Before a recent graduate begins writing their resume they must recognize that their resume will be one of millions. When thinking back to graduation day, imagine all of the graduates in those chairs. Then think of all of the other schools having the same ceremony on a similar day. As you stare at your computer screen, ready to put the very best of you on one sheet of paper, all of the other graduates are doing the exact same thing.
What do graduates think when writing a resume? What matters is what they need to be thinking. Confidence is great, but the fear of losing is what truly makes us fight. Type up a skeleton resume, using any reliable format you’ve been taught or acquired online. There is more than one perfect layout for a resume, but the contents are extremely important. Use the following checklist to test your final draft, when you think your resume is done.
This is a brief window of opportunity to offer your reader information about yourself. The remainder of the resume must be specific and pointed. Whether you decide to write an introduction about yourself or provide a quick summation of your purpose, this section is not generic and must be geared towards each position you are considering. In no more than two sentences, step out of the facts and just give a brief glimpse into why you are different from everyone else in that stack of resumes. Find a way to include why you have chosen this company. Of course, you’ve applied everywhere because you need to pay rent, but do your research and find a personal connection to each company. Do not name drop.
Only list completed education. Do not list the degree you are hoping to earn, or your enrollment for next semester. Beginning with high school, list graduate status and degrees earned. Programs where a certificate was earned are also sufficient if that discipline is necessary or perhaps useful for the position you are seeking. It’s tempting to list every class and program you’ve ever dipped a toe in, but on a resume, less is more. Why list all of the things you haven’t finished?
When listing employment, use some common sense. If you have a few things to choose from, it’s ok to leave out jobs that may not paint you or your work ethic in a great light. Never lie. But leaving out a few months in your entire work history is not the end of the world. Include internships! You may think it says less about you because you were working for free, but it is exactly the opposite! Interns are chosen and interns work for free or very little. This is a huge statement of character and desire to be in your field.
Do not list your favorite aunt, your mailman and your college roommate. Why would anyone want to check in with those individuals for an unbiased opinion of you? Listing worthwhile references is important for two reasons. First, of course, you want to supply names and contact information of real people who have relevant experience with you and have something to contribute to your resume. Don’t waste those slots on someone who will say you’re a sweet boy. Secondly, even if they never check your references, they will make note of whether you took things seriously and gave serious contacts or insulted their intelligence by listing all of your sisters with their married names.
Contact us for assistance with every step on the road from graduate to meaningful employment and ultimately a new career for you.