Resume Writing Strategies For New Graduates

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As the President of ResumeSolutions.ca, I have worked extensively with new graduates with degrees and diplomas in a myriad of fields, from Information Technology, Marketing, Business Administration, Education and Liberal Arts to engineering, mathematics, statistics, science, zoology, fisheries and environmental programs just to name a few. Many new graduates rely on the notion that their degree or diploma major is enough to convey to a potential employer the depth of their skills and qualifications. A carefully designed resume, through strategic presentation of key program elements and your personal areas of focus, will quickly demonstrate to an employer the skills you bring to the table; this in turn allows you to stand out from other candidates.
Many new graduates do not include vital details such as volunteer and work experiences on their resumes because they do not think they are important. Remember an effective resume needs to engage a new employer within 30 seconds or less. As such, it needs to be strategically designed with powerful content and presentation. The most important resume writing strategy for new graduates is to identify and leverage the core competencies that they have gained through their work experiences, extracurricular activities, and their studies to help craft a high impact, powerful resume.
For new graduates, employers are looking for three things:
Academic results
This means that you should have chosen the right degree and completed it successfully.
Work experience
It is imperative that you have work experiences in a job that provided experience looking after customers, working in teams and developing good work habits such as punctuality and initiative. Part-time jobs provides the new graduate with experience handling responsibility whether it is opening or closing the store or helping to train new employees.
My consultations with 1000s of new graduates have demonstrated that they do not rate their work experiences they have gained unless that experience is in their specific field. However, they are wrong. In their chosen field, employers greatly value the work that graduates have done, whether as a labourer or as a summer intern. New graduates must understand that employers value their experiences because it could provide them with referees, a potential track record of accomplishments, teamwork, problem- solving skills and people skills such as customer service. Many new graduates undervalue the strength of these transferable skills that have built up during their work experiences. These core strengths can provide the new graduate with a distinct advantage in creating a targeted qualifications summary and keyword section for their resumes.
Extracurricular & Leadership Experiences
Extracurricular activities can provide an employer with a sense of a persons initiative and drive. A new graduates hobbies, volunteer work, and personal interest are things they chose to get involved in and are not focused to do. As such , they can provide insight into a new graduates values, energy and interest in the world at large, such as their willingness to get involved and achieve results.
Relying solely on a complete degree is not a smart choice for new graduates in the writing of their resumes. Remember unless you are in a highly saught-after program, there will be competing with both new graduates and experience professionals for the same positions. Therefore, well-created resume is an important tool for the new graduate career management toolbox. For examples, click here to visit the "Student/Recent Graduate" section on Resume Solutions sample resumes page. You have worked to complete your degree, now pair it with a ResumeSolutions.ca high impact resume.
Visit Resume Solutions New Graduate Site further information
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