How to Build Your Resume as an International Relations Major
Being an International Relations major is an interdisciplinary major that can go with almost any major and career. However, if you are looking to pursue a degree and/or career in International Relations, here are some tips to keep in mind when adding/creating your resume.
Some organizations that may be ideal for International Relations majors may include Model United Nations, Mock Trial, and Student Government. It is important to look for extracurriculars that will help enhance your skills in communication, public speaking, and teamwork.
Taking on any leadership position, whether it is through a club or as a student leader like orientation leader or resident assistant, will allow you to grow your skills in these areas that are critical to succeeding in the field of International Relations and any career field.
Also, investigate studying abroad for a semester, a year, or for the summer, depending on if you have the time and can afford it. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to take courses abroad, learn about a different culture, explore the country/city you are living in, and gain a new perspective of the world.
There are so many studies abroad scholarships out there like Fulbright and Freeman that are available to all students, no matter what major or program.
When adding to your resume, make sure to add any relevant courses you may have taken during your college career. Some example courses International Relations students may have taken include “Introduction to International Relations,” “Principles of Economics-Macro or Micro,” and/or any similar courses.
Highlighting relevant courses you have taken will show employers that you have a good understanding of the courses you have taken. In addition, with learning a foreign language in high demand in the job market, having a foreign language on your resume can be a standout compared to others. Make sure to highlight your level or most recent level you have taken, whether it is beginner, intermediate, advanced, or have achieved fluency.
This is also a good opportunity to add in electives you have taken. If you are looking to work in a specific field like diplomacy, law, or in a specific region of the world, highlight those courses.
For example, my area of interest is Diplomacy in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific, so I would highlight courses that have a focus on democracy, foreign affairs, and a regional focus on Asia and/or Southeast Asia.
Summer Research/Undergraduate Research
In International Relations, there are many scholars that have devoted their lives to research and exploring different aspects of the field. In most universities, most professors may have or are currently conducting their own research, projects, books, etc.
Talk to your professors and department about any opportunities to do summer research or participate in undergraduate research projects. Sometimes, these could lead to being paid experiences, but most importantly, you can grow closer to your professor and work on a project both of you are passionate about.
Having these research experiences can help set you apart from the competition, and you’ll develop the much needed skills to succeed in the field of International Relations.
Add any Additional Major(s) or Minor(s)
International Relations is an interdisciplinary field, meaning that it goes with almost any major. Whether you want to double major with another foreign language like Chinese, French, or Spanish, or you want to pair it with another like field such as Economics, Public Policy, Journalism, or Sociology, International Relations has many different opportunities to combine your interests into different majors or minors.
Because International Relations is broad, most students who do major in it do decide to pick up a double major or add a minor. Make sure to add that on to your resume so that the employer sees that not only do you have a solid background in international relations but also in another field.
Adding a double major or a minor isn’t a requirement at all, but some major advisors at some universities may encourage a student to double major or minor to help find what area they want to study.
International Relations is a major that allows for so much opportunity for students to explore new opportunities. Be on the lookout for opportunities that will help you advance your skills in public speaking, communication, and research.
Also, take time to explore electives, clubs, and possible internships to join and apply for. Take some time to also explore different foreign languages and electives, and talk to your study abroad office if you’re interested in studying abroad during your time at college.
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