maybe two, of them?) because I had other experiences that I chose to highlight instead. In my resume it basically looked like this:

[CAMP NAME] - Location, Dates

CIT Trainer and Unit Leader (dates)

  • Managed and trained 9 counselors throughout the summer
  • Oversaw programming for the youngest children at camp (30-40 kids per week)
  • Developed and implemented a program for 8 counselors-in-training and worked with them for 5 weeks to improve leadership skills

Cabin Counselor and Activity Leader (dates)

  • Supervised 7-12 children (ages 8-11) directly and 100 children (ages 6-16) indirectly
  • Developed and facilitated educational and social activities for small and large groups of kids
  • Provided evaluation and supervision for 3-4 activity department members

Thank you this was very helpful!

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