If you're unsure where to start or what to include in your entry-level college grad resume, we're here to help!
TopResume partnered with TheJobNetwork to produce a webinar all about resume writing for the recent college graduate. Watch the following video to learn how to write the perfect recent-graduate resume for an entry-level position.
Also, check out a sample resume below to help craft the perfect resume for your job search.
Below are 14 reasons why this is an excellent resume for a recent college graduate.
1. He used a professional-looking email address
The email address firstname.lastname@example.org may have been funny when you were in college, but it's not the best choice to represent your professional brand in the working world. Do yourself a favor and set up a professional-looking email address that's reserved for your job-seeking activities.
2. It includes a customized link to his LinkedIn profile
Not only is LinkedIn a great place to build your professional brand and make connections, but recruiters also expect to find you on there. In fact, a survey found that more than 90 percent of employers use LinkedIn to search for and evaluate job candidates. Make it easy for them to find you by including the link to your profile at the top of your resume. Take it a step further and customize your LinkedIn profile URL so it matches your brand and fits nicely on your resume.
3. The professional summary isn't full of fluff
It can be tempting to throw a bunch of buzzwords such as “ambitious” and “self-starter” into the summary section of your college-grad resume, but employers know these are pure fluff and won't be impressed when they read them. Don't tell employers how you're a great team player. Instead, explain how you served on a committee to raise money for your lacrosse team or received accolades for a group project during your internship. Click on the following link for more tips to craft your professional summary.
4. Nicholas optimized his resume with relevant keywords
Your job application needs to get past multiple gatekeepers before it makes it into the hands of a hiring manager. Take a look at the job listings you're interested in and identify the key terms and phrases that routinely pop up. If you have those skills or were exposed to that industry or process, incorporate them into your resume. You can add them to a Core Competencies section, similar to Nicholas' resume, or incorporate them throughout the Work Experience section.
5. There aren't any mentions of high school
Hiring managers are interested in what you've done lately, not what you accomplished four or more years before you went to college. Focus on highlighting your activities, accomplishments, and the work experience that took place during your college career, calling special attention to anything that directly supports your job goals.
6. He lists his GPA
Only list your GPA on your entry-level resume if it's a 3.0/4.0 or higher. If the GPA in your major is higher than your overall GPA, feel free to use that instead. However, keep in mind that employers will know why you didn't include your GPA and may ask you about it during the interview process.
7. Nicholas didn't include his coursework
If you've held at least one internship that's relevant to your degree and career goals, there's no reason to also include a list of the courses you took. Employers will value your internship experience over the stuff you learned in the classroom any day of the week. However, if you did not intern, include a list of the 400-level courses you took that are most closely tied to your job goals to show hiring managers what subjects you're familiar with.
8. It plays up Nicholas' selling points
The format of your entry-level college-graduate resume will depend on the information you have to work with. If you have a ton of great internship experience, highlight that just below your professional summary and education sections. If you didn't hold any jobs that were related to your future career, play up other information instead, such as the high-level courses you took, major projects you participated in, academic or athletic honors you received, or extra-curricular activities that demonstrate your leadership skills. In Nicholas' case, we divided his experience into two categories so his relevant internships took the spotlight.
9. Each employer has a company description
Help employers get a better understanding of the industries and work environments you were exposed to by including a line that describes each company with which you held an internship. If you're tight on space, feel free to eliminate this information for your summer jobs that aren't related to your current career goals. You can also omit this information from your internships if they were all held at companies with big, well-known brand names.
10. Nicholas bulleted the most important information
Use bullet points to draw attention to the information you believe recruiters will care most about. This may include an accomplishment or other major contribution you helped your team achieve.
11. Action verbs are used to describe his work experience
Notice how the bullets under Nicholas' roles begin with an action verb? This information focuses on how Nicholas contributed to an end result. When you're new to the workforce, you may not have many major accomplishments and contributions to include in your resume; however, use action verbs (e.g. created, led, managed, improved, developed, built) to describe your activities.
12. His extracurricular activities and honors are provided
Your first resume out of college should play up your best selling points. This may include any projects or extracurricular activities you held while attending college, as well as any scholarships or other honors you received during that time. Click on the following link for more tips on how to build a resume using college involvement as experience.
13. Nicholas' relevant skills are listed
Take a closer look at the job descriptions that interest you and note what technical skills they expect you to possess. This may include proficiency with a particular software program or language skill that's considered valuable in your chosen field. If you have a working knowledge of these platforms, list them on your resume. If you keep seeing a skill or tool mentioned that you don't know much about, look for free or low-cost online courses on the topic to bolster your skill set. Resources such as edX, SkillShare, and Lynda.com are great places to start.
14. References are not included
As an entry-level professional, you only get one page of resume real estate — don't waste it by adding references or the phrase “References available upon request.” Employers usually won't ask for this information until you make it to a face-to-face interview, and they know you'll provide it if they request it.
Looking for more samples and advice? Click on the following links to check out a recording of our recent resume-writing webinar and take a look at another recent college graduate resume sample I wrote for Business Insider.
Need help with your post-grad resume? Learn more about our professional resume-writing services to get a resume like the one above.
- Bad Resume Advice You Should Completely Ignore
- The Hottest Entry-Level Jobs for Recent Grads
- 17+ Job Resources for College Graduates