Recent grads or soon-to-be graduating students face an exhilarating next chapter. Most already have planted career seeds along the university journey, learning practical skills through the classroom, internships, part-time jobs, volunteer activities and sports affiliations.
Taking advantage of your already honed skills and abilities while also fanning the flame of passions helps to fuel a powerful resume story.
However, many graduates fall short when constructing their career vessel. Assumptions often weaken the opportunity to build a strong, interview-landing resume that will outperform your competitor. Following are three assumptions you will want to avoid and how to circumvent them:
The “I don’t have any real experience” assumption. Thinking this way diminishes the real thought work and effort involved in articulating your meaningful value.
Most graduates have compiled enough experience and results to fill a small book. To hone that experience, you must first dissect your day-to-day. Start with your most recent year of school. Did you carry a full course load? How many hours? What was the most difficult class, and why? Did you perform group projects? Case studies? Did you work a part-time job (on- or off-campus) or an internship? What was your role? Did you perform in a customer-facing role? What did clients say about your work and your service?
Did you learn to use specific software applications? Which ones? Did you learn how to analyze problems better? What types of problems? How did you fix specific issues? Did you get a chance to manage people or projects? What was the outcome? Did you have to work fast and efficiently to meet deadlines at work while also juggling coursework and grades? How did you adapt to ensure you got everything done? What systems did you employ? What tasks were you complimented for? What did you do that made you feel empowered, and ‘in the zone?’
You get the drift? You’ve done a lot, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Continue reading here: Resume Tips for New Grads.
Most new graduates undersell their value. University career services, friends and family cite staid resume rules that stifle their message. Moreover, old-school traditionalist formats and content strategies still pervade the Internet, school halls and libraries.
As such, students on the precipice of their careers, armed with freshly minted degrees often shortchange their job search by building a lackluster, conformist and outdated resume strategy. Following are three ways to break through the resume barriers strangling your new-grad job search to create a gleaming and compelling story.
1. Treat Your Resume as a Marketing Document. Selling your value starts early in your career. In fact, if you’ve been involved in internships, active in campus fraternities, sororities, athletics or other clubs and affiliations, then, in addition to your good grades and completion of your four-year degree, you have a multiplicity of activities to sort through to articulate your value. For many, part-time (or even full-time) jobs during the school year or summer breaks also offer meaty achievements stories that should brighten your resume, grabbing the attention of your target readers.
This person was the captain of his basketball team. Instead of just simply listing his role as captain, ABC University Basketball Team, he teased out his achievements stories, as in the following example:
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A new grad client who graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics landed a job in just a few months with our 3-PAGE, focused resume (+ interview coaching). The resume touted multiple leadership roles: captain of his basketball team, graduate assistantship and more!
He was regularly complimented that his resume was a ‘short story’ vs. ‘an avalanche of facts or statements.’
HOW did he land so fast?
He was confident in his story.
While 11/12 people offering feedback were complimentary, he confidently (and courteously) eschewed advice that he should cut (critical) content from his resume. As well, he moved outside his comfort zone in reaching out to C-level leaders and hiring decision makers through social media and email to get voice and face time.
This tenacity, blended with humility and talent, ultimately helped him land a position that he initially was rejected from for not being a ‘perfect match’ to the job description.
This new grad’s story is another great example of not relying on automated screening systems and getting out there and courteously hustling, putting your ‘face into the wind‘ in job search, whether it’s early in your career or advanced.
Photo via @eternalgr8ness