One of the first arduous tasks that everyone faces during the college years is creating their first resume. Whether it be for an internship or a first job out of college, we all need to have a resume to help us take that first step into our future.
Creating your first resume is one of life’s milestones because it helps to shape the career path you are going to take in the future. Here are some tips for creating your first resume:
- Highlight your educational credentials prominently on your resume. When it comes to showcasing your education, the best strategy is to highlight your academic credentials in a high visibility position on your resume. This usually means placing your education at the top of your resume so that it gets top billing. You need to play up your strengths on a resume to show why you are qualified for a job or internship. What better way than to focus on your most impressive asset up until this point—your degree.
- Chronicle your experience by capturing the high points of your career so far. Most college students have limited experience to reference on their first resume. Students that are pursuing advanced degrees may possess slightly more experience. No matter how much experience you have in a career field, there is always something that you can extract from what you have done so far. If you do not have any experience whatsoever, you can always draw links to professional tasks you performed through extracurricular activities, clubs, volunteer work, or even general life experiences. Everyone has skills that can be used in a professional capacity, but the key is figuring out which skills matter most in relationship to your career goals.
- Identify affiliations, volunteer work, or community relations that make you stand out. The goal of your resume is to personally brand you while highlighting your achievements and unique qualities that distinguish you from other candidates. A great opportunity to showcase your skills presents itself through extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or community events. You can identify any leadership roles you were charged with in a school club or reference unique activities that add value to your professional skills.
- It is never too early to create a LinkedIn profile that complements your resume. You might be thinking that you cannot possibly populate a LinkedIn profile with anything of real tangible value because you are in the infancy stages of your career. If you fall into that trap, then you immediately place yourself at a disadvantage because other college students and recent graduates will already be featured on LinkedIn. Your goal is to show that you are advancing your career and continually building your professional network. That speaks volumes to hiring managers and helps to set you apart from other candidates.
Creating a resume as a college student or recent graduate helps to lay the groundwork for the rest of your career. Highlighting educational credentials, capturing experience, and showcasing your skills will position you in a positive light with hiring managers. Leveraging all of your professional resources and creating your LinkedIn profile can only further enhance your resume while projecting that you are the candidate hiring managers have been searching for in a sea of job applicants.