Ways New Grads Can Fine-Tune the Resume to Land the Job
A new chapter of life begins as you move from college student to graduate. The opportunities are boundless as you forge ahead into the career world. Before the journey begins, you need to perfect the resume to help you land that job.
For some, the first job after college will come easily. For others, there may be some major hurdles to overcome. One thing is for sure– if you have a fine-tuned resume, the journey to landing your first job after college will be far less stressful.
Here are ways to ensure you have a fine-tuned resume that’s ready for the job hunt:
Leave Off the Mailing Address If You’re Not Local
Hiring managers and recruiters only give the resume a few seconds of attentive scanning. In that time, they are evaluating for factors that would give them a reason to pull you out of the running. It can be anything from irrelevant experience to your location.
If you require relocating, employers may see that as something that complicates the hiring process and decide to move on to a local candidate. What you can do on your resume is forgo the mailing address and list only the City, State and Zip Code of the employer. Most employers today only require that you show an email address and phone number for contact purposes, but for those who use applicant tracking systems (ATS), some do require you to include details on City, State and Zip Code. Remember to keep the email address professional with your name or a term that may be relevant to your career. And, if you can obtain a phone number with a local area code that will be best. You may need to reveal if you’re not local to the area at some point, but the resume is not the place for it.
Highlight Experience & Skills Relevant to the Job
It’s understandable that most graduates don’t come out of college with years of professional experience to show – and that’s okay. If you have relevant internship experience, volunteer work, or course work to show, let this be your opportunity to shine. However, if the only experience you have to show are random jobs you’ve held while attending school, make sure you highlight the experiences in a manner that can apply to the new job.
DO NOT simply indicate that you were a cashier at McDonald’s taking orders from customers, a waiter at Friendly’s serving food, or a delivery boy for Pizza Hut. Think of the experience from a perspective of how it can help you on the job after college. Perhaps you had experience dealing with a range of customers with different personalities and that has helped you prepare for a job as a nurse where you’ll need good interpersonal skills dealing with a wide-range of patients. Think of ways in which you can present your experiences and skills that will benefit your employer on the job.
Keep Information Succinct
Many debate over how long the resume should run. Some say keep it to one single page. Others say not to worry about the length because it’s about what the content warrants. For most new grads and entry-level professionals who have limited workplace experience and skills, a one-page resume should provide you with ample space to tell your story.
If you’re having trouble keeping the resume to one page, find tips on what you can remove reading: “10 Things to Remove from Your Resume.” Finding the right balance for your resume is essential, whether it’ll be the hiring manager or the ATS that’s reading your resume. For more tips, read: “The Debate Over Resume Length, Unraveling the Truth.”
Keep these pointers in mind when writing your resume. You’ll be better positioned as a professional and have a better chance of success! Having the help of a professional resume writer can also help ensure you properly brand your story as a professional just starting out in the workplace.