During your time at university, you will be reminded time and again to craft your resume. And if you are like a majority of students, then this is something that you have put off for a long time. However, as graduation beckons, you might start freaking out about creating a resume that your potential employers will fall in love with.
But there is no need to be scared, with the right content and layout, you can create a resume that will capture the attention of your potential employers. Below I will outline a comprehensive plan to guide you in the process of creating an eye catching resume.
- Start with an attention grabbing resume title
The first thing your potential employers will see when they review your resume is the title you put. In this case, a resume title has the ability to make or break your job chances. It is therefore important to write a title that will make a great first impression.
The title of your resume should clearly represent how you define yourself and what you do, and it should therefore not be boring and generic. E.g. instead of Accountant, write Graduate Accountant.
Your title should not be misleading, as this will put off your potential employer.
- Create a custom summary section
The next section that you need to focus on is the summary. The summary section is meant to briefly cover your strengths in relation to the job that you are applying for. My tip here is to think of it as an elevator pitch, where you have just a short amount of time to get the attention of the person you are pitching to.
This summary section should therefore be interesting, descriptive, and relevant.
- Include a selected highlights section
Under the summary on the first page, you can opt to include a selected highlights section. This section is a summary of your major accomplishments, and you can list them briefly so that they are easy to read.
This section ensures that your top accomplishments are not overshadowed by the rest of your resume.
- Education Section
As you can already deduce, the education section will cover your qualifications, certifications, and university achievements. If you have a high GPA, make sure that your potential employer knows. If you received important awards during your time in Uni, make sure that your employer can see this.
- Professional Experience
We live in a time and day where job experience is necessary before you finish Uni. And the fact that you were working hard before you graduated needs to be made clear to your potential employer. In this section of your resume you should list the important tasks that you performed, and the major accomplishments that you made.
For example, instead of saying that you managed a team at work, say that you managed a team and the result was an increase in sales. Then go further and use quantitative terms, such as a 10% increase in sales, a 5% increase in revenue, a 20% decrease in waste e.t.c.
In this way you can show your value in terms that can be measured- dollars and percentages. By quantifying your accomplishments you show your employer that hiring you is a great idea. You need to remember that your resume is your personal marketing document, and you should therefore sell yourself, your skills, and your strengths.
- Technical skills
You should also list all the technical skills that you have, but if you are not in the tech industry remember not to use jargon that your potential employers will find hard to understand. Also list the technical skills that are important to your job, so remember to re-read the job ad so that you can determine the skills that your potential employers are looking for.
- List additional activities
In order to give your resume a personal touch, remember to include additional activities like hobbies, interests, and volunteer work. Volunteer work also shows that you have a compassionate side, but do not include any volunteer information that is false/exaggerated.
References come in at the end, and in this case you should write down the names and contacts of your referees. Once you have done that, indicate that the references are available upon request.
- Length of your resume
As a graduate, it is expected for you to have a resume that is 2-3 pages long. This is sufficient to include all the information that we have talked about above.
A resume is not a personal bio, it is a personal marketing document. Using the tips above you can now present yourself in the best possible light, so that you can land the graduate job that you are aiming for. Best of luck!