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For a recent college graduate, resumes are extremely important. Upon finishing your degree, you’ve already possessed some great advantages that would boost your competitiveness, such as:
Of course, the main challenge for a fresh college graduate is often the lack of relevant job experience within the field. But, a well-written resume for new college graduates can effectively solve this problem and distinguish you from other fresh candidates.
In this article, we will be looking at how to craft a killer college graduate resume.
1. Chronological resume format
This resume format showcases your previous work experience in reverse chronological order, starting from the latest jobs on the top to the older ones at the bottom.
2. Functional resume format
The functional resume format stresses your skills instead of your experience.
3. Combination resume format
As the name suggests, the combination resume format presents a combination of your skills and your previous roles.
As mentioned before, the chronological resume format is not the most suitable format for fresh college graduate resumes despite being regarded as one of the most practical ones. Instead, we recommend opting for the functional resume format for college graduates simply because of its utility and how it stresses your skills.
There are two main formats for college graduates to send out their resumes: PDF and Word.
Unless the job application specifies otherwise, you should always have your college graduate resume template in PDF format.
Word format is rarely required Hence it’s not recommended that a college graduate send out the resume in this format unless it’s specified.
✅ Advice 1: Use a skill-based resume format.
The skill-based resume format (the functional resume format) is by far the most fitting resume format for new college graduates.
✅ Advice 2: Write a career objective for your college graduate resume.
A career objective statement summarizes your prospects for the position and what you would like to achieve in your career. The statement should not exceed 2 sentences.
✅ Advice 3: Highlight your educational qualifications on your college graduate resume.
Education and qualifications on the resume are the best shots for you if you are a fresh college graduate with little experience. Make sure to highlight them.
With all the basics in mind, we are going to move on to the 8 key sections in a college graduate resume.
A resume header contains all the important personal information, such as your name, your title, your location, your social media, and last but not least, your contact information.
Example of a resume header & profile:
A resume title or a resume headline sums you up in a couple of sentences as a recent college graduate.. It includes who you are and what you have achieved. An eye-catching resume headline for recent college graduates should be similar to the example below:
Example of resume title for a collage graduate:
Recent geology graduate with cartography experience and great communication skills.
A resume summary highlights your background, experience, and qualifications. It is more suitable for both freshers with no work experience or experienced job seekers.
Example of a resume summary for a collage graduate:
Geology graduate student with 1 year of experience in researching the volcanic activities around Kamchatka. Previously organized, assisted, and partook in 5 excursions to Russia to further our team’s study.
A resume objective states your career prospects in 1 to 2 sentences.
Example of a college graduate resume objective:
Goal-oriented geology graduate who is eager to find a position in at the National Institute of Geology to apply research and analytical skills and in-depth knowledge in geology.
There are 2 different types of skills to put on your college graduate resume, hard skills (technical skills) and soft skills (practical skills).
Both are of great importance since skills can make up for the lack of work experience on your college graduate resume.
Hard skills, or technical skills, refer to your ability to perform a task, and they can be easily measurable. Indicate your proficiency in them on your college graduate resume, so the recruiter can easily understand your value.
Hard skills for a college graduate resume:
Further reading: Language Skills & Proficiency Levels on Resume/CV
Soft skills, sometimes called interpersonal skills or social skills, on the resume are essential for you as a college graduate. They show you are capable of working efficiently with others and adding value to the company. They are skills you can acquire from various activities and courses in college before you graduate.
Soft skills for a college graduate resume:
Relevant experience from your previous positions should be placed in reverse chronological order. You should state the name of the organizations where you worked or volunteered, followed by the location and employment dates.
Work experience example in a college graduate resume:
National Institute of Geology (NIG), New York
Research Assistant, 2011 - 2015
This is the section for you to shine. Education in a recent college graduate’s resume is the key to winning hiring managers’ hearts.
Include these 5 crucial things on your college graduate resume:
You can also include your GPA if it is above 3.7 (out of 4.0) or any other relevant academic achievements that can demonstrate your soft skills.
Education example in a college graduate resume:
BSc in Earth Science
University of Alberta (Alberta, Canada)
07. 2011 to 06. 2015
Include any certifications, personal projects, special accolades, personal interests, or hobbies that can help your career.
Example of volunteer experience in a college graduate resume:
Volunteer interpreter at the Student Council at the University of Alberta, 2012-2014.
Tailoring your college graduate resume means polishing your resume so that it fits the job description. Read the requirements carefully and understand what the HRs are looking for among the candidates.
A hiring manager will spend a mere 2 minutes on each resume. Therefore, it’s important that your college graduate resume is concise, easy to read, and packed with relevant information.
Consult samples, examples, or even free templates of college graduate resumes online for reference.
The college graduate resume that you’re writing should be formatted and styled professionally, with section headings, bulleted content, and dates and locations.
Each page should have regular margins at the top, bottom, and sides, as well as a legible typeface. Calibri, Cambria, and Helvetica are the best fonts to use, with a font size of no larger than 12 and no smaller than 10.
The above-mentioned hard skills and soft skills for college graduates complement each other very well. It is ideal to mix these two kinds of skills to leave a more professional impression.
Yes. For freshers who aren’t familiar with how resumes are written, it’s important to use resume templates. It’s nonetheless important to modify the template a bit so that it’s distinguishable from others’ work.
✅ Pros: Easy to follow, easy to write.
❌ Cons: Lacking uniqueness.
We’ve delved into different resume templates, or resume formats, earlier in this article. One question remains: which template is considered the best for a college graduate resume?
It really depends because, for a college graduate with little experience, the functional resume template is recommended. For a more experienced candidate, we recommend the chronological resume template.
The chronological template is by far the most versatile one for any position because the way it lists your relevant roles and skills is better than other types of resume templates.
There is a wide range of free resume templates for college graduates at your disposal. Check out the following websites for more information:
CakeResume provides the right college graduate resume templates & formats for you to showcase your skills and experiences. Sign up to create and download the best college graduate resume Now for free!
New York City, NY
Goal-oriented graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in geology. Previously worked as an intern at the National Institute of Geology and as a museum docent at the geological museum in Alberta and applied analytic and research skills in 10 different projects. Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the GIS system.
BA in Geology
University of Alberta (Alberta, Canada)
06. 2011 to 07. 2015
Geological Museum, Alberta, Canada
2016 - 2017
National Institute of Geology, New York, US
2014 - 2015
--- Originally written by Yu-Jen Shih ---