Before graduation, you couldn’t wait to start looking for a real job that would set the course of your career path. You have clear goals: you’ll be happy with a starting position, but it has to be related to your education and you want to get fair payment for it. Plus, you want that first position to open many doors to career growth.
As soon as you started going through the job ads, you faced the brutal reality: everyone is looking for experience. Even starting positions are not easy to get, since the employers want to see how well you qualify for them. When they take a look at your resume, they want to imagine you as a candidate who would make great contributions for their company. If you manage to leave that impression, you’ll certainly get a call for an interview.
The only problem is: how do you write a great experience when you have zero experience in the industry? Let’s go through some tips that will help you do that.
1. It’s okay to make it short
No one expects a recent graduate to present a lengthy resume with an endless list of previous positions in the relevant industry. Focus on developing the perfect one-page document that shows how well you fit into the job’s description. The conventional resume format offers an objective, and then lists information about the candidate’s education, experience, and skills. This is a classic form that may be boring, but it’s still acceptable and it gives you a chance to focus on the training and skills you have.
Since you spent years at college or university, you won’t have a problem listing relevant coursework in the resume.
2. List your career goals
When you’re applying for a specific job, you need to list clear career goals related to it. This doesn’t mean you should start explaining where you see yourself in 20 years. Be very specific and explain how that starting position is promising for your career growth.
This means that you should amend your resume for each job you apply for. You can’t send out the same resume to different employers, simply because they are not looking for the same things. The parts about your education and experience will remain relatively the same, but you might have to refresh the section for your career objectives more drastically if you want to make it relevant to a particular position.
3. Focus on the education section
Since you don’t have much experience to brag with, you have to bring the focus to your education. Don’t limit this information to the type of degree you hold and the school you’ve attended. If your GPA was higher than 3.0, make sure to include that detail in this section.
Information about relevant coursework is important, since it shows exactly what skills you’ve mastered throughout your years at college/university. Needless to say, you can’t list all courses you’ve attended. Pay attention to the requirements for the job and list only the courses that helped you obtain relevant knowledge and skills.
If you’ve received any academic honors and awards, make sure to include them in the education section. Even extracurricular activities are important, since they show your commitment to make contributions in the real world. If you took part in any clubs, sports, and social groups, you should list them and explain what experience and skills they helped you gain.
For example, you can say that your participation in a football club helped you gain skills of teamwork, leadership, following instructions, and dealing with challenging situations.
4. Add a section for major achievements
Did you notice that you have too much to write about in the education section? Then, you can create a separate section on major accomplishments. This is the part that will contain information about extracurriculars.
Did you take part in student government? Maybe you helped organize important events, or you presented an extraordinary research paper at a conference? Include these valuable details in your resume and relate them to the specific job you’re applying for.
5. Get help
It’s not easy to write your first resume. First of all, it has to be realistic. Hiring managers can easily check all information you include. Thus, you have to find a way to present your scarce experience in the most appealing manner.
If you get stuck and the deadline for the job application is close, you should definitely ask for assistance. Maybe some of your friends are better in writing resumes than you are, so they can help you construct a traditional document in no time.
If, however, you don’t have such friends or you don’t want to bother them with your requirements, you can always hire a professional writer from services like AssignmentMasters. This company enables you to collaborate with certified resume writers, who will use your precise information to compose an impressive resume according to your instructions. If you already have a resume, but you want to update it, you can use the same website to get editing assistance.
6. Try a different format
The classic type of resume still works, but it might not get you enough attention. Remember: you’re competing with several candidates for the same position, so you need to grab the employer’s attention with something different. The infographic resume format, for example, is visually-appealing and informative at the same time. It helps the hiring manager to understand all necessary details about your education, experience, and skills, but it’s much prettier than plain text.
Don’t worry; you don’t need advanced graphic design skills to craft a killer infographic resume. Use a tool like Vizualize.me, which helps you turn your LinkedIn profile into a stunning resume in infographic format.
7. Edit and Update!
Remember: you can’t keep sending the same resume over and over again. You have to adjust it in accordance with the specific requirements of different companies. If you notice that you’re dealing with an employer who values creativity, then opt for the infographic format. If, on the other hand, you want to become part of a company based on traditional values, then play it safe with a traditional resume.
In any case, you need to update and revise your job application documents as frequently as possible. Good luck!