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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.   

The One College Assignment That Actually Matters

college assignment
I sometimes find myself wondering how my college assignments could possibly relate to my future career. It seems like I memorize all these theories and concepts, without knowing their practical applications. I mean seriously, has anyone in the real world ever dissected a sentence?! My favorite professors are the rare ones who make an attempt to relate what we’re learning to our futures. It’s often through assignments/projects that I’ve been able to see the things I learn in college extending into my “real life”. Lately, it seems that all my professors this semester are talking about that “portfolio” we’re supposed to be compiling.  So what exactly is a professional portfolio and how do I make one?

The point of a portfolio is to be able to showcase real examples of your work to those interviewing you. It’s a way to show off your skills and strengths as a professional. What does my portfolio contain? I have writing samples from the blogs that I write for (this being one!), a letter of recommendation, feature stories I wrote for my internship over this summer and class assignments that are comparable to tasks I’d have in the workforce. I also make sure I have a few copies of my current resume just in case. I know some people keep their own personal business cards in their portfolio, as well as ones they receive.

Ultimately, what you put in your professional portfolio is up to you—whatever you think future employers would be impressed by. If you have special awards or achievements, show them off! This is your time to shine. College is a four-year period that allows you to build up and add to this crucial piece for your future, so it’s important you have something to show for it!