Writing resumes for new graduates is tough. If you’re reading this then you know the feeling. You studied your butt off, you’re fresh out of school and you want a job. You have little or no work experience. Worse off, every job you apply for requires experience! What do you do? Frankly, it’s not easy but you need to optimize your chances of getting a job by properly show-casing the things you can contribute to the position. By highlighting education, projects, coursework, and internships, a new graduate can demonstrate why they would be an ideal candidate for a position.
In addition to avoiding common resume mistakes, here are a few tips for recent graduates to write a strong resume:
1. Emphasize Your Education:
Your education will be the closest thing you have to experience so make sure you highlight it. Place an “Education” at the top of your resume, just below your professional summary. In it, include your education details. If your GPA is above 3.0 consider including it. In addition, adding some relevant coursework can demonstrate your background more clearly.
2. Write a Professional Summary:
A professional summary is a brief summation of your experience. Think of it as an “elevator pitch.” In it, you should try to explain how your education and professional experience (if any) makes you an ideal candidate. Avoid fluff words like driven, self-starter, team-player, and the like. Focus on concrete skills. For example, “[E]nterprising graduate student pursuing a Master of Computer Science with experience in software engineering, computer algebra, distributed systems, data structures, and human computer interaction.”
3. Highlight Related Experience:
If you have work experience make sure you include it. If you volunteered, interned, or contributed to organizations in your school highlight it in a way that demonstrates why it’s related.
4. Edit it:
You should proofread your resume at least three times because the spell checker on MS word misses a lot of contextual errors and doesn’t correct run-on sentences and poor word choice. Consequently, it is important as it will demonstrate your writing ability and attention to detail.
5. Use a Professional Sounding Email:
Remember, you’re a professional now. Therefore, your email should reflect this. Think, YourName@Gmail.com.
These tips will help optimize your resume for entry-level roles and allow you to put those hard years of study to work! For new graduates, it’s essential they always include a cover letter and tailor it to the positions they are applying for.