Great Resume Tips For Graduates And College Students

Updated: 4 months ago
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Most of the graduates, who are fresh out of their respective educational careers, find themselves glaring aimlessly at their computer screen as they try to write their first resume. Experienced college professors and expert career coaches deem a students’ first resume to be the most crucial step towards their future. Hence, creating a resume that represents students’ experience and skill set in brighter light is more of a necessary skill than an additional one. Given a good resume, a student can land their first job comparatively easier than how it would be without a well-formed resume. Typically, a graduates’ first resume is a transcript that aims to sell said graduate to the hiring entity. An ideal resume should describe a job goal that is meant to symbolize the students’ passion and prior work experience. You should also read this "What recruiters look in your resume at first glance?" before writing your first resume.

Unfortunately, most of the students today fail to realize where their interests lie even after they have graduated. Although the aforementioned problem might sound significant, it comes along with a rather simple solution – to assess who and what you are. Knowing oneself better always helps in building a strong resume along with making the student confident about his/her future. When you are a recent graduate or a college student, it’s always a challenge to figure out what to include in your resume as most college students don’t have a noteworthy employment history. Just because you are at the foundation of your career doesn’t entail that you don’t have substantial achievements and accomplishments to write in your resume. Here are the best resume tips to help you succeed in your interviews and grab a job easily.

Types of Resume Formats

There are two different approaches to a resume format for college students and graduates - one is called conventional, and the other is unconventional. A conventional resume includes an objective at the top of the document followed by education, relevant coursework, and experience in the respective order. Unconventional resume includes skills and training at the top followed by education details, prior experience, and employment, all in the given order. Other common types of resume formats are combination, functional, and chronological. The chronological resume lists your work courses in reverse order which starts with your most recent job and continues working backward. A functional or skills-based resume focuses on strengths and skills that are important to the employer. It omits specific places, names, and dates. A combination resume blends the strength and flexibility of the above two formats of a resume.

Tips to create an impeccable resume

Understand, Analyze and Proceed: If it happens to be your first attempt at writing a resume, you probably won’t be aware of the significance that each section of the resume holds. You should proceed by reviewing the information you possess and figure out the best order to include the elements of the given information. If you proceed cautiously, you’ll have a good resume within your possession that represents your being and skills.

Emphasize your Passion: You should work towards determining the career objective and be crystal clear about it. If you are vague about your career goals, then that does more harm than good. Be straightforward, real and practical about your career objective. If you are applying for a specific job, then you can always amend the resume to alter the object to a more relevant one that matches the job description.

Choose the Ideal Template: Students and graduates who are just starting out with their careers face two competing imperatives. They want to add as many details and information as possible to make their resume look attractive with lists of talents on the one hand and on another, they are advised to write a single-page resume. Various research shows that most of the hiring employers spend mere seconds reviewing a resume. This explains that you must display the most crucial information in a way that hooks your reader and is not crowded among other details but is clearly visible. A crowded resume may have a plethora of great information, but the reader most likely won’t have the luxury to review it thoroughly. You should always keep in mind the importance of being able to scan your resume quickly while choosing a template.

Prioritize your Education: Include the degree you’re expected to earn, your major, your school, and your year of graduation at the top of the resume instead of pushing it at the bottom of the page. Usually, education comes at the bottom of a resume, but that is applicable to someone who has acquired enough experience in the industry. You are better served by moving the same towards the top. As you gain more experience with time, consider moving it to the end of your resume. Include your academic honors as well along with your GPA if it’s above the usual average. List all the coursework that’s relevant to your career objective in any way. For instance, if your major was accounting and you want to work at an accounting firm, you can list down all the relevant accounting courses first. Try to avoid resume mistakes when creating a Resume.

Couple Majors with Coursework: Some of the professionals suggest that it makes sense to include those courses in your education section that differs from your major if your career objective and major are different. For instance, if you majored in history, but your career objective is to work in a counseling center for troubled youth, you could list coursework related to child development theory, developmental psychology, and others. At this point in your career, the hiring employers are happy to look at any work experience as a testament to your strong work ethic and dependability even if the experience comes from an entirely different industry. Extract the achievements and skills that are most relevant to the employer’s requirement and highlight them on your resume.

Open yourself and Innovate: Most of the time, the jobs that you think of as low-level menial jobs can be cast in a light that is appealing to the employers. Employers are keenly interested in every small job that you had and the responsibilities you carried out with it. You should briefly add any responsibilities you were assigned as a result of your special position or performance to help show your strong work ethic. Even jobs like babysitting and waitressing can be framed as a childcare business for indulging in providing nutritional snacks, recreational activities, customer representatives,s and more. When asked in the interview, don’t hesitate to give examples of your contribution to a job, challenges you faced, actual assignments, and benefits to the employer with the results. 

Extra-curricular is Important: Students often avoid their extracurricular experiences if they aren’t in the form of a formal job or an internship. Involvement in extracurricular activities such as sports, social groups, clubs, etc. can demonstrate your valuable expertise. For instance, if you worked as an event coordinator and managed a number of volunteers, designed a theme for an event, or raised donations; the same details could impress a potential employer if mentioned in a systematic way.

Manipulate Coursework into Experience: Some of the coursework equates to a demanding job in one way or another. The key here is to highlight any experience or course in the form of a job. The job description would describe your work in the course. For instance, if you published a report or a blog, you can provide an online link to the same in the resume.

Be more ‘Active ’:The kind of tense and words used in the resume play a huge role in impressing the employer. Many students have a tendency to use dull verbs such as “helped” or “assisted”. You should translate your experience into an active language and include words like “persuade”, “publicize”, “promote”, “convince”, “consolidate”, “collaborate” and more. Use simple present tense instead of using passive verbs ending in “ing” and if your experience is ongoing, use the past tense.

Specific and Straight: Transform an ordinary job into an impressive resume entry and make it sound more appealing. Learn how to approach a job differently from others who have the same experience as you. An attractive resume will make you stand out from other candidates with the same work experiences. Make sure to include bullet points and quantify with numbers wherever possible.

Research the Alternatives: Instead of using a standard format of objective, education, experience, and skills layout, you can compose a resume that includes training and skills at the top then education and experience after that with one line for every job. Below that, you can include a short description of the work that you carried out in each job. Big companies nowadays screen resumes through computers and the list of skills has the advantage of including all required key phrases. Your resume should be fully optimized for keywords to make sure that your resume is found in an electronic applicant search. The keywords are essential buzzwords that hiring employers use to determine a match for the perfect candidate for a job opening. Review job listings for your ideal position to start considering the right set of keywords for your job and look for certain terms that are used frequently.

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