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According to Jamie Johnson, a career advisor at University of Phoenix (UOPX), job searching is a lot like dating. You not only need to know what you want in a job, but you also need to know how to present your resumé in a way that shows who you are and what you have to offer.
And so, as with most things in life, you’ll need a strategy. Make the process of writing a college graduate resumé easier by doing your research and determining your target audience.
Johnson cautions that another reason to have a strategy is that "most employers will take 10 seconds or less" to look over a resumé. So go in with a plan of attack by including a professional profile at the top of your resumé. This section should describe your relevant experience and target the job you’re applying for, as well as list any related skills.
As a new college graduate, you might think that your lack of experience puts you at a disadvantage. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Johnson says, "Every student, no matter what their age, has something to offer."
She adds that work experience isn’t the only thing you can highlight on your resumé. You can and should include your achievements as a student (such as projects, presentations, internships, or a GPA above 3.0). After all, that’s your most recent experience as a new grad!
Consider also including volunteer experiences, relevant hobbies that showcase your talents, coursework that reflects your newly gained knowledge and military skills that can easily translate to the civilian workforce. Just remember to protect yourself from potential discrimination by not mentioning your age, gender or political or religious affiliations — and don’t include a photo.
Internships are your best friend when writing a resumé as a new college graduate. In fact, Indeed.com stresses that new graduates can use this experience to highlight their qualifications in their college graduate resumé. Additionally, Indeed says, "Previous internship experience helps you demonstrate during your next opportunity that you are committed to gaining professional knowledge and you have gained the expertise to help you in the position."
And the numbers bear this out. The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report found that 68% of the interns surveyed received a job offer.
But what if you graduated with no internship experience? Don’t fret! It is possible to find an internship opportunity even after graduation, says Johnson. She adds that an internship is excellent for gaining experience in your chosen field and for building connections.
And who knows? Your internship could even turn into an offer for a full-time job.