Your resume is more than likely the first impression you make on a potential employer. When you’re a recent graduate, it’s even more important to craft a resume that successfully translates your accomplishments, accolades, and skills for competitive employment. As a recent grad looking for work, there are certain attributes you’ll want to prioritize on your resume, especially if applying to an entry-level position that focuses heavily on educational requirements and graduation dates.
With endless resume formats to choose from, creating a stand-out resume may seem daunting, but with these helpful hints could make it memorable and impactful.
The Basic Sections of a Resume:
- Personal Information: Full name, address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile link (if you have one)
- Updated Education Section: Don’t forget to include the year you obtained your degree, as well as any campus affiliations
- Relevant Work Experience: Keyword is relevant!
- Honors and Achievements
Keep it Professional
From your contact information to the pertinent details of your contributions in projects, internships or prior work experiences, your resume should reflect an aspiring professional. It’s easy to overlook small details, so reread your document more than once to catch errors that may have slipped through the first time. No one wants to be an “exceptional pubic speaker” when they meant to say “public speaker”—True story. In addition, take time to ensure your email address is something that won’t discredit you. First name, last name combinations work best; save W33kendzR4Parties2022 for your social life.
Don’t over-think the formatting of your resume. You’re objective is to relay your skills and abilities to someone who likely reads dozens of resumes a day. Do their eyes a favor and keep it simple.
Utilize functions like Bold, and italics to separate significant pieces of information, like company name, and job title. Features like bullets and columns can make organizing a lot of information easy and comprehensible at a glance. Microsoft Word also offers additional features like borders that can serve as section dividers beneath a header if you’re feeling fancy.
Click here for a helpful Microsoft Word tutorial to help you master the basics!
Write a Convincing Cover Letter
Fresh out of college with minimal or no work experience may seem like a massive hurdle to overcome, but employers love getting their pick of new-to-the-workforce employees. You’re moldable, willing to learn and establish yourself in your field, and prove that the education you received is valuable. Use this letter to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. Maximize your cover letter’s impact by making sure it’s customized for each position you apply to.
A good recent college graduate cover letter introduction should include:
- Excitement for the company, their mission, and products.
- A general overview of your background – anything that may relate to the field would be beneficial in demonstrating your dedication and passion for the subject (i.e. Mentoring at a coding camp if you’re applying for a related position.)
- A summary of your accomplishments, educational or professional
Skip the Objective
When your resume is in a hiring manager’s hands, they already know what the objective is. The more-than-obvious statement about how you “want to find a lucrative career with upward mobility in a fantastic company with great benefits” is the same thing your parents wrote on their resume and it’s taking up valuable real estate on the page. Your competitors will skip this and cut right to chase—what they can bring to the table—and so should you.
Typically a resume would have workforce experience presented first, but when you’re a recent grad, it’s important to highlight your academic achievements. Note that as a recent graduate, this section should immediately follow your name and personal information.
This section should include:
- The full name of your college or university
- Dates you attended, including the date of graduation
- Your degree
- GPA (if 3.0 or higher)
Projects, Internships and Prior Work Experience
As a recent grad, you may be lite on relevant experience but don’t sell yourself short. The experiences you’ve had and the projects you’ve worked on, during class time, internships, and at home, can be showcased if applicable skills have been built. Be sure to display what you truly bring to the table regardless of where it was learned.
In addition to directly applicable skills, be sure to share transferable skills and examples that illustrate your work ethic and/or workplace exposure. For example, if you interned in a financial institution and your role required data entry, you may have familiarized yourself with Microsoft Excel. Knowledge of commonly used programs, like Word, and Excel, and even social media platforms can be transferable in the right application.
Be specific in how you communicate your experiences. Keep your statements about your contributions and skills short, impactful, and actionable.
When listing your experiences, try to maintain the following format:
- Company Name
- Location (city and state is fine)
- Dates employed
- Position(s) held
- Accomplishments and responsibilities
Honors, Achievements, and Volunteer Experiences
Be sure to dedicate a section to display what you bring to the table outside of your professional skills and experiences. This is your opportunity to showcase your campus involvement, leadership abilities, organizational contributions, and charitable efforts. Focus on legitimate organizations like societies, academic groups, clubs and teams, and honors you earned upon graduation (e.g. Cum Laude).
Keep it brief. If the hiring manager wants to know more, they can ask, and you will have an opportunity to confidently articulate your involvement, further demonstrating your abilities.
This may seem redundant after taking the time to detail your contributions and responsibilities, on top of your extensive education, but a section that quickly identifies skills you believe you possess can help a hiring manager decide if you’ll be right for a role.
Start by listing any technical skills or hard skills you may have. Technical skills involve specialized and practical knowledge which is used to complete a task. This can include software and program proficiencies, like Microsoft Word, or Excel, and range to a variety or tasks and responsibilities that one can excel at in the workplace; i.e. bookkeeping, data entry, project management, data analysis, and more.
Follow up with any soft skills you possess that are relevant to the position. Soft skills are valuable, as they are usable for nearly any job and transferable in nearly every circumstance. Common soft skills include communication skills, time management, teamwork, and adaptability.
Contact BANKW Staffing Today
Utilizing some, or all, of the above tips along with common sense and good judgement, will result in an attractive resume that gives you the best chance at the professional opportunities you seek. For more on resumes and other career-seeking best practices, be sure to get in touch with our BANKW Staffing companies. Our recruiting experts can help you in your resume writing and job-seeking process.
About Alexander Technology Group
Alexander Technology Group is the leading provider of technology staffing and recruiting services across Greater Boston and New Hampshire. Since 2007, Alexander Technology Group has provided qualified technology professionals, on a temporary and direct-hire basis, to thousands of organizations throughout the local market.
Learn more and search jobs at https://www.alexandertg.com