You’re a college senior and looking to start your career. Congratulations! This is a great time to get ready for that next step by making sure your resume is ready for prime time.
A lot of students don’t put much thought into their resumes because they think that it won’t matter until they’re applying for jobs after graduation, but getting started with job hunting now can benefit you later on.
It might not be a wise choice to apply just yet. However, you should take some steps now while still in school to gain an advantage over the other job candidates. By doing so, you might land a job as soon as you step down from the graduation stage.
Have A Look At Resume Examples
The first thing you should do to prepare your resume during your senior year is looked at examples of professional resumes. Doing this allows you to understand how to model your resume. Be sure to look at examples specific to your job sector to know what relevant experience and skills to list.
Using resume templates will also help you outline your resume like a professional. By using examples and templates, your resume will appear as if you have been working for years. With these tools, you’ll have a job application a senior employee would be proud of.
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Highlight Your Education
Your education is the most obvious way to stand out on a college senior’s resume. Here are some things you should consider adding:
- GPA: If you have excellent grades, you’re likely to be more successful in college or post-college life than someone who does not.
- Relevant Courses: You should highlight courses you have taken that have to do with the job position.
- Award-worthy projects: If you have completed projects recognized by your college or university, highlight them in your resume.
Hiring managers always love to see real workplace experience. However, if you had a lot of success in college, they will give you a lot of consideration as well.
Mention Related Internships
When you mention the internships and jobs you have completed, make it clear why they are relevant to your intended career path. For example:
- Relevant job shadowing: It shows employers that you are willing to learn.
- Relevant volunteer work: It demonstrates to employers that you have empathy towards others. Many hiring managers value this trait in an employee.
- Internships (paid or unpaid): An internship is only training, but it counts for a lot. If you have done an internship, you have some work experience to go along with your college accolades.
Internships and volunteer work are very valuable, even if other candidates have more experience. They are also great ways to get a letter of recommendation from the person who was in charge. If you haven’t done an internship or volunteer work, it would be a good idea to do one before graduating.
Give Examples Of Your Leadership Skills
Your resume should not just be a list of your hard and soft skills. It should show that you are a leader who has accomplished things, so it isn’t enough to simply say “led team” or “headed committee.” As a college senior you may feel you haven’t proven yourself. However, it is possible to show you have leadership abilities, if you include the following:
- Specific leadership skills. If you are applying for a position at a company that does market research, including how well you know the field and why you’re interested in working there.
- Leadership positions or activities: These could have been held at school and/or outside of school (like volunteering). For example: “Served as president of my sorority’s philanthropy board and led us in fundraising efforts.”
This information should be up-to-date before you submit it to a company. If possible, update it every week or two while it’s circulating with employers, so they can see all recent work experiences listed on one document.
Use Words Relevant To Your Job Position
You might think the most important thing is getting your experience and skills down on paper. Some people don’t realize that there are also words on a resume that can hurt your chances of landing a job.
Once again, we’re talking about keywords—specific words and phrases listed in a job description. If you don’t use these specific words when writing your resume, you’ll significantly lower your chances of getting the attention of an employer who’s looking for someone like you.
Make sure those keywords get noticed by employers at all levels of seniority (from entry-level to executive).
Learn about key roles within each industry and position type (i.e., Accounting assistant versus brand manager). This will help hone in on which role best fits where you want to be working.
Including words that have nothing to do with the vacancy will hurt your chances overall.
Make Sure To Proofread
Before you send your resume out, it’s important to make sure that it’s error-free. Here’s how:
- Review the document.
- Get a second opinion.
Read through your resume carefully, looking for any mistakes and typos. If you find any, fix them right away; otherwise, they may be flagged by an HR rep or hiring manager as proof that you’re not detail-oriented enough for the job.
Ask someone else to proofread your resume as well. Make sure you ask someone to give you an honest opinion and know how a resume should look.
If you find any errors, get them fixed before you hand in your document to a company.
Making sure that your resume is ready for when it is time shows great preparation on your part. For college students, it still may seem far away but it is a great idea to be prepared to apply for jobs.
The key takeaway here is to ensure everything on your resume is relevant to the job you want, and you show off your best attributes.
Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned business and technology blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable articles with the audience.