As we move towards the end of the academic session, millions of final year students and fresh college graduates will be looking for jobs. If you are a graduating student from one of the top tier colleges in your country, you definitely are in good hands when it comes to the placement opportunities and career success.
However, there will many students who will not have the opportunity to easily land their dream job or any job at the company placement cycle. So, how do you start preparing yourself to be successful with a good job when you graduate in a few months? Previously, we have discussed how to find your dream job after graduation. In this article, we will discuss resume tips for college students and fresh college graduates.
10 Effective Resume Tips for College Students and Freshers
Co-authored by Andrej Kovacevic
Students spend years in college refining their skills for the career they aspire to. After that, they have to figure out how to enter the workforce.
The key here is doing things right, and that means building an effective resume. The following are a few tips to help college graduates build a good resume fresh out of college.
1. Sectionalize the Resume
Resumes need to be scannable, which means they should be sectionalized. The five most common sections resumes have included a placeholder for contact information, career objectives, education, work or work-related experience, and honors or community involvement.
You can learn how to set this up by looking at resume examples. It may be a good idea to change fonts to highlight some of the most important keywords, phrases, skills, or experiences. Use a lot of white space to ensure readers stay focused while perusing your resume.
2. Get Social
There is no doubt that social media has become important in today’s modern world. You probably have a social media presence one way or another, and your possible employer may want to know that. Be sure to add your business social media account and any others that could make you seem social media-savvy.
Keep in mind that inappropriate language or photographs are not going to help you land that job. It may be a good idea to tailor social media related posts to the career or job you are hoping to get. Think of using hashtags related to your career, or follow companies linked to your career.
3. Emphasize on the Academics
Remember that you are in control of your academic narrative when you build your resume. This means you should be able to highlight your academic career in your favor.
For example, you can show off your GPA if it is above 3.0, or you could highlight academic distinctions instead, such as being on the Dean’s List. You could also mention awards or scholarships you were awarded. If you have some time, get involved in programs you can boast about on your resume later on.
4. Highlight Your Key Skills
Knowledge of key domain skills (any technical software, video editing or graphic design software) can really help you to get an edge over your peers.
Mentioning soft and transferrable skills like public speaking, social media, blogging can also do wonders for you.
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5. Add Relevant Work Experience
The next thing you may want to pay attention to is your work experience. As a college student, you probably do not have a lot of experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t highlight some of your work experience. Remember that your resume will look better if the experience listed is related to the career you’re interested in.
Do not worry about listing a lot of jobs but rather the jobs that relate to what you want to do. Believe it or not, many people make the mistake of adding every single job they ever had to make it seem like they are experienced, but this is a losing strategy, so make sure you keep your work experience as relevant as possible.
6. Demonstrate Awards and Extracurricular Activities
No work experience doesn’t mean you have no experience at all. Those with thin work credits may want to reach into your extracurricular experience. Volunteer or internship work could be listed as long as it highlights your assets.
Awards and extra-curricular achievements are a great way to stand out in the crowd. Ideally, you want to list extracurricular experience that is linked to the career you are hoping to start. Those with enough time may want to go ahead and take volunteer or internship opportunities now while you still can if you do not have much to put in this section. Make sure you excel while doing this opportunity, just in case your employer gives your supervisors a call.
7. Know the Language
Be sure to avoid words or phrases that have been used on countless other resumes. This is going to make your resume sound repetitive and boring; these are characteristics you do not want to have.
Stay away from phrases like “hard-working” or “team player” or any other phrase you see peppered in older resumes. You can use words like “achieved” or other words that help highlight your virtues, skills, and accomplishments. It might be a good idea to break out that thesaurus to find words that others aren’t using much, as long as the words aren’t too obscure because you do not want to confuse readers.
8. Tailored Resumes
It is quite tempting to build a good resume and use that for every job you apply for. This is something you may want to avoid because a resume that has been tailored for each position will likely stand out.
What you want to do is edit each resume you submit, and make sure your skills or experience matches the position you’re applying for as much as possible. Do not make mistakes like saying your objective is to be a photographer when you are applying for a job in finances.
9. Dazzling Resume
Today’s resume can be a lot more interesting than before. More of these documents are being updated in different ways. Digital resumes, for example, can now have things like photographs or videos that help make your resume stand out compared to others.
You can also modify the way you tell your story on paper using things like graphs or charts. Make sure you only use professional printing to ensure that complex images are printed perfectly. These types of additions can make your resume not only stand out but be engaging.
10. Use the Right Keywords
As technology improves, so has the ability to look for candidates to fill a particular job. Many companies, especially larger ones, are now using algorithms to search through resumes and weed out candidates who do not fit a particular position. Sometimes, resumes are ignored simply because the right keywords weren’t used, and you do not want to be part of this group.
Thankfully, there are a number of online tools that help you find keywords you may want to include in your resume; these words are catered to the position you are applying for. Keep in mind that these keywords change depending on the job you are applying for. It should also be noted that some of the online keyword search tools charge you for this information.
Hopefully, some of these points help you stand out as you enter the workforce and begin applying to dream positions. It is important to acknowledge that job hunts take time, and it is quite competitive out there, so be patient and persistent.
Andrej Kovačević is an accomplished digital marketing specialist and an avid internet technologist. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world. Currently, Andrej is the Head of Production at Amebae Online Pty Ltd.
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