Sitting down to write a resume can be challenging for anyone, but even more so when you have just finished college and have little to no professional work experience. It is difficult to know what to include to attract a hiring manager’s attention and make them want to learn more about you. After all, the purpose of resume isn’t to get you a job, but rather to land you an interview. Very rarely are people hired from just their resume alone.
The Job Market is Changing
Long gone are the days when you would open the newspaper to the classifieds section in order to find an entry-level job. You don’t go to a company and hand them your resume anymore. A lot of these processes have gone digital. That means checking websites for job postings and submitting your resume online where it is then screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS).
ATS are programmed to search for specific words and phrases related to the job posting to find potentially qualified candidates. Without the right keywords and an ATS-friendly format, you run the risk of your resume being rejected, even if you may be a good fit for the job.
As a recent graduate, you may be tempted to take advantage of career centers or writing labs on campus to help craft your resume. Although they have good intentions, some of these organizations use outdated strategies, formats, and advice that can hinder your job search. The individuals staffing these centers often aren’t trained in resume writing. Working with a professional resume writer that stays abreast of the latest trends and changes in the industry can be worthwhile investment and help you build a more effective resume.
Resume Writing Tips for New Graduates
When it comes to writing your resume, here are a few general guidelines to follow:
Don’t underestimate the value of internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs. Think about the skills you have gained from these experiences, such as customer service, time management, problem solving, leadership, sales/marketing, and communication. Consider how your responsibilities and accomplishments could benefit another company and why you are a good fit for the role to which you are applying.
Don’t over embellish. Hiring managers know that recent graduates do not typically have a wealth of experience, so don’t try to oversell yourself. Focus on what you do well and your ability to learn and adapt. Keep your resume clear and concise without adding a lot of fluff or irrelevant details. Be honest because you don’t want to get caught lying about your abilities and then find yourself unable to do the job for which you were hired.
Do keep it simple. Use a clean layout that is easy to read and easy for ATS to scan. Keep your bullet points action- or results-oriented and to the point. You want to communicate what you bring to the table and how you can benefit the employer. Use metrics whenever possible to quantify your accomplishments.
Do include major projects. Many higher-level college courses involve complex projects simulating tasks you might be asked to do in a professional job. Did you put together a comprehensive business plan? Develop a software program or a code a website? Design a solution to a problem faced by an actual company? It is okay to include these on your resume if they hold value and demonstrate your abilities.
If you are unsure where to even start when it comes to writing your resume or what information you actually need to include, turn to the team at Grammar Chic. We work with you to highlight the skills, experience, and accomplishments you have developed throughout your college career and present them in an effective manner to potential employers. You have invested thousands of dollars in your education, so invest in yourself and your future with a professional resume. Reach out to Grammar Chic at email@example.com or (803) 831-7444 to schedule your resume consultation.