Recent College Graduate Job Application Tips
Now that you know what to include on your resume, its time to learn how to write it effectively.
Here are three expert tips for assembling the perfect job application as a recent college graduate:
1. Highlight your experience as a student
As a new graduate, your college education is your biggest asset entering the job market.
Employers understand that earning a degree requires a variety of marketable skills. However, its your responsibility to demonstrate what those skills are and why theyre valuable.
To do this, include a detailed education section. Mention your GPA on your resume , honors or awards, and your major/s and minor/s. Also, include any study abroad programs you completed as a separate entry in your education section
Additionally, you should highlight extracurriculars or relevant coursework on your resume as entries in your experience section. These experiences help fill in the gaps on your resume if you lack formal work experience, and demonstrate the valuable professional skills youve picked up through your academic career.
2. Emphasize your soft skills
Soft skills, such as communication, team management, or interpersonal skills, are always in high demand from employers. For many entry level positions, hiring managers consider them to be even more valuable than hard skills, because soft skills are notoriously difficult to teach.
3. Write a convincing cover letter
You Didn’t Attend Or Finish College
If you didn’t go to college and the jobs you’re applying for specifically list a high school diploma or equivalent as one of the job requirements, be sure to include that accomplishment on your resume.
If you attended college but didn’t graduate, you may want to list the relevant courses you took, especially if you made it to some of the higher-level classes, to demonstrate the skills you built or the disciplines you were exposed to during your coursework.
How To Put College On Resume If You Havent Graduated Yet
You need to know how to put college on resume if you didnt graduate yet. Including your college history follows the same pattern as listing licenses and certifications. Even if pending, but the degree remains relevant, include it.;
;You have a few choices regarding how to list education on resume if still in college. Include the below information:
- College or university name
- Coursework completed toward or completed number of credits
- Anticipated graduation date if you plan to complete the degree
- Put the pending date with no extra wording the recruiter will understand the meaning.
An example looks as follows:
University of Wisconsin-Madison; Completed 60 credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
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Students And New Grads
Students and new grads with little related work experience may use the education section as the centerpiece of their resumes, showcasing academic achievements, extracurricular activities, special projects, and courses. For example:
;;;;; University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, AL;;;;; B.A. in Advertising, 12/2019
- Team Project: Completed mock advertising campaign for Coca-Cola .
- Course Highlights: Strategic Thinking, Mechanics of Media Writing, Principles of Design, Media Management, Advertising Campaigns, Channel Planning
- Activities: UA AdTeam , Circle K Club , Center for Service and Leadership
About The Authormatt Glodz
Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Resume Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.
After studying business communication at Cornell University, Matt worked within Fortune 500 companies, where he noted that qualified candidates were frequently denied interview opportunities due to poorly written documents.
At Resume Pilots, Matt combines his business and writing background – which includes prior work for a Chicago Tribune publication – to craft resumes that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He works with clients ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing resumes for over eight years.
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What To Include On Your Resume As A Student
Use the resume sections below as a guide to what information you should include in your resume writing. Feel free to add or delete things that arent applicable to you. If you dont have much work experience, build it up by highlighting your volunteer or leadership experience.
Your name and contact infoPut your name, email, and phone number at the top of your resume. If you have a website or social media account that showcases your skills or experience, include links to those too. You want recruiters to be able to reach you and find out more about you.
The main section of any resume is the work history and job experience section. Whether its an internship, a summer job, or babysitting for your neighbors kids, include your experience and give a brief explanation of your role and responsibilities. Use action verbs to keep it positive and impactful, and focus on the positive results and lasting impression you made in that role.
If youre applying to a specific college program or job description, talk about the relevant skills that make you an excellent candidate for that program or position. These can include soft skills, like good communication and interpersonal relationship building, or technical skills, like graphic design or programming. List them all. This is also a good spot to call out any foreign languages you speak.;
Writing A Great Resume As A New College Graduate Is Easier Than You Think
Writing your first resume fresh out of university is intimidating.
Thankfully, it doesnt have to be. Employers know that a college education teaches a variety of marketable skills and expertise. Your resume is an opportunity to demonstrate those skills, and show employers what you have to offer.
To best emphasize your talents as a recent college graduate, your resume should:
- showcase your educational background,
- highlight your coursework ,
- and demonstrate your most relevant professional skills.
