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Writing Your Resume After You've Just Graduated
Friday, April 12, 2013

Until you graduate from high school or college, the majority of your life is spent in school. Whether you had a summer job as a teen or not,  it probably didn't give you more than your basic cashiering or customer service skills. These skills are hardly enough to get you the kind of job needed to get your professional career started.

It's not uncommon for new grads to embark on their career journeys staring at a blank paper for a resume. The way you approach filling it can give you the push you need to get going. One approach would be to go with the conventional way, and the other is to customizing it so that your strengths are placed at the top of your resume and less notable attributes toward the bottom. Ideally of course, your entire resume will comprise of great strengths and accomplishments but starting from scratch may require squeezing in some filler. 

Both approaches are equally effective as long as they are composed and applied in the way that they are best suited. As a new grad seeking guidance in their resume writing techniques, here are some tips to help you get started:
  • If you are set on one specific job, define a career objective that outlines exactly what it is you hope to get out of this position. that you want to use in your future career moves. Being vague about your goals, the hiring manager won't know whether to you would be right for the job. 
  • List dates, schools, and other notable achievement that support you as a good candidate. Things like fraternities, clubs, or other school organizations show that you were engaged in extra curricular activities. If you want to get a job in accounting, you should highlight relevant courses you took that demonstrate your background and knowledge in the field.
  • Don't rule out a job because it's not your first choice. Jobs that are generally considered to be menial are often great starting points for the recent grad. Everyone has to start somewhere (usually at the bottom) and for those who don't have any experience to build on, having work-related responsibilities  allows you to create a foundation for your next job.
  • Use numbers instead of fancy words. You could litter your resume full of big words or fancy sounding descriptions to embellish your lackluster background but a pretty picture doesn't serve as credible proof. Numbers, on the other hand, are more concrete and show the hiring manager rather than just telling them how good you are.
When you're just stepping into the professional world, it's likely that you're going to feel at a disadvantage without already establishing a starting point in it. This is typical, though. And it's actually a very effective way for young people to figure out a clear path for where they want to go in their careers if they haven't already. So take your time in created your resume and don't be afraid to go with your instincts, they're often the best source for finding direction.
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