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Posted August 01, 2016 by

4 winning resume tips for recent graduates

Businessman passing document to businesswoman photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You don’t like getting spam, do you? Well, neither do hiring managers. It may be quick and efficient to upload your resume on popular job sites and send employers the same robo-resume, but hiring managers view these generic, mass mailings as spam. They can spot one-size-fits-all resumes in a nano-second and quickly discard them.

Here are four tips from hiring managers featured in the book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to create a winning resume:

1. Add a short profile statement and your key selling points at the top “above the fold”

Realize your resume is an ad for branding yourself. Like a newspaper, an ad, or web page, the most important “real estate” is in the top half of your resume. Branding resumes begin with a profile or qualifications statement, a couple of crisp sentences that define your value. A strong profile statement is critical for recent graduates. You don’t have an impressive job title and career history yet, so you’ll need to specify your career focus and value proposition in your profile statement. In fact, many hiring managers told me a big problem with new graduate resumes is it can be hard to determine what entry-level job the new grad is looking for, especially if the grad doesn’t have a career-specific major like accounting or computer science. A profile headline like “Seeking an entry-level positioning” is too generic and doesn’t convey your career path. Remember, it’s your job to convey your career identity, not the hiring manager’s. For example, a recent grad named Erin who was a psychology major pursuing a career in marketing began her profile with the headline, “Aspiring marketing assistant: Psychology grad with pulse on the consumer mindset,” followed by a few bullets outlining her focus, strengths, and marketing credentials through two internships.

2. Expand your skill set to take advantage of new market opportunities

Be willing to take advantage of where the momentum is in the marketplace. During her job search for marketing jobs, Erin, our aspiring marketer mentioned above, noticed big retailers were advertising entry-level jobs and internships in merchandising, an area related to marketing that involves selecting products and evaluating sales performance. She decided to expand her job search and pursue both career paths: merchandising and marketing. Because there were a lot of merchandising internships online, she snagged a three-month, part-time internship at a large global retailer. But Erin needed a different elevator pitch and resume to apply for full-time merchandising jobs, and now with her internship, she had a story to tell. She had a hands-on role in compiling trend and competitive analysis reports, which gave her specific marketable skills. Here is Erin’s new profile statement for her merchandising resume, “Merchandising assistant with strong analytic, merchandising, and marketing skills.” She included new skills such as “completed Excel reports for accurate demand forecasting that resulted in a 10% improvement in accurate buying.” Before long, Erin was offered a merchandising job at a top global retailer.

3. Play to keywords and how the resume robots screen resumes.

The first “person” your resume has to impress is not likely to be a human being but a computer. Due to the volume of resumes that large and medium-sized companies receive, most companies use ATS (applicant tracking systems). Most ATS’s are not kind to new grads since they are programmed to check for a strong keyword match. Since most recent grads have limited experience, they don’t score high on an ATS (Only 25% of resumes make it past the resume robots). If you do have a strong skills match with a job posting, take the time to use the same exact words in your resume so the resume robots pick them out. Your resume can also be discarded if you format it incorrectly. Keep the layout simple with commonly used section titles like profile, work experience, education, etc.

4. Emphasize skills, experience, and results in the “Action + Numbers = Results” format.

Employers now give twice as much importance to specific skills and work experience as academic courses and grades. How do you make your abilities and skills stand out when you’re a new grad with limited work experience? It might take more effort than for an experienced job seeker, but you have more experience and accomplishments than you realize. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished in internships, school projects, volunteer activities, part-time jobs, and the like. Then, follow this formula to create a powerful results bullet:

Action + Numbers = Results

Did [A] + as measured by [N] = with these results [R]

Here are a few examples of how college students and recent grads have created marketable results bullets out of internships and part-time jobs:

• Raised $55,000 in first month calling alumni for university capital
campaign; the top student performer all four weeks.

• As a brand ambassador interning at X Company, challenged to increase
website traffic, wrote ten blog posts that generated over 240 responses,
and helped boost sales.

• Prepared detailed Excel reports and pitches for business development
group at fast-growing technology company that
increased response rate by 15%.

The key to a successful resume and job search is to go for quality over quantity. You need to invest a little more time to create a resume that is right for each job, but it will pay off. Your efforts will be rewarded, and you’ll be on your way to an interview in no time.

Catherine Kaputa, guest writer

Catherine Kaputa, guest writer

Catherine Kaputa is a Personal Brand Strategist, Speaker, and Author of the newly-released book, Graduate to a Great Career: How Smart Students, New Graduates, and Young Professionals Can Launch Brand You. (April 2016. graduatetoagreatcareer.com). She is the author of two best-selling books, You Are a Brand and Breakthrough Branding for entrepreneurs. She is the Founder of SelfBrand (selfbrand.com). Speaking clients include Google, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Intel, Citi, Merck, Northwestern University, New York University, and University of Illinois.

Posted May 29, 2015 by

Job Search: Tips on What You Should and Should Not Do

When looking for a new job, you want to make the right first impression.  This is because there are likely many other job seekers competing for the opportunities you are interested in, meaning you must stand out.  As a job seeker, take the approach that everything counts.  So, what are some things to keep in mind?  The following post offers job search tips on what you should and should not do. (more…)

Posted May 06, 2015 by

Effective Job Search – How to Impress through your Resume?

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You never heard of