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Resume Writing Advice For the Recent College Graduate
Friday, September 13, 2013

In an ideal world, every college grad entering the job market would have a secured place in it. Many, however, can only hope to have a career prospect waiting for them after graduation, but why hoping won't get you very far.

If college teaches you anything, it's that preparation is crucial for success! So why wait around and hope for things to work out when the time comes when you can get the ball rolling yourself? Use the following tips when putting your resume together and go from hoping for a job to expecting one:

  • Describe yourself accurately
You want a job so much that you'd be willing to go above and beyond for it. Just don't get carried away. Overselling yourself for an entry-level position doesn't help. Hiring managers evaluate your potential for the position as well as your growth as an overall employee. They'll be interesting in what skills and experience you gained from internships, projects, associations, or previous jobs. Be realistic, exaggerating too much could backfire because you'll be setting expectations higher than you can live up to. Be confident without bragging.
  • Discuss relevant skills
You may have a range of talents and know-how but if they don't pertain to the job, the hiring manager won't be impressed.  Each resume and cover letter should be position specific and tailor to the job description. Avoid trying to tie in skills that are too far-fetched to be relatable. You may have been a great line cook in a past life but it's best to leave that out in your application for an accounting position. Oftentimes, your resume is going to be scanned by a program first so you'll to make room for the keywords they're looking for (hint: find them in the job description).
  • Read the requirements thoroughly
Job descriptions often ask for more than is really needed in hopes of getting the next best thing (which would essentially be the perfect candidate. Hiring managers know that they won't get exactly what they're looking for, but they still want to get someone who can do the job well even if they don't meet every single requirement. Job positions that you're underqualified for don't have to be ruled out as long as you can make a good case for yourself. If the job position is something that you're determined to pursue, it helps to mention ways that you're working towards fulfilling the requirements and how you're on your way towards be adequately qualified.

A job interview is like a first date. You want to impress and you want it to progress. In order for the relationship to go anywhere, there has to be chemistry between the two sides. Applying for positions that you're compatible with will make for a better chance that it'll grow into something promising.
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