Students graduating from college often find themselves in the dilemma of not being able to get a job without experience and not being able to get experience without having a job. Check out these resume tips to showcase the basic qualities that all employers look for – transferable skills, punctuality, accountability, responsibility, and work ethic.
1. Include your complete contact information
Surprisingly, many resumes do not include the proper contact information. Frequently, job applicants leave the contact information off either the cover letter or the resume. Contact information needs to be included on each. Include name, address, home and cell phone numbers, and e-mail address. Don’t neglect this resume tip: Be sure to include your name and phone number on the secondary pages of your resume and cover letter in case these pages get separated from their first pages in the employer’s pile.
2. Choose the proper style for your resume
Students with a lack of work history can present themselves best by using a skills based format. This format allows you to put your skills front and center and show transferable skills you could bring to the job. If you have a work history, follow this resume tip – use a combination chronological and skills based format to catch an employer’s interest.
3. Writing a great cover letter
An impressive cover letter can get you the job even if you have no experience. Point out any awards or accomplishments you have earned. Maybe you worked on a fundraiser and raised $15,000 for a non-profit. Or perhaps you started a blog and have 15,000 followers. Accomplishments that you can quantify in this manner will stand out to the employer. Use this resume tip and you’ll sell yourself as a confident, able person and you will shine.
4. Draw a connection between the job and your college courses
Many employers won’t count college as work experience so connect the dots for them by pointing out how your college experience is related to the job for which they are hiring. Select course objectives and goals that represent the latest trends in the industry to which you are applying. Show that, although you are short on experience, you are still a valuable asset to their team, a person who is up on the latest trends in new technologies and information. Relate your courses’ required outside readings and projects to how you will continue to stay up on trends once in the work force. Point out the industry journals or websites you subscribe to and read on a regular basis.
5. Show a history of punctuality
You’ve never had a job. How can you let the employer know you will will show up to work on time? Chances are you have over 16 years experience. That’s right. For at least sixteen years you have left a path showing a history of being punctual – in grade school, in high school and in college. Maybe you even have a “perfect attendance” award to boast. You may have a history of punctuality for other things too, like church, clubs, or sports. Follow this resume tip and you will show the employer you value being on time which will put you high on their list.
6. Include special projects to show accountability and responsibility
Some college courses in most college majors require students to work on a project with other students. Include a section called “Special Projects” where you can list the skills that make a correlation between projects you have worked on and the job. Highlight your ability to finish a task, work on a team, collaborate, and meet deadlines. Summarize your roles and responsibilities on each project.
7. List your work history in chronological order
In addition to listing part-time and summer jobs, include other jobs you did for pay such as mowing lawns, babysitting, or delivering news papers. List skills under these jobs that depict your work ethic.