Congratulations – you’ve just graduated from college! We love to see it. This is a great milestone in your life and your career and we hope you are as proud of yourself as we are of you.
In the midst of all the celebration and the grad photoshoots, many of you are probably also thinking about what’s next and how to land your dream job now that you’re officially a college grad. We know the job hunt can be stressful, and sometimes trying to figure out what to put on your resume is a challenge in and of itself. But rest assured – as a recent graduate with not much experience under your belt, there are still ways you can stand out from your peers and catch the attention of your dream employer.
Here are five tips on how to build up your resume when you’re just starting out in the working world.
Tip #1: Add in your college extracurriculars with descriptions of accomplishments.
You might think that your extracurriculars are just fun or educational side activities at your college, but they can actually serve as solid experience on a resume. Listing the activities you were part of, the way in which you interacted with a group of people and how you contributed to the overall goals of the extracurricular can be tremendously helpful in adding credibility to your resume. If you held any sort of position as part of a club or extracurricular, adding that to your resume can also demonstrate your leadership skills.
Tip #2: Quantify your resume, including hours worked on a project, number of projects completed, number of classmates, team members or coworkers worked with, etc.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. They add another layer of credibility to the projects you’ve worked on. For instance, if you took a business class with lots of group work, you didn’t just do group projects. Instead, you worked on 5 projects and collaborated with 30+ students to examine and analyze stock performance over time. And if you can throw in a percentage, that’s icing on the cake. Look for ways to add tangible results or numbers to your resume.
Tip #3: Add in college courses and projects you worked on.
Like extracurriculars, your college courses can also add value to your resume. If any of the courses you took are related to the profession you’re interested in pursuing, they can be useful in demonstrating what you’ve learned in that specific field. For instance, if you studied communications and are pursuing a career in journalism, adding in the courses you took can provide additional context about the knowledge you can offer your future employer.
Tip #4: Highlight the skills you’ve gained over the past four years, even if it’s just from classes.
Show them the receipts, girl! You’ve just spent years in school learning and growing – you’ve got lots to offer your future employer. Whether it’s a deep knowledge of Microsoft Office, video editing software, website design software, engineering software, teamwork, communications, social media, event-planning or anything else under the sun, these skills will demonstrate that you’d be a great addition to any company and team.
Tip #5: Include more about you, including a portfolio website or a summary at the top.
A summary gives employers an overview of your experience, your interests and your aspirations. A look into who you are can boost your image in the eyes of your employer – and also give them an idea of what you’re looking for in the job you’re applying for. And if you have a portfolio of any of your work, be sure to add a link into your resume so that companies can get a glimpse of what you’re capable of producing.
With these five adjustments to your resume, you can position yourself as an avid learner, a go-getter and an experienced team player. Set yourself up for success, sis, and go secure the bag.