college graduation

Tips for Writing a Killer Resume Post-Graduation

Graduating from college is an important milestone in any graduate’s life. It marks your ability to commit to something long-term and accomplish it. Getting your degree is the first step into entering the professional workforce and while it’s exciting, there’s a hurdle you must jump before you can land that first job; writing a resume. Writing resumes is something most recent graduates struggle with, but with the right formatting and content, you can write a killer resume any employer will be drawn to. Here are some tips on how to create such a resume:

 

  1. Use a reverse-chronological format: As a recently graduated college student, it’s best to use a reverse-chronological format. You most likely won’t have a lot of work experience, so using this format is the most practical way to show your vertical career progression. Listing your education at the top is practical because it’s your greatest qualification. Click here for a step-by-step guide on writing a reverse-chronological resume.

 

 2. Keep it to one page: You won’t have enough experience to justify having a second page to your resume. Did you know that employers will only look at a resume for 6-10 seconds at max? Therefore you need to make your resume short, sweet, and to the point.

 

3.  Do not include a reference page on your resume: Since your resume needs to be no more than a page, don’t waste valuable space by adding references.References should be made available upon request. Employers most likely won’t ask for references until the actual face-to-face interview. Bring a separate page with your references when that time comes.

 

4.  Include a link to your professional profile: Every recent graduate needs to have at least one professional profile established. Most professional employers use social media as a form of researching their candidates, particularly through LinkedIn. Provide a link to your profile with your contact information.

 

5. List your GPA: If you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, list it at the top of your education background. Anything below a 3.0 should not be listed, but keep in mind, employers will take notice of this and possibly ask you about it during the interview.

 

6. Bullet point your work experience accomplishments: Many people make the mistake of listing the tasks and responsibilities they were given when describing their work experience, but employers aren’t interested in this. They’re interested in what you accomplished while you were there. Since employers will only scan over these accomplishments, it’s best to bullet point everything so that it’s easier to digest. Make sure to also use strong action verbs when describing said accomplishments.

 

7. Leave anything from high school out: Employers aren’t interested in what you’ve accomplished before college. They want current, relevant information that supports your overall career oriented goals.

 

8. Don’t fluff up your summary/objective: Throwing in words such as “team player” or “proactive” are overused terms employers recognize as pure fluff. Instead explain how you were able to improve any processes.]

 

  1. Avoid using pronouns: When writing your resume, it’s best to avoid talking in first person (“I” or “Me”) or third person (“John worked as”, “He worked as”). The best way to write your resume is in a telegraphic manner.

 

10. Use relevant keywords: When applying for a job, look for repeating key terms in the job application. If you have any of those skills or had any experience in that process, then incorporate them into your resume.   

How to Prepare for Graduation

graduation header 1

With the end of the semester approaching faster and faster, seniors are finishing up the final steps for graduation.  Whether you’re a senior about to graduate, a junior trying to get ready for your final year, or a sophomore looking to plan ahead, here are some important steps to remember and tricks for getting them done!

1. Print out a checklist for all of your graduation requirements.

graduation checklist

Check off all the courses you’ve already taken or are currently in, and figure out what you have left.  Then add up all the credits and make sure you know how many credits you need to reach your graduation minimum.  For most undergraduate programs it is around 120 credits, but make sure to double-check and plan accordingly so you graduate on time!

2. Figure out your cumulative GPA at this point in your college career.

graduation gpa

Figure out what you need to do to reach the GPA you want by the end of your final semester.  This can just be a personal goal for you or if you’re planning on going to Grad School it’s important to know what the programs you’re planning on applying to require. It’s easy with a GPA calculator.

3. Take advantage of your adviser’s help.  

graduation advising

Academic advisers are there to help you stay on track to graduate and can be great resources if you have questions about Grad School and career tracks.

4. Register for graduation on time!

graduation registration

Make sure you pay attention to the deadline and whatever you need to bring with you or complete online.  If not, you’re probably going to be charged a late fee!

 5. Go to your campus’s career services office.

graduation career

An important step of graduation preparation is post-graduation planning.  You want to be prepared for what comes after you get your diploma.  Don’t put it off until you’re out of school; ideally, you’ll have a job or graduate program lined up so you’re not stuck worrying about not knowing what you’re going to do.

6. Mark your calendar!

graduation calendar

Figure out the dates of your departmental graduation ceremony and the larger convocation ceremony as soon as possible (these dates are usually made available during the Spring semester of the previous year in the Academic Calendar).  Then let your family/friends/whoever you want to attend know so they can plan for it.  If they need to travel, book a hotel, or take off from work, it will be much easier if they have advanced notice.

 7. Order your cap and gown!

graduation cap and gown

Your school will likely send a graduation packet home in the mail so make sure you meet all the ordering and RSVP deadlines.

8. Make sure you don’t slack during your last semester.

graduation studying

Make sure you keep your grades where they need to be and prepare for finals.  You don’t want any last minute surprises and you certainly don’t want to fail a class and have to come back for another semester.

 9. Relax!

graduation relaxing 

Once you’ve done everything you need to do, relax and enjoy your last moments as an undergrad!  Graduation can be a very emotional and stressful time for a lot of college students, so stay on top of it and relax once you’re in the home stretch. Spend time with your friends and appreciate your relatively limited responsibilities because adulthood is just around the corner!