After they have received their degree, young college graduates will be faced with the real world out there, and most likely, its most important obstacle: getting a job. That is where things get tricky and a bit contradicting because, nearly all employers prefer candidates which have previous work experience. Those that are fresh out of college can’t land a job because they lack job experience, and they lack job experience, because they haven’t had a job in the first place!
Fortunately, this is not the general pattern, but it is a tough market out there, which means you need to make sure that you get noticed. With dozens, or sometimes even hundreds of applicants fighting for the same job opening, they only way to stand apart from your competition is to accentuate your strengths in a manner that won’t be ignored by the employer.
You need to write a killer resume, and here’s how you are going to do it.
1. Use a Serious Email Address
Every time you send in a resume, you will also be disclosing your contact information, including your email address. In order to make it look like you are taking matters seriously, avoid using comical, or random email addresses. Stick to the ones containing your name and/or initials, year of birth, or city you were born in.
2. Pay Attention to the Form
Andrew Myles, who is a professional resume writer over at Resumesplanet, maintains the importance of good form and writing: “We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to turn in a resume which is free of any typos, grammar, or spelling errors. Even your qualifications won’t be able to tip the scales in your favor if there are glaring writing mistakes.” Because of the sheer volume of applications, recruiters are looking for just about any reason to eliminate a particular resume, in order to go over all of the candidates more quickly. Don’t let it be yours.
3. Provide All the Crucial Information
Although you can only fit so much on your resume, it is a good idea to disclose all the relevant pieces of information which might be useful for the employer. Now, be careful not to use general and vague phrases, such as “team-oriented”, “hardworking”, “motivated”, and so on. These don’t really say much, plus everybody else is using them already. Instead, put in something that is a little more specific or measurable. For instance, accolades, awards, and accomplishments speak volumes, because you come off as someone who really is hardworking, motivated, and ambitious.
Even if it’s just an Employee of the month award from a dead-end job you worked for a while a few years back, be sure to mention it.
4. Put an Emphasis on Your Accomplishments
This one is a logical continuation of the previous tip. Even if you don’t have previous work experience, you can still list the awards you’ve received as a student, along with all the internships you’ve taken part in. Although your work on team projects should be mentioned, your individual work should receive top priority. Also, be completely honest about it, because if you choose to embellish the truth, it will come out sooner or later. However, you shouldn’t be too modest either. It’s not bragging if it’s true, so say it.
The good thing about your accomplishments is that they are factual, so you don’t need to waste any time on presenting them in a clever or unique way. They are what they are, so being straightforward is the best way to go.
5. Be Short and to the Point
Even though you are supposed to share all the relevant bits of information on your resume, always keep in mind that it needs to be concise and relatively short. Recruiters go over resumes in less than 30 seconds, so if you have huge blocks of text on your resume, or if the resume is several pages long, they will just gloss over it, and it will most likely get dismissed. Instead, try and keep everything divided neatly into bullet points, so that it’s easier for the employer to analyze.
6. Make a Strong Impression
Because there are often many people applying for the same job as you are, recruiters will go through a bunch of resumes quickly, and dismiss most of those even quicker, so you only have a few moments to capture their attention with your own resume. Don’t waste time on a long-winded intro. Go straight to the point. Also, mention the position you are applying for, because sometimes companies will be hiring people for several different positions, and this way you save the recruiter some time. Of course, you should also state why you are the best possible candidate for the job, because it shows you are confident in your abilities and knowledge.
Do you consider yourself an energetic, ambitious, and skilled person who is also a quick learner? Of course you do. Well, your resume is the only way of letting the recruiters know that, so make sure to present yourself in the best possible light. The only way to make a more lasting impression on them is to meet them in person, and you can only do that is your resume is brilliant and they invite you for an interview.
7. Change Your Resume Depending on the Job
If you have applied for several different jobs with different companies, they have no way of knowing if you applied elsewhere, let alone if your resume is the same. But, take the time to tweak your resume depending on the requirements of the job. Highlight some of the items on your resume if you think they are more relevant for a particular job, or eliminate some if you feel like they wouldn’t increase your chances of getting hired.
About the author
Micheal is a resume writer and editor. He’s psyched about marketing, business, blogging and SMM. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook