Creating and sending out a resume after college is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of your post-grad life. It marks the beginning of full-scale adulthood and hopefully the beginning to a great career in whatever field(s) you’re interested in. But creating that resume can feel very intimidating, and it’s easy to feel like it’s not as “impressive” as you thought it would be. Luckily, most college grads feel that way when creating an out-of-college resume. We’re here to help you create something you feel confident about while making it all look a little bit better!
1. Head it with your targeted job and have an objective that matches
For some reason, this always seems to be surprising information to college kids building resumes, but they’re supposed to be altered for every job application. This means you change your targeted job title (i.e. “Director of Sales” or “Media Relations”) that goes under your name at the top of the resume according to what job you’re applying to. College kids are some of the few people who still use an objective because of their lack of experience, so it should be specific as to what you want to gain or give to that job. Don’t just say, “The opportunity to grow in a well-established company.” It’s too vague. Tell your potential employer what you plan to do and accomplish in that position.
Social Media Intern
Objective: Assist in the marketing and development of (company name) through its various social media platforms by managing content that increases client engagement and awareness.
2. Highlight your education, including any honors, organizations, athletics, etc
Of course, you want to mention your college degree, core GPA, and any academic honors you received throughout school. List organizations joined and positions you may have held, athletics, and key community service/outreach programs you were a part of. This doesn’t mean you mention the 4 hours you spent playing with kids at a YMCA your sophomore year. Only list it if it was a legit partnership with an organization, otherwise, you can say something like, “ Participated in numerous children’s outreach programs as a part of Greek philanthropy.” or however you came about doing this community engagement. No need to be extremely specific or to list every single thing you’ve done.
3. List work experience, what you did at these jobs, and emphasize any relevant experience gained from them
So even if you’ve only had work in retail, yet you’re applying to this Social Media job, you can still expand on what you did during that job that is relevant to this one. Things such as, “Gained experience in customer service and interpersonal skills” and “Provided attention to detail that enhanced presentation and appearance.” Fancy words matter. Don’t be afraid to list “menial” jobs you had, because all work experience is still experience somewhere.
4. Don’t forget “Additional Skills”
This is a very delicate, yet important section. List a few skills that are important and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Always state if your Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or Access proficient or certified if your job has anything to do with a computer or office. Then go on to mention a couple other key skills for your position, like if you’ll be working alongside of other people you want to mention that you’re great with teamwork or communication. Emphasize the skills you know are important to your potential employer.
5. Keep it short and sweet
Typically, a resume shouldn’t exceed a page. You don’t list every personal accomplishment or skill you have, only the important stuff. As long as your objective, education, honors or extracurriculars, prior work experience, and additional skills are on there, you’re good. Try and steer clear of photos or unnecessary designs, it needs to look professional. To get things to fit nicely, the format might take some time to finesse. That’s ok, take your time. Revise it as much as you need to because how you present yourself is important.
These are just a few tips to help you figure out how to get that ideal resume made. There are plenty of online resources that can give you full examples and template to any resume under the sun, but at the end of the day your resume has to be your own. You are marketing yourself to employers, so you want to make sure everything is personalized as it should be. Don’t freak out, because every post-grad has been in your shoes! Once you land that dream job, you’ll forget about the nerves you feel now and will be grateful you took the time to create the perfect resume that represents you and all you aspire to be.