Most recent graduates’ resumes provide little or no employment experience relevant to the career they’ve been studying for, which means that I get a lot of calls from young people frustrated because they’re not getting interviews. Their resumes provide lots of detail about the service level jobs they held to earn money while getting their degree. But this is a mistake: you didn’t get a degree so that you could leverage your shelf-stocking skills, or expertise in tee-shirt folding at The Gap. And if you aspire to a job as an entry-level accountant, Human Resources assistant, or marketing coordinator, why would your target employer even care that you made great pour-over coffee at Starbucks?
Don’t list those jobs; simply write on your resume that you “worked a variety of service jobs while earning my degree.” And don’t forget your software skills. Of course, if you are an electrical engineer, you’ll want to list all your IT competencies.
Most recent graduates put their education at the top of their resume, but it’s really the least interesting thing about you. Employers looking to fill entry-level positions are hiring for potential, and they can suss that out based on those internships and/or academic projects.
But every recent graduates’ resume should include relevant work. If you had internships, you’ve got great experience to write about.
But even if you didn’t work as an intern (and if you’re still in school, please do an internship! At least one!), you should include projects you worked on in class that are relevant to your desired profession. For each one, focus on the goal of the project, your role in accomplishing the goal, and the outcome. Quantify as much as you can. If you did theoretical case studies on well-known brands, include those as well.
Here are samples of recent graduates’ resumes for 3 students who received job offers within weeks of working with me. Each of these students had just completed an undergraduate degree.
These are recent graduates’ resumes for Master’s degree students
Here is an article I wrote on college students and their job search.
Don’t forget that a LinkedIn profile is necessary to your job search! My fee for recent graduates’ resumes is $250, and includes the LinkedIn profile.