Writing a resume is never an easy task. When you’re fresh out of college with minimum experience under your belt, it can become that much more frustrating.
To create the perfect resume, you’ll have to be strategic and systematic. You’ll make up for the lack of experience by highlighting what you can offer a company. Here are some tips and tricks for writing the perfect post-college resume.
Use a Student or Entry-Level Template
Don’t bother building a resume from scratch and worrying about the formatting. Instead, use a template that caters to your experience level. ResumeBuild suggests using a student or entry-level resume template to get started. These templates are built to be short and sweet without feeling empty or lacking.
As a recent graduate, the goal with a resume is not to hide what you lack, but rather to showcase what you can add to a company. Find a template that offers a simple yet robust single-page resume to apply to entry-level jobs.
Craft a Strong Introduction
Your resume is a document that tells a story about you. Many modern job-seekers are including a professional summary to highlight their previous experience on their resume. As a recent graduate, you may not have the job experience for a professional summary. However, you can replace that with a strong introduction that showcases your personality and determination.
In your introduction, briefly discuss your educational background. Talk about your eagerness to join the company and why you want to gain that specific experience. Summarize by highlighting your most compelling hard and soft skills.
Highlight Your Education
As you move through your career and gain more practical experience, your education will become an afterthought on your resume. As a recent graduate, it should be treated as a highlight.
Place your education near the top of your resume, second only to your introduction. Delve into your college achievements using bullet points. For example, include any awards you won, sports teams you played on, clubs you participated in, honor societies you belong to, your GPA, study-abroad programs, and volunteer experience.
Highlight Your Skills
There are plenty of ways to highlight your skills in a visually striking manner. Not only will this approach to building the perfect resume use space effectively, but it will also appeal to both hiring managers and automated systems that scan applications for keywords.
Be sure to include your soft skills throughout the resume as well. Soft skills include things like your ability to collaborate, work with a team, practice time management, stay organized, etc. Your introduction is the ideal place to use these keywords in an organic way to appeal to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Proofread and Edit Carefully
Proper grammar and punctuation are always essential on a resume. However, if you’re a highly specialized engineer with more than fifteen years of experience, a missing comma is not going to be as scrutinized as much as it will for a recent graduate.
Go over your resume at least three times. Use an app like Grammarly to ensure you’re following proper grammar and punctuation guidelines. Finally, have someone else give it a final scan before sending it off.
By following these tips and tricks for recent college grads, you’ll be able to write the perfect resume for pursuing the career of your dreams.