The Standout Resume for College Students
Tips to ensure your resume stands out from the masses of job applicants. Get noticed and hired by a prospective employer.
Job hunting for college students who are seeking a seasonal, part-time or full-time employment after graduation can be a real challenge. Unlike seasoned professionals who are already established and armed with earned skills and work experience, college students need to exert extra effort to get noticed.
This doesn’t mean that landing your dream job as a recent college graduate is impossible. Many have done it, and so can you.
A standout resume can help you pursue a job opportunity with confidence. You may already have great skills, work ethic, and a willingness to learn, and you want to showcase this to a hiring manager or your potential employer. Communicating this on paper is your initial and best way to articulate your value proposition. Through your resume, you want to quickly and effectively sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the job.
So, here is how to build a standout resume that is going to get you noticed and get you hired as a college graduate:
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At this point in your career, you might not have as much work experience, but that's okay. In your summary (positioned directly underneath your contact info), you will detail who you are, what you have to offer, and how you could be of value to the potential employer. This is a great place to add in any soft skills that you have that will wow the hiring manager. Here is an example of a great summary for recent college graduate:
Highly motivated, fast-learning, recent college graduate with a strong background in increasing engagement in student-run organizations. Passionate and driven by metrics, with a determination to increase youth engagement in politics through social media marketing.
Of course, make sure your summary is relevant to the job you are applying for.
- Key Skills
What key skills do you possess that match up with the job description? Your key skills could be anything from Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks, or maybe you're really good at social media and you have experience with Twitter and Facebook. Maybe you're great at graphic design and have experience with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Any skills that are mentioned in the job description that you possess must also be included in your resume. This shows the employer that you are a fit based on how closely you match what they are looking for.
- Past Experiences
Show the potential employer your involvement and activities outside the classroom. This could be part-time or full-time employment, internships, student-led organizations, and volunteer experience. This shows the potential employer that you have time-management skills (as you did not just go to class but participated in activities outside the classroom as well), your willingness to expand your horizons, and your well-rounded capabilities. Employers want to see that you were active both inside and outside the classroom.
What have you accomplished in your life thus far? Maybe you received a scholarship for your academic achievements or you were selected to study abroad. Perhaps you excelled in your internships and received an award from the company as a result. List each of your accomplishments, with metrics where possible. Employers hire for results, and listing your accomplishments shows that you are not just a doer but an achiever!
Of course, use strong action verbs and phrases to describe your past experiences, keep your resume to 1-page, and ensure it is properly formatted to be visually pleasing to the eye. Use the above tips to enhance your resume and to make sure it stands out from the masses of applicants and gets you noticed by hiring managers seeking entry-level candidates.