How to Have the Perfect Resume after Graduation

Applying for a job

Are you still using the resume that you wrote in high school when applying for jobs? It’s time to dust it off look at writing a new one. A majority of students have a tendency to emphasise the wrong things in their resumes. For instance, students would allot just one line of their CV (Curriculum Vitae) to their degree and write five lines about a job that is completely unrelated to the one they want.

It would appear that some students treat their degree like an afterthought, some don’t even mention the university they attended. Unfortunately, neglecting to include vital information like this only handicaps you and lowers your likelihood of making it to an interview. Finding the time to study, look for jobs and maintain a social life is always a challenge, our tips can help take the hassle out of re-writing your resume. 


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Include the Information that Matters

Take advantage of your skills and accomplishments – your flair for writing, the two-week internship you did with a big company, your technical prowess and lastly, your degree and university. Complacency has no place in a resume. You still have to pitch yourself to recruiters, even if you did graduate from a top university. This means putting something that human resources or head hunters would like to read.

Make use of the buzzwords recruiters are watching out for and build on it. For instance, if you’re a whiz in Excel, emphasise that you can use pivot tables or v-lookups. Or let’s say you’re proficient in Javascript, include in your resume the program you developed using the software. Providing real-life examples where you have used skills that are required for the job is quickly going to catch the eye of a recruiter.

Don’t forget to include the name of your university and your grades in the document as well. Recruiters will think you are not being upfront about something if you neglect to mention them and may even think you have something to hide.

Graduates of arts, the humanities and other non-technical courses should put more emphasis on their academic achievements. It’s also crucial to highlight relevant work experiences and internships related to the industry as well as your communication skills.

Meanwhile, those looking for a sales positions or a job in management should focus on any job or project where they were the leader or had a position of responsibility.

Lastly, always be honest. Lying about your skills, experience or any other part of your resume is a recipe for disaster. Being found out will ruin your chances to land the job.


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Keep your Resume Organised

It’s imperative that your CV is well organised. Always put the most important information on the first page. The goal is to immediately capture the recruiter’s interest so that they’ll continue reading. Remember that you can adjust your resume to fit your skills and the job you’re applying for. Make sure that you put enough information in the key parts of your resume and highlight it as early as possible.

Below is an example of how you can organise your resume from top to bottom.

Resume Layout Example

  • Personal Statement
  • Education
  • Relevant Work Experience
  • Other Work Experience
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Skills
  • Interests
  • References

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Not too Short, Not too Long

How long a resume should be is a question that graduates often ask. Your resume shouldn’t be too short or too long. A short CV suggests that you lack experience while a long document might look padded or that you’re too “wordy.” Two pages is an acceptable length for a resume.


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Be Mindful of the Formatting

The appearance of your resume does make a difference. If you don’t put any effort into how it looks, this immediately sets a bad image of you to recruiters. Your CV should look neat, organised, and most importantly consistent. While it is tempting to use a lot of different fonts and colours, you only need one kind of typeface and font size. Make sure that every paragraph is in line and the spacing is invariable. If you’re going to capitalise a name or key phrase, check that you do this throughout the whole document and don’t go overboard with the bullet points.

Never underestimate the importance of formatting. An organised and symmetrical resume looks very professional, clean and smart. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who’s great with Microsoft Word or any other program you are using to layout your resume.

Finally, once you’re happy with it, ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume for any formatting or spelling mistakes. Prepare some other resumes for different jobs that you’re interested in. Don’t just rely on one resume; always tailor your CV to fit the job you’re applying for.

If you do it right, your resume can get your foot in the door. So put in the time and effort when you write it and you’ll be well on your way to getting the job you want.

Central College Online is a part of the Group Colleges of Australia organisation which has been established for over thirty years and offers online courses in more than forty subjects to thousands of students.

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