As college students across the country prepare to graduate, many of them will be looking to enter the workforce and land a full-time job. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 67% of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year. With this positive news, it’s time for graduates to prepare their entry-level resume so they are able to impress recruiters and employers. These following tips will help you take what you did throughout your college career and make it shine on paper.
Don't go crazy with your resume template
When applying to jobs as a recent college graduate, it’s important to create a professional looking resume. Don’t overdo it with a unique template or wild font because you want to make sure your resume can be read easily by a recruiter, hiring manager, or applicant tracking system. Although a one page resume is best, it’s okay if it is over one page, but it shouldn’t be more than two. Lastly, it’s crucial that you use professional contact information. It’s time to ditch the university email address and set up a Gmail account, which will take you less than a minute.
Highlight your education and relevant coursework
Since you did just graduate, you need to showcase that huge accomplishment. Put your education information at the top of your resume and include your GPA if it’s over a 3.0. This is also the section where you want to highlight relevant courses applicable for the job to which you are applying. This will not only show you have some experience in these areas, but will also add significant keywords to your resume.
Promote important work experiences
Whether you worked part-time, completed one or more internships, or worked on-campus, you need to promote the fact that you have experience in a professional setting. It’s important to focus not just on the tasks, but also on what you accomplished and learned in these work experiences. If you worked in a restaurant, you improved your customer service skills. If you had an internship, you gained significant experience within the industry you want to work. Take into account the qualifications you will need for the job you’re interested in and apply those to your working experiences. You will need to be able to show a recruiter how you will be the right fit for their job and organization.
Show how you were active outside of the classroom
In addition to your academic success, what other activities were you involved in when not in class? Employers will want to see that you stayed active outside of your studies, so be sure to include any sports you played, volunteering experiences, clubs you were a part of, and/or committees you joined. You should especially highlight any leadership roles you had in these actives, such as being captain of a team or president of a club.
Include a skills section
On top of your past work experiences, you also need to put emphasis on your current skills. These skills can include technologies with which you are proficient and the social networks you use professionally. Additional skills may include online applications you use for organization or time management, and whichever Microsoft Office tools with which you are most knowledgeable. Take it one step further and try to research some of the tools and technologies the organization you are interested in is already using, so you can highlight you have experience with them already.
Add items that will impress recruiters
Once you’ve included the necessary information in your resume, you need to try and add something that will impress a recruiter or make your resume more memorable. Have you written a blog post or do have your own blog? Did you win an academic award or scholarship? Do you know any foreign languages? Even something as simple as adding social media profiles (in addition to LinkedIn) that you are professionally active on can add some spice to your resume. These things will not only make your resume stick in the mind of a recruiter, but will also give you extra points to talk about in an interview.
As more companies are looking to hire for entry-level roles, you need to create a resume that will help you stand out among the other graduate candidates. Really take some time to review the hard work you put into college and find the things that prove you will be a successful employee.
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