As a recent graduate, I completely understand the overwhelming feeling that most students probably get as they make their first attempt to enter the workforce. After all those long hours spent working so hard to attain a degree, many students graduate with the wrong mindset. Postsecondary institutions give students the impression that once they have graduated, jobs will be plentiful and easy to find. I think that most new graduates will agree that this is most certainly not the case in today’s market.
Finding a job as new graduate is like finding a needle in a haystack -an exhausting and virtually impossible process. Despite all the challenges you face as a new graduate, there are some things that you can do to your resume in order to improve your chance of scoring that first interview.
The tips I’ll be discussing in the following weeks will hopefully help you stand out among a large pool of resumes, and assist you in attaining the interview of your dreams!
Resume Tip of the Week: Highlight What You Brought to Your Past Jobs
As a new graduate, you may feel as though your resume is comprised of lots of odd jobs that may not be relevant to the job you are applying to. This can be overwhelming when you are competing against students who have scored amazing internships or summer jobs. Don’t get down on yourself. Let your resume be an opportunity for you to promote exactly what you have done in any past role, and then highlight how it will be beneficial to your potential employer.
New Graduate Resume Guide: Key Things to Remember
- Employers want to know what you will bring to the table
- Rather than focus on listing tasks you did at a job, explain how you contributed to your previous jobs
I worked one summer as a tutor for learning disabled students. When I created my resume, rather than listing my daily activities, such as:
- “Watched students practice typing, draw pictures, and practice cursive writing”
Instead, I used this job position as a way to show how I helped the children:
- “Improved students reading and writing skills one to three grade levels”
Another thing you will want to do in your resume is provide quantitative facts. This will help paint a clearer picture in the hiring manager’s mind of your role. For example:
- Rather than listing, “I was a waitress at a restaurant,” a waitress could write on her resume, “Sold an average of $350+ worth of food and drinks each shift”
- Employers will be impressed to see exactly what your added value was to any previous employment experience, no matter what the job was
Review your work history and think of concrete ways you added value to your past employers. Now add those achievements to your Work Experience descriptions.
Good luck with your job search! Come back next week for some more resume tips.