Your resume is the first impression that employers will get of you. As such, it is important to make sure you have the best resume possible so you can get the interviews you want. Unfortunately, creating a resume can be daunting if you are in college or have just graduated. What have you really done of significance so far? You may be surprised to realize just how much you have accomplished that will be of value to employers. Here are some steps for maximizing your potential and for creating a killer resume:
Take a Look at Your Experiences
Before you start trying to write your resume, brainstorm all of your experiences that showcase your assets. This may include school and community activities, academic achievement, athletic performance, internships, and jobs. Highlight the ones that taught you the most, the ones in which you excelled, and the ones that motivated you.
Determine What Employers Are Looking For
Do some research into your career field and see what employers are looking for in candidates. Choose the experience you have that will fit these traits. If you are considering applying for different types of positions, create different resumes that are tailored to fit your goals.
Create Your Image
As you list your experiences, focus on the most active roles you had. Use action verbs like taught, oriented, trained, organized, calculated, led, evaluated, etc. Do not feel like you have to include every aspect of your experience. Keep your descriptions concise and leave out mundane details.
Focus on Your Accomplishments
Employers are looking for candidates who can create good results and add value to the company. Showcase any successes or accomplishments you achieved during each experience. Use language such as revitalized, established, initiated, expanded, created, etc. to show the value of your contributions. If possible, include measurable results of your actions.
Remember Your Most Important Job
As a college student, your most significant job is to be a motivated learner. Include your successes as a student, such as GPA, honors received, and high achievement in your area of major. If you struggled at first, you may include your GPA from the last two years to show how you have grown and gained in productivity. Also remember to showcase presentation skills, writing, research, and independent studies you completed.
Show Your Leadership Skills
Employers place high value on leadership. Include any experience you have with recruiting, organizing, training, motivating, or leading during extracurricular activities. Work with group leaders to create impressive titles for the roles you play. Also be sure to include your experience in community service.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Double check your spelling and grammar and recruit parents, friends, advisors and others to critique your resume. If possible, ask professors in your career field to give you feedback on how well your resume meets the needs of the industry.
Even though you have not had the chance to build a long list of employment experiences, you can still build a killer resume. Play up your assets and invite employers to learn more about you by including links to your website, portfolio, LinkedIn page, and other online sources that show your professionalism. By following these steps, you can create a resume that will grab the attention of potential employers so you can get the job you want.