So you just had a colorful graduation ceremony after college and you can’t wait to dive into the career world. You are optimistic, vibrant with lots of hope of finding a good job. Well, the experience is exciting and scaring at the same time since you have no idea where to start. Hoping that the four long years in school will pay off.
However, just one problem, you have no previous work experience. Even worse, you have no idea how to write an effective resume.
Well, a good resume should be brief and precise with a goal that gives a clear picture to the person reviewing it. In fact, to get your dream job, you must capture the interest of the reviewer.
How do you do that?
Here are few tips to consider when creating a resume after college and win the job of your dream.
1. Begin with a career objective
If you have no professional experience, you can start with a career objective. This should be done when applying for a specific job. Focus on your skills and strong personal traits which make you the best fit for the job. It is good to start with specific skills that match the job description so that your employer can find it easier to review them.
2. Highlight your school education qualifications
A brief summary of your top qualification is more effective than a mere objective. Since you don’t have any professional experience, include the educational qualifications to make up for the job experience.
The education section should include your score (GPA), academic awards, year of graduation, associated clubs, and relevant courses. With this information, the employer gets to review your knowledge and work ethics. Be as brief as possible.
3. Include relevant achievements other than the specified one
Did you organize an event, volunteer for social services, make a presentation at a conference, or attend a career workshop? If so, then this is a perfect addition to your resume.
A section that includes other relevant achievement aside from your field of study will help improve your resume. You can structure it as a professional experience section with the name of the event or organization and prepare a list of points of your accomplishments.
4. Go over your job experiences
Sometimes, it is likely to consider a prior job that may seem low-level as irrelevant. But, it can be the light that is appealing to an employer. Think about all these small jobs you have done from a broader perspective.
For instance, did you manage someone or something? Did you babysit? Did you mow lawns over the summer? All these are important skills that should not be left out in your resume since the employer may find such people as potential candidates for the job.
5. Evaluate you extra-curricular activities to match your career of choice
Most students and college graduate fail to include their extra-curricular activities if they didn’t come as a formal job or internship. Being active in sports, clubs or other activities shows great commitment, dedication and portrays a sign of responsibility.
The employer in a non-profit organization will most likely be impressed by a person who coordinated a fundraiser for a non-profit company somewhere. List you current job as a fresh graduate and under that, use bullets to give details of any positions or any other information that may be useful for the employer.
6. Pay attention to verbs and tenses
Common mistake made by many resume writers is using dull verbs and tenses instead of writing the resume in active language. For example, instead of “worked on” use “collaborate”.
For tenses, use past unless your current experience is ongoing. If you are currently involved in a project, use present tense and avoid using verbs ending with “ing.”
7. Does your coursework qualify as a job experience?
Coursework can be so demanding especially for college students. These experiences should not be left out in your resume. They are relevant to your career goals, so just list them as job experience.
List your current job as a full-time position and, using bullets, list the details of any coursework that are relevant to your objective. If you wrote and published some articles, include them under the job experience. The employer will see this as real-time experience and is an added advantage just like any other work experience included in the resume.
8. Think like both an “employer” and a “job seeker.”
When applying for a job or internship, look at your experience as a “potential employer” and as a “job seeker.” Look for job descriptions that interest you. If you get a job that seeks a customer service attendant, you might want to consider if you have good communication skills. You can include these skills in your resume.
Then, look at your experience from your own (job seeker) point of view. What type of work do you enjoy? These skills and past experiences may not necessarily be relevant to the positions you may be seeking, but they are good indicators of some of the areas you are likely to be good at in future.
9. Spell out your resume with descriptions and numbers
A clear resume that contain descriptions and numbers can help transform a job that seems low-level into an impressive entry. Instead of viewing it as a menial job, consider the idea that your approach to the job may have been different from your colleagues. It could be that you out did the job or maybe, you trained new hires or offered customer service solutions.
These important aspects are key in transforming an ordinary job to an extra ordinary with no exaggeration, just detailed description and numbers.
10. Consider the right format for your resume
Well, there is no correct format for a resume, but there is a recommended and standard format. The format layout is objective, education, previous experiences and skills. Though this is the normal format, you may want to spice things up and compose a resume that outlines your skills and training at the top, then your education qualifications, and after that job experience.
However, each student should determine which resume format works best for their content. With added experience, remember to edit your resume to reflect these changes so that you can submit an updated version of your resume to your employer.
Remember, your goal is to give a good impression to your employer and a detailed description of your qualification. Eventually, a good resume is clear and precise with details and relevant information.
11. Brainstorm the content in your resume with someone
After you are through with writing your resume, talk over all work with someone. Go over your education qualifications and experiences including the advantages and disadvantages of each experience. Make sure you include a lot of details in the conversation to ensure you get the best out of it.
For a focused college student, the brainstorming session can reveal a lot as far as experiences and education is concerned. The main aim is to exhaust everything listed on your resume including coursework, volunteer work, extra-curricular activities and sports. This will enable you sort through the important sections to include on your resume and what to leave out.
Furthermore, listing what is enjoyable in terms of experience will help shape your career, and discover what experiences you enjoy and areas to improve.
Well, the best resumes are keenly scrutinized, revised and compiled marketing documents that include a clear objective, detailed education background, descriptions of coursework, previous work experiences and any other activity relevant to the job you are looking for.
But, compiling one that includes everything and, in a detailed format, it has been quite a daunting task, especially for fresh college students.
Though, this post is here to help you write a perfect resume for your dream job. Let your resume be a symbolic document that gets you the job you want.