Did you just graduate? Starting a new career? Looking for your first internship or gig? The task can seem daunting or downright impossible when entry level jobs are requesting 3 years experience. Your resume won’t get you the job - but it will get you the interview, which is your first step in the right direction.
Today, I’ve outlined 3 major hurtles (and 1 bonus tip) that new grads face when looking for their first professional job and how to design your resume to wow recruiters and get your big break!
You Have No Professional Experience
Alright, so maybe your only paid job ever was at McDonald’s or the GAP. When you’re applying to your first professional job, that experience might seem irrelevant or even embarrassing. BUT - (trust me) you learned so much at your part-time jobs and many of those skills are transferable to any workplace These jobs create leadership qualities, time-management skills, customer service experience, organizational skills and many more.
Did you complete an internship or work-study program? Add that to your resume and highlight your accomplishments outside the classroom!
Did you do any volunteering? Candidates stand out when they showcase their volunteering efforts, because it shows that you care about your community and worthy causes.
You Have Gaps on your Resume
You might have some gaps on your resume from being in college, university or taking time off for family or personal matters. A lot of people have gaps on their resume and unfortunately, sometimes this can make you look flaky to potential employers.
If you have gaps due to schooling, make sure you showcase your education and any special projects that you completed. Did you take time off from work to study abroad? Did you take a semester off to focus on finance? All of these gaps are easily explainable to a potential employer - just remember that you don’t have to disclose anything personal to a recruiter (especially family, health or legal matters) unless you want to!
You Have a Boring Resume
In order to make your resume more impressive, consider avoiding standard templates. For new grads, I recommend a 1 page, functional resume. A functional resume is (well, functional) because it showcases your accomplishments, skills and education before your work history. If you do have some experience, consider a chronological resume or a combination of the two. Resumes should be unique to you while also following industry standards. A resume for a entry-level banking job would look very different from an established social media marketer, but what matters most is that your resume is clear, free of errors and honest.
CLICK HERE FOR MY FREE RESUME TEMPLATE PACK!
What if You Don’t know anyone in your industry?
Network! Network! Network! (Yes, I heard you groan.)
The internet has made it so easy to get to know almost anyone - including influencers in your industry or profession. You can attend in person networking events. If you’re feeling shy, follow them on social media or LinkedIn. Engage in your industry and make yourself known.
Many colleges and universities have student clubs and organizations that hold events. Get to know your professors. Meet people around campus and make connections - you never know where your first job will come from.
If you’re feeling nervous about messaging someone on LinkedIn, why not start with me? I’d love to get to know my readers!
Did I miss anything? Comment down below with your strategies for writing resumes for new graduates or young professionals with no experience. If you find this content helpful, please share with your network and consider subscribing to my newsletter for the latest updates.