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Adding Certifications On Resume
- In some cases, a candidate may not have attended college but may have completed a trade school or other program that resulted in various certifications. These certifications should be included when relevant.
- Certifications such as CPR or First Aid can be useful to include in most resumes, although they should perhaps be saved for a separate certifications section.
Tips For Transfer Students:
As a transfer student, you are in a unique position. If you have completed an associates degree, it is perfectly acceptable to list only the institution from which you graduated in your education section. If you have not yet graduated with an associates degree, or are transferring before you will graduate, you should include both your current institution and your high school. If you studied abroad, that should be listed as well.
If you are transferring into a specific program , consider listing any completed coursework relevant to your prospective degree. You can then continue to add to this section as you progress through college and use a similar version of the same résumé when applying for early career opportunities. You may choose to list an objective as well, but it is not necessary. If you dont have enough room for your other activities, skip it.
For reference, here is a sample college résumé. This blog evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of two college students résumés and offers advice on how to make them stronger. Depending on how far along you are in school and how many activities you participate in, you may want to model your résumé off of either Student Caffés college or high school example.
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How To Format Education On A Resume
While people have different education backgrounds, employers expect that education on a resume be formatted in a readable way.
Follow these steps to format education on a resume:
How To Make A Resume For College Stand Out
Whittle your list down to your most impressive accomplishments. You don’t need to include your GPA and scores, since colleges will see them in your application.
- Include your highest achievements and honors.
- Describe major leadership roles and initiatives you have undertaken.
- Include unusual but impressive activities, experiences, and special skills that don’t fit neatly into the activity sections of college applications.
- If you have spent significant time working outside of school, include your work experience.
- Mention special circumstances, such as a part-time job, that kept you from participating in outside activities as much as you wanted to.
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How To List Relevant Coursework On Resumes
Youve decided to include a related college class or course on your resume.
Though education is important, Id recommend going with the first course option in most cases, as it takes up less room. However, if you lack real-world experience but have an impressive academic background, the third option might be perfect for you.
Keep in mind MORE does not always mean BETTER. Employers, on average, spend 6-8 seconds on your resume. Include what is most relevant and keep descriptions clear and to the point. Erin LewisAssistant Director of Clarion Universitys Center for Career and Professional Development;
If the college coursework youre thinking of writing isnt relevant to the job youre applying for, leave it off!
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Organizing Your College Resume
Organize the information into an easy-to-read document that is no longer than two pages. Below are some categories to consider for your college resume:
- Education: Your high school, GPA, and test scores.
- Activities and work.;Briefly describe the activity, your role in it, your contribution to it, the school year you participated, any leadership positions you held, and how many weeks and hours per week you contributed.
- Honors and awards.;Provide the name of the award or leadership position, a brief description, why you won it, and the date you received it.
- Other experiences and skills.;Choose those that show your initiative and commitment. Describe the experience or skill, the challenges you faced, the period of time you devoted to it, and the result of your commitment.
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Preparing For The Interview
Deciding how to present your online degree can be difficult. Your decision will depend on multiple factors what kind of degree you obtained, what school you attended, the industry you’d like to work in, and what kind of job you’re applying for. But once you’ve decided how you will present your online degree on your resume, it’s important to prepare for the next step in the application process: the interview itself. Below, you will find sample resumes and interview questions to help you practice explaining your education.
Should You List Your Transfer Colleges On A Resume
When you’re trying to land a job, being truthful on your resume is a must — but that doesn’t mean you have to include every detail of your life. If you studied at more than one university, you’ll generally need to include only the institution from which you earned your degree. Still, there are some instances in which you might want to include transfer schools as well.
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Choose The Right Resume Format
Potential employers will spend a short amount of time looking at your resumeusually only several seconds. The easier your resume is to scan, the better you can hold their attention. Most recruiters and hiring managers will focus their attention on the following resume sections:
- Name and contact information
- Employment history
Relevant skills and experiences
The best resume formats are well organized with only the most relevant information and should make efficient use of blank space to avoid clutter.
1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objectivec. Description of role and achievement4. Education5. Skills6. Optional
To ensure your qualities and accomplishments are easily visible, choose a simple layout that allows you to showcase the qualifications that are most relevant to the job posting. To eliminate blank spaces, consider including additional sections that could be helpful for employers like relevant skills, awards and achievements or professional interests.
Pro Tip: For college students or recent graduates, the chronological resume format is recommended for presenting your credentials to employers. This format allows you to present your most important information first.
For more information on selecting a resume format, check out our guides on using the most popular resumes:Combination Resume Tips and Examples – For candidates whose skills are more important than work experience
What Employers Look For In An Education Section
Employers can gather a variety of information about a job candidate from an education section, including:
- A job applicantâs work ethic, reflected through GPAs or other grade-related information
- Relevant skills or training an applicant has received through their schooling
- Name recognition of specific universities, such as ivy leagues, that may give a candidate a leg up on the competition
- Insight into a candidateâs interests or talents based on academic-related extracurricular activities includedÂ;
Understanding what employers are looking for in an education section included on a resume is key to understand how much or how little information to include.
What an employer is looking for will vary depending on the nature of the job being offered.Â;
For instance, an entry-level communications job at a corporation is likely to require a bachelorâs degree in communications or a related field.
Comparatively, a job in the welding industry may require the completion of a trade school program but not require a four-year degree.Â;
It is of the utmost importance when you are applying to various jobs that you read the job descriptions provided carefully, as this is where you will find the necessary information regarding what educational credentials are required of eligible candidates.
This will also help you to tailor your education section according to what credentials or qualifications you have that meet the requirements of the job.Â;
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Currently Pursuing A Degree
You should absolutely include information about you pursuing a degree on your resume. Especially if the position requires whatever degree or certification you’re pursuing. There are two great ways to handle including this information on your resume:
1. State the college you’re attending, degree you’re pursuing, your area of study, current GPA and include your anticipated graduation date; this is very important if your graduation date is within the next 12 months.
2. List the university you’re attending, degree you’re pursuing, area of study, current GPA and the words In Progress. This works well if you’re still going to be in school for a couple of years.
If the degree or certification is a requirement for the opportunity and it has been recently obtained or will soon be completed, I recommend putting your education information at the top of the resume. If the degree or education you have isn’t required or directly related to the position, put it at the end of the resume.
This is also the case if you want to share with the employer that you have some education but you don’t want to advertise that you didn’t complete your education.
Impress recruiters with your disruptive cover letter! now!
So, no matter if you’re a college dropout or a current college student, your resume can look complete and professional with these two strategies!
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How To Create A Powerful Usp
“Why should we hire you?” This is actually one of the most common questions asked in a job interview. If you’re feeling upbeat and glad this question is being asked, you’re at a good starting point because it’s a question that gives you the opportunity to specifically inform the employer what you have to offer, why you make a good fit, and continue to sell, sell, sell to seal the deal to a job offer.
When answering this interview question, there are several things you need to think about:
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When You Didn’t Go To College
If you didn’t go to college or only took a few courses, you don’t have to list them. Of course, you also have the option of leaving college off of your resume entirely, which becomes a better option as you gain valid, relevant work experience.
There are many things you can;include on your resume;besides college, to highlight and prove your qualifications for a job. Relevant coursework, awards, certifications, volunteer positions, and even clubs and hobbies can often be included appropriately in;other sections of your resume.
If you don’t have work or much;other experience, you may want to list your;GED or high school information on your resume. Otherwise, you don’t need to include it. For example:
General Educational Development Certificate
- The Susan Jones Family
- The Dean and Janice Blake Family
- The Franklin Travers Family
How To Include Your Sports Experience On Your Resume
All your resume is, is your personal introduction to any employer.;It is often times the first glimpse of you a company or hiring manager will get.
Weve all heard the old saying First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions, so its very much worth your time to spend the effort and energy to make it stand out when applying for jobs. Throughout the internet, there are many resources that can help you build a powerful resume. You can find formats, verbiage, and samples to guide you. While it is important to take advantage of them, you;might think it’s hard to find one suited specifically for athletes.
A format that is commonly used with student-athletes who are just entering the workforce is what is called a behavioral resume. A behavioral resume focuses more on the character, traits, and accomplishments of the individual than the work history since most athletes don’t have extensive work experience. This works great for transitioning students with lots of talent and potential, but little experience.
Remember, most companies looking for entry-level talent are generally more interested in whats in your head and your heart than your experience. They love student-athletes because they believe that all the dedication, determination, focus and goal orientation and other traits developed through your sport will translate into a being a peak performing employee. Use this to your advantage.
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