You’re excited about your career direction – so much so that you went to the effort of undertaking higher education to prepare you for it. While it will fast track you through the ranks if you demonstrate the same degree of on-the-job dedication that you devoted to your years of study, you can’t expect to start at the top. Look for jobs ads that indicate a willingness to hire recent graduates, and if you’re not sure, call HR and find out whether they would welcome a graduate application.
Once you’ve found a post that could kickstart your career, it’s time to draft a resume. Free resume templates should offer you a structured format for your resume. But what information should you include in it? After all, you probably don’t have a great deal of work experience to detail. Since you don’t have much of a track record yet, use your resume as a way to demonstrate your potential – why you’re the kind of person a specific company might want to hire and develop. Here’s how.
1. Show How Your Studies Have Prepared You for the Post
Once your career has progressed somewhat, your experience will replace coursework on your resume. But for now, it’s significant in showing that you studied topics that could be of help to the company who is looking to hire. Don’t list every single course you completed. Think about the post and which of your courses would have the most relevance. Relate them to the hard skills that are specified by recruiters.
2. Feature Internships
You probably already know that your internships will add value to your application. Student interns often make valuable contributions to the organisations that employ them. Show how you contributed to organisations during your internships along with any measurable results you achieved. At the very least, your internships will have given you exposure to workplace challenges that may be relevant to your current job application. Think your experiences through with specific reference to the post you’re hoping to land and contextualise the way you describe them accordingly.
3. Academic Achievements and Awards
The mere fact that you studied in a certain direction and completed your qualification already demonstrates a level of dedication. If you not only completed your studies but excelled in them, it shows your passion for the field as well as a high level of motivation and willingness to learn. In this sense, any academic achievements and awards are relevant to your job applications, so include details.
4. Volunteer Work, Activities, Projects, etc
Recruiters reading graduate resumes are looking for enthusiasm and people skills too. Are you an achiever in areas other than academia? It may say a lot about the type of person you are. Sporting achievements, for example, could show experience of teamwork, determination, and perseverance. Raising funds for charity demonstrates a strong sense of social responsibility and community.
Leadership in any area: sport, volunteer initiatives, or clubs and societies shows organising skills and management potential that can be developed. An artistic hobby might indicate creativity. If you can link your activities to the “soft” or “people” skills that recruiters specify, it’s one more way to show that you have potential as a new hire.
Showcase Achievements but Stay Humble
Nobody likes a new graduate with an excess of ego. State your achievements simply, referring to the job specifications, and stick to what’s proveable. Emphasise a willingness to learn and gain experience rather than presenting yourself as an expert. Remember that knowledge only becomes skill after it has been put into practice. Your education has given you a head start in that regard, and should allow you to advance faster, but it probably doesn’t yet qualify you for a senior position.