College years are usually one of the best. No responsibilities, no pressure, and no nothing. If you did not have fun while in college, then you missed out. But anyway, now that you’re out of college, it’s a different world out there. You have to get a job, pay taxes, take responsibilities and pay the bills. Getting a job is one of the first things that you would have to do. When trying your luck out with employers, you need a resume. Well, since there are a lot of people like you looking for jobs and writing their resumes, it is imperative that you stand out with your resume.
This article will highlight 7 hints to write a resume when you’re just out of college:
- Point Out Your Career Objectives
If you’ve already figured out the career path that you want to follow, then draw some objectives and list them on your resume. Take note that you will have to list this career objective only if you have done serious soul searching and decided on your career goals. If you’re not sure of it, then don’t list it because you will create a bad show of yourself. Most of the time, career objectives are set when the job description is quite specific. For example, an “entry level job in management in the insurance industry.” Thus, when you are drafting your resume, you could use this job description to list your objectives. If you’re still not sure on how to go about this, contact a resume writing service to assist you.
- List Your Education Experience
For fresh graduates, this is usually done as soon as possible in your resume. It is usually at the top. You should put all your schooling details such as:
- Your college major
- Your prospective college degree
- Expected time of graduation
- Your G.P.A
Experts also recommend that you should include any course work that you may have done that’s relevant to the career objective that you have chosen or even your college major. For example, if you did Certified Public Accountants (CPA), it is quite relevant to accounting and auditing careers.
- Evaluate Your Job Experience and List It
When writing your resume, do not be picky when listing your job experience. Whatever job that you may have done in the past, however humble or lowly should not be considered as mundane. You should look at the bigger picture. Ask yourself:
- Did you get the chance to manage someone, a group or a process?
- Did you have a direct interaction with customers, clients, suppliers and other key stakeholders in the business?
- Do have experience as a proprietor of a small business?
The above details add an immense value on your resume. Never underestimate the value of such job experiences. They are what employers look for in your resume. They add onto your points of employability. In fact, they give you a better edge over other people who may be applying for the same job but do not have any job experience.
- Check the Language and Vocabulary that You Use in Your Resume
Your choice of language when writing your resume is quite essential. It is recommended that you pay attention to your tenses. You should preferably write in the past tense. The only instance where the present tense may be used is when you are presently working on a project.
It is also recommended that you use verbs in descriptions. Specifically action verbs. Of course, you may not have accomplished much since you’re straight out of college. However, you can employ the use of verbs such as I managed, developed, created and devised when describing certain activities that you did. You can use a resume writing service to assist you in this regard.
While at it, avoid certain verbs that end in ‘ing.’ They tend to connote a passive experience.
- Establish If Your Course Work Could Amount to Any Job Experience
It is true that some course work is so technical and could be regarded as job experience. In fact, it could be regarded as a full-time job, depending on how demanding it was. What you have to do it to single out all experiences in your course work that are directly related to the prospective job. After you single them out, make sure that you list them all with a vivid description.
You will make reference to you being a student as the current job, and thereafter, you will list all details pertaining to course work or any studies that you have satisfactorily completed. All these should be directly related to your career objective.
An illustration could be as follows: Let’s say that you are a public policy major. One of the units you took required you to research extensively, write and then publish an official policy brief. If your policy brief went ahead to be published, it is quite beneficial for you to capture that in your resume. This is because the action of drafting and publishing a policy brief is a real world experience. Policy formulators, implementers, analysts and generally all policy experts are actually doing that kind of work as part of their daily jobs. Thus, it automatically translates to a present world job experience. It actually adds value to your resume. By fact, this is what employers are looking for; real world experience.
- Make sure that you’re Specific in Your Descriptions. Quantify With Numbers If You Can
You should not overlook the value of being specific when giving descriptions in you resume. It may serve the value of transforming a seemingly menial task to a big time task. Let’s say you were a simple cashier at a local store. This may seem like a menial job. However, the store might be a busy store that serves up to 10, 000 customers on a daily scale. The store may have high volumes of sales that may stack up to $50,000 in a daily scale. Part of your job may have included being involved in the final tally of the day’s receipts and maybe making a deposit to the bank. The clients that your local store serves might be popular stars and local celebrities. Your boss might be a popular business tycoon.
In the case of public policy, you might have drafted a policy brief that caught the attention of the top management. What’s more, they might have endorsed it and actually implemented it.
In the case of project management, you might have actually been given a budget of $5,000 by your employer, but you actually spent $3,000 and completed the project without any compromise in quality.
Well, need I say more? Perfect recent graduates resume have such descriptions. If you’re smart, you should include all this in your resume. It will sound impressive, and you will capture the attention of whoever reads your resume. Trust me, you will be highly revered. Just ensure that you don’t exaggerate or come off as a show-off.
- Do Not List References. Make Them Available Only On Request
Since you’re just straight out of college, it is not imperative that you list any references in your resume. Remember that your resume should at best be one page, so you do not want to waste on references. Normally, employers do not ask for it; not unless you have been shortlisted and actually been called for an interview. They very well know that you have references and they are always optimistic that you will provide them on request. Therefore, refrain from listing references in your resume. Instead focus on telling the prospective employer your ability, capabilities and why they would be better off picking you as the right candidate for the job at hand.
Writing a resume when you are just out of college may seem to be a hard task. However, if you take the above hints, you are sure to not only write one swiftly but also to write a winning resume!
Charles is a career mentor, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on, Twitter, Facebook & Google+.
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