Graduating college is stressful enough to begin with, but piling the post-grad jon search on top of that can be a bracing reality check. Surprise! An impressive GPA and having attended a reputed university doesn’t guarantee you that dream job you have been pining for. If you don’t have a first-rate resumé, you can essentially bid “goodbye” to your chances of being hired, because you’ll never get a foot in the door. What makes an excellent resumé, you ask? It’s a combination of things that include good grammar, concise, well-crafted statements, numbers to quantify experience, etc.
Merely flaunting your skills and pairing it with fancy formatting will not get you a job. You need to convince the hiring manager that all the theories and skills you learned in school can be applied to your actual work in the office. In addition to sounding great on paper, you want to make sure that you can speak to your accomplishments, skills, and achievements with ease during the interview process. You should have an intimate understanding of what employers are looking for when hiring, and how you can tailor your resumé to speak to your strengths (while being truthful!). Let’s take a look at some of the tips, which will give you an edge over others when you apply for a position in a company.
1. Do not oversell yourself.
Hiring managers very well know that given your age, you have very little experience, and so be careful while talking about writing your skills on your resumé. Do not exaggerate, but be honest, and mention only what you have done related to the specific field you are applying. Moreover, do not make your resumé look like something that might be too good to be true. Your hiring manager was not born yesterday, and she will definitely catch your fluff, which will be a hiring turn off.
2. Do not neglect the importance of grammar and spelling.
Yes, it is true that in today’s technologically-advanced world, computers parse most resumés, but there is definitely a high chance that your resumé will fall into the hands of at least one human being. If she sees that your grammar and spelling is all upside down, it would obviously not come off very well to her. If you were in her shoes, would you yourself hire someone who didn’t care enough to make sure their resumé was devoid of spelling and grammatical errors? Probably not. A good way to avoid making common and silly mistakes is to get as many eyes on it as you can in the proofreading stage. Make multiple people read your resumé, and ask them for feedback regarding spelling and grammar. Ask them is anything came off unclear, and ask if there were any areas where you could have expanded/elaborated.
3. Add in those keywords!
Make sure that you add certain keywords relevant to your job throughout the resumé. Don’t just fire off one template resumé to every employer. You should be tailoring them a bit for each posting. For example, advertising and editing jobs are both technically in the same sector, and they both require writing skills, but they are different enough that they would merit two separate resumés that used different keywords to describe your qualifications. Think hard about the certain keywords that would make a hiring manager take notice.
4. Call attention to your educational details.
As a new post-grad, you’ll be short on experience, and the best way you can sell yourself is through your education and previous job experience. When recruiters go through your education, they are not merely looking at grades and GPA, they are also searching for valid internships, jobs where you have volunteered, class projects which have helped you sharpen your skills, etc. Focus on the challenges you overcame while doing projects and assignments, and speak to how you worked on any shortcomings and challenges. Even though all work experience is relevant at this point, if a particular experience is not strictly relevant for the job to which you’re applying, make sure that the description is brief.
5. Include a testimonial.
In my opinion and experience, testimonials are more useful than references because the former shows your potential employer you could have done something worthwhile and gotten positive feedback. Testimonials reveal more nuanced details about your work ethic and character, whereas references are more limiting. Either your university professor or an employer, for whom you worked previously, should write your testimonials. Be careful: if you make your family and friends write one for you, it can look unprofessional and has an unflattering, biased ring to it. It’s advisable to get a work colleague, supervisor, or a former/current boss to write it.
Resumés are the first thing any employer sees of your history and work experience. Take care to get it right, because if you don’t, your resumé will just be tossed in with the rest of the applicants and barely looked at. In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential that it can sell you as a viable applicant (to a certain degree). Emphasize the good, be open about the bad, and leave no stone unturned in trying to make a great first impression with your potential employers. Everyone’s path to finding their dream career will look different, but success lies in mastering the essentials and learning how to translate your skills to employers. Having a kick-ass resumé is the first step in that process, so don’t view the task of building up a great one lightly!
Check out these helpful articles for additional thoughts and help!
- 42 Resume Dos And Don’ts Every Job Seeker Should Know
- Four Simple Résumé Writing Tips You Need To Know
- Tapping the Power of Keywords
Andy Bell is an everyday learner and editor, working at Tutoring help. He loves his job and is very passionate about online learning that helps businesses achieve their goals.
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