I have a big problem with resume books, resume templates, and “Job-Board” resumes. To me, a resume is something that needs to be crafted by you as a job seeker in a way that will emphasize your specific skills relative to the job opening.
The problem with resume books and resume templates is that they set you up to look like every other job seeker. Rest assured that if you take the Microsoft Template approach, your chances of standing out from the crowd will go way down.
In my book, Overcoming Gradversity, I talk a lot about resumes and what they should include. More importantly, there isn’t a single sample resume included anywhere in the book (the same goes for cover letters). The temptation is too great to copy or borrow from what you find.
Instead, my goal is to help ensure that you have included all of the information that is required. Beyond that, how you make it look and how you choose to stand out, is up to you.
So what do you need to include?
- Contact Information: They need to know how to get in touch with you. Simple as that
- Education: Where you went to school. As a New Grad looking for an Entry Level Job, this will be your biggest selling point. Make sure you include your degree/diploma/certificate and dates you attended.
- Experience: Before you start writing your resume, make a list of all of the work experiences that you have (most likely from summer jobs, part time work, and volunteer experience at this point). Then, as you are applying to jobs, include the most relevant/impressive experiences that you have had. Remember to tailor them to the job opening and highlight quantifiable accomplishments.
- Awards: Have you won any awards (academic, athletic, social, volunteer, etc.)? Make sure that you include them as this will help differentiate you from other new grads and Entry Level Job seekers.
- Extra-Curriculars: Also a key differentiator. If you were involved in sports, clubs, or student governments, include them. Don’t forget to also include years, titles and accomplishments.
- References: If you still have room, include your references. If not, make a note that they will be available upon request.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Take all of the information you need and use it to craft a great resume!