Graduation is an exciting time; you’ve put in the time & effort and have received your degree, diploma, or certification and now you are finally ready to step out into the “real” world. This can be intimidating because you will be competing with people from all walks of life for professional positions and you may or may not have the relevant experience required. Maybe you have been so focused on your studies that there is a significant gap in your work experience, or the experience you do have does not apply to the industry you are targeting. Whatever the case, the following few steps should help you organize your resume and stand out to potential employers:
Include a Professional Summary
A personal summary is a statement at the very top of your resume that will attract the hiring manager’s attention and show them what knowledge & skills you would bring to their company. Avoid using common adjectives like “hard-working” or “ambitious” to describe yourself and instead emphasize your qualifications. You are a professional; you do not need to include that you are a student or recent grad in the summary. List what you learned in class as skills and knowledge. Include keywords from the job description whenever possible.
Emphasize your Education
While you may not have been working, you still gained valuable knowledge that will set you apart from your competition. Do not only list that you attended a particular university and the degree but also include major projects or assignments you worked on to put what you learned into use. If you had a high GPA, add that in there. Were you a part of any school organizations, internships, or teams? Did you receive any scholarships? All of this is important information that should be included in your resume. Your education is just as valuable as work experience and you should showcase it properly.
Tailor your Resume to the Job Description
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume. Every time you apply for a job, you should go over the job description and pick out keywords they have emphasized and include those in your resume. For example, a certain company may be looking for employees with experience with a particular software – if you have this, then include it as one of your primary skills where employers can easily spot it. Show them why you are a perfect match for the position. Tailoring your resume to the job description makes a significant impact and is a great way to show employers that you pay attention to details and care about the job you are applying for.
Edit, Edit, Edit!
Editing your resume may seem obvious, but many people miss seemingly obvious spelling and grammatical errors in their resumes. You have probably looked over the resume a hundred times to the point where your eyes glaze over any mistakes. Try reading the resume out loud or take a break and come back to it, if possible, have someone else look it over. Do not only look for grammatical errors but also look at the formatting of your resume. For your resume to even be seen by employers, it must be ATS compliant and if you have weird formatting, it will not pass the check. There are plenty of free online sites where you can check if your resume is ATS compliant. Some general guidelines to follow would be to keep the font between 10-12 points, keep the font consistent, give each section a title, make sure it is correctly typed and the resume should be no longer than two pages.
Do not fret about your lack of work experience. Your education is a valuable asset where you learned tons of relevant skills, and you need to show employers that. For resume help contact one of our professional resume writers today!