Accepted resume practices for recent college graduates have changed a lot in the last 30 years. That’s good news … and one reason you may want to think twice about taking your parents’ well-meaning advice as you construct your resume for your first job after college.
Many of these resume changes throughout the years benefit recent graduates with limited work experience. If you’re a recent college graduate ready to explore the job market, here’s how to make your resume work for you:
As people who have spent their lives surrounded by technology, recent college graduates have a lot of computer skills that add power to an entry-level resume, even if they haven’t yet used them in a professional setting.
The changing pace of innovation means that more and more companies need employees who are well versed in emerging technology. Although older resumes included only tech experience that applied directly to a past job, a recent college graduate can include a lot of tech knowledge that you may just take for granted.
If you’re a recent college graduate who knows graphic design programs, website design, or has even maintained a blog, consider mentioning these extracurricular abilities on your resume. More companies than ever are considering these resume skills as keys to their success.
Many recent college graduates have held a handful of jobs, maybe in many different fields. That’s okay!
In the past, resumes often displayed a steady employment record within the same field or company. But now, as the job market fluctuates, employers are accepting a wider variety of experience on a resume.
Does your resume span a few unrelated jobs? Even as a recent college graduate, you can show your worth to an employer by describing your various jobs in terms that the company will value. Consider the skills you learned from each of your jobs in college and how they apply on your resume to the job you’re applying for.
Your parents’ resumes might have remained the same throughout their job searches. Nowadays, recruiters want your resume to cater to the specifics of their job.
Recent college graduates should have a resume that changes to fit every job they apply for. Browse the requirements in the job listing and take a look at your resume. Does it show how your experience matches all of the company’s needs? Think about how you can make each of your experiences, even the recent college jobs or volunteer work on your resume, relevant to the job description.
Email has quickly become the accepted way to send a resume and, lucky for recent college graduates, it’s faster and cheaper than the snail mail alternative!
Many employers even prefer receiving resumes electronically – they’re easier to find and won’t clutter their desks. Recent college graduates can take advantage of this resume revolution and send resumes without ever stepping foot in a post office.
Be aware, however, of your potential employer’s preferences when submitting a resume. The job listing will typically state how to submit it – by mail, in the body of an email, or as an email attachment. If in doubt, send your resume in email body itself. You’ll ensure that your employer will be able to open it.
Entering the job market after college can be tough, but recent graduates can benefit from changes in resume conventions. Many modern resume rules favor the recent college graduate, so use them to your advantage as you draft your resume.