Congratulations! You did it; you finished college, and that is a major milestone. But now comes a new challenge, beginning your job search. While it can be tempting to consider postponing this next step and take a summer off before joining the professional workforce, now is actually the best time to get started with moving forward, if you haven’t already.
Why You Need to Start Now
While you might not want to feel this sort of pressure after completing years of studying and tests, taking time off before you start applying to jobs can actually hurt your chances. Employers like to see enthusiasm, and many companies are expecting an increase in applicants with each new graduation class (and some even plan to add positions as the newest graduates look for opportunities), so getting your resume in the running is often your best bet.
Sitting back and waiting means you could miss out on jobs designed specifically for those who’ve recently obtained a degree. As mentioned before, many large businesses look forward to the graduation season because it means an influx of new and eager talent is on the way. In some cases, they even plan their hiring based on the consistency of when students graduate, so you might not see the same number of open entry-level positions at any other time of year. So, take advantage of their excitement about new additions to the workforce and make sure to throw your hat in the ring.
How to Craft Your Resume
As a new graduate, the strongest part of your background is likely your education. That means you should highlight your education over jobs that aren’t necessarily relevant to the field you are trying to pursue. Make sure the information about your degree is placed high on the page and highlight any particularly relevant skills you acquired along the way, like specialized software, equipment, or similar experiences.
You can also include details about various work performed while in school. Internships, class projects, and practicums can all be treated similarly to regular previous employment listings and can help demonstrate that you’ve used some of your newly acquired skills in ways that directly relate to how they are applied in the working world. Volunteer work can also be listed, including participation in certain school organizations.
If you’ve had a job before, even if it doesn’t directly tie into your new career, you still want to add that information to your resume. However, it is important that the right details are in place. For jobs that aren’t specific to your target field, avoid over-describing your day-to-day responsibilities. Instead, focus on soft skill areas, like leadership and communication, and any tasks that clearly provide value to potential employers.
Once you’ve crafted your starting resume, make sure to customize it for each position to which you are applying by including relevant keywords and highlighting skills that match job descriptions. This ensures your resume is targeted to the job and can increase your odds of getting called in for an interview.
If you would like assistance during your post-college job search, the professionals at The Advance Group can help you find the right opportunities. Contact us to schedule time with one of your recruiters and see how our services can connect you with top employers in the area.