Résumé Tips for Recent Graduates
You've gotten your diploma, hung up your cap and gown and written all those graduation thank you notes. Now what?
As you hunt for a job or start thinking about the next step in your career, it's important to make sure your résumé reflects all the great work you've done. How can you attract the interest of future employers and stay true to who you are in just one page?
Check out these tips for developing a résumé that will help you move up the ladder, end up at the top of the pile and land that dream job:
- Customize your résumé for each job application.
Tailor the experiences on your résumé to the job you're applying for, and make sure you do the same for your cover letter. Putting in this extra time will pay off, as you'll be able to show why you are uniquely qualified for this job.
- Order Matters.
Don't start your résumé with irrelevant job experience. Put the career experiences most related to this job at the start of the résumé, as potential employers will see this information first.
- If you're short on experience, get creative (but stay truthful).
Maybe you've worked in retail for years, a field seemingly unrelated to the position you're applying for at your local bank. But that doesn't mean your experience isn't valuable. You've learned to manage people, problem solve on the fly and sell products. Think about the abstract skills each of your jobs has taught you when you add them to your résumé.
- Check for typos and length.
Check and double check your work. Make sure your résumé is easy to read and free of typos. Be strategic about the length of your résumé. You should have no more than one page for every 10 years of experience.
- Avoid using these words.
Utilized, assisted, responsible for, worked, words ending in "ly," objective…what do these words and phrases have in common? You should avoid using cliche or mundane language like this on your résumé. USA TODAY explains why.
- Go digital.
You've polished your résumé, and now you want to optimize it for the web. Step 1: Left align and justify it. You want to make sure your formatting does not get distorted when you upload it to any online job application portals. Step 2: Make sure any keywords from the job description are included in your résumé. Recruiters look for these as they're reviewing your application materials.
If you post your résumé on your own website, be selective about what you include. Take out your address and phone number. Generally avoid uploading a PDF file of your résumé to LinkedIn, as it signals to everyone who view your profile that you're searching for a job. It also seems lazy, as you should be tailoring your résumé to any job you apply for rather than using the same copy in each application.