Resume Tips for Future Graduates
Ah, the college years. When your biggest worry is who you will end up sharing a dorm room with or whether you can get into that 10 am math 101 class instead of the one with the dreaded 7:30 am start-time and the professor who likes to ask too many questions for such an unreasonable hour. Or maybe it’s the scheduling conflicts between that chill commons poetry reading and the annual fraternity party that you managed to score an invitation to.
Whichever your particular stresses, it can be easy as a young, still-in-college, student to focus on your daily hurdles rather than using the energy to make plans for the future. After all, what could be more important than trying to figure out how to game your cafeteria plan to maximize savings and avoid long dinner lines? The truth of the matter is, however, that graduation day is sooner than you think and while tossing that hat up in the air and partying with friends and family may seem like the accumulation of years of hard work, it’s really just a brief pause before the real work, and real world, starts.
If you’re nearing your final years of college or graduate school, there is no time too soon to start preparing for your future in the workforce. One of the most critical elements in successfully scoring a desirable job in your preferred field right out of college is an accurate history of your education, experience, and qualifications. In all the hubbub and excitement of final exams and graduation, preparing a solid resume can often become overlooked.
While some will find themselves scrambling to scrap together a passable CV only once they start applying for jobs after graduation, savvy students will find the process easier and the end product more successful if they get an early start on a stellar resume. Resumes can even be used throughout your college years to help apply for internships or scholarships and, depending on your school, can even be uploaded to various networking and alumni resource sites to help you get ahead of the hiring curb.
The earlier you start creating and maintaining a viable resume the less stress you’ll have as you near, and pass, graduation day. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy their short, post-college, vacation break, rest assured that they have a future career plan locked up?
Keep Your Notes
Starting early is one thing, but you’ll be hard pressed to put together a resume at any stage if you’re struggling to accumulate years worth of GPA’s, experience, and other critical milestones. Upon applying for their first position in the career-world, the majority of graduates will have little to no prior work history. It also will have been several years, and more than a few late nights spent “studying” since your high school days.
Long before your graduation day is approaching, start tracking, storing, and document vital information for your future CV. Graduation dates, specific courses, volunteer work, and study focus areas will all be plus factors to help flush out a resume that will be otherwise light on actual work history. These type of details will also help convey to future employers that you’re prepared and organized, two critical qualities in the professional world you’ll be looking to join.
Track Your Accolades and Contacts
Were you the valedictorian of your High School class? Rank in the top percentile of your ACT or SAT, or AP course exams? Perhaps you made honor roll straight through your college years or received awards for your volunteerism or extracurricular activities? Keeping a list of these accomplishments, if not the awards themselves will be handy when you need to start preparing a resume to enter the professional workforce.
If you’ve had the opportunity to volunteer or intern with an organization, be sure to snag a business card or otherwise jot down the best way to contact your manager or supervisor to use as a reference in the future. One of the most frustrating aspects many newly minted jobseekers face is a mad scramble to collect data, look up information, and otherwise verify facts they may need in order to apply for post-graduate jobs. Maintaining these records as you go will help ensure you have the information you need to hop on career opportunities quickly as they arise.
Reach out for Format and Creation Help
Last but not least, for those of us that haven’t been around the block long enough to have seen dozens or hundreds of iterations of our resumes, it can be difficult to know just where to start. As we’ve previously discussed in the Rescue my Resumes blog, one of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd (in a negative way) is to have a resume that isn’t in the format or doesn’t contain the information that employers would typically expect. We’re not saying you want to be a cookie cutter in format and style, but rose-scented paper, colorful fonts, or inconsistent formatting isn’t going to impress as much as a polished, professional resume.
Many schools maintain career services offices that are more than happy to help provide real-world examples of resumes that can be useful starting places. Current students and recent graduates can also often make an appointment with staff to get help in the review, proofreading, or other best practices tips.
Having problems getting in to see a counselor? Lucky for you, the modern age of the internet is here, along with sophisticated resume preparation resources, such as RescuemyResumes.com. Rescue my Resumes has spent countless hours sourcing best practices and standardization rules across a wide variety of professions and experience levels. Our expert software will not only guide you step by step in the resume creation or resume updating process, but you’ll also have access to our database of experienced resume crafters to help provide real-time analysis and feedback, ensuring you always have the advice and support you need at hand.
Our Final Word
Whether you have a few years left in that college education or you’re anticipating getting your hands on that degree any minute now, the time is never too early to start preparing your resume for your professional career. Be sure to keep track of vital information from both your High School and college years and don’t forget to maintain contact information to use for those all-important references. Last but not least, if you’re in need of inspiration, know that you have a variety of resources at hand to help get you started in your journey.
Resumemyresumes.com is here 24/7 to help job seekers craft professional, polished and well-formatted resumes that meet and exceed the expectations of modern employers. Give our free service a try and be ahead of the curve, and your fellow recent graduates, come application time.