Applying for your first professional job is a daunting task. If you are just graduating from school, you might worry that you do not have enough experience to even fill a full page. Not to worry. As a new grad, these are three areas that you should focus on in your resume, which can help show hiring managers who you are and what you would bring to a new position.  

Focus on Your Education 

Look for examples where you had real hands-on experience during class. Maybe you took a lab that included an extensive research project, or completed a course that required outside service hours. Regardless, the goal is to not just talk about the information that was presented, but to focus on the actionable learnings that you would be able to apply to an entry-level role. 

Of course, you will want to include the big things, like your major, minor, and GPA. But you should also feel free to make note of key areas of study and projects, particularly those that pertain to the industry you are applying for jobs within. 

Highlight Other Experiences

Maybe you studied abroad for a semester, which taught you the importance of planning and communication. Or perhaps you volunteered at a summer camp where you had to work with different personalities and quickly solve problems on the fly. The point is, even if you do not have any professional experience, you can still point to life experiences that have prepared you to take on a certain job role. 

This is also important because it shows that you are a well-rounded individual. Hiring managers like to see that you have interests and hobbies. They understand that skills like time management and budgeting are not just developed from professional experiences. 

Consider Including Testimonials 

Most resumes – especially those with more experience – will include references, or at least note that references can be made available upon request. Talk to a professor or supervisor who would be able to speak to your relevant skills and work ethic. Just make sure that they know the type of position that you are looking to land so that they can tailor their talking points accordingly. 

The other thing that you may want to consider is incorporating a couple powerful testimonials that can bring to life your educational or personal experience and give hiring managers an idea of what you would be like as a potential employee. You can either include these in their own section, toward the end of your resume, or in the areas where they are most relevant; for example, a testimonial from your professor in the education section. Just make sure that they are formatted in a way that makes them visually stand apart from the other content.  

Do Not Forget to Let Your Personality Shine Through

This is something that we have touched on throughout the above tips, but is worth stating directly. It’s important for candidates – particularly those with limited experience – to really give hiring managers a sense of who they are. These are the resumes that are memorable and can help you stand apart from other applicants. Also, many entry-level jobs do not require extremely specific backgrounds, so your personality could be one of the main determining factors. 


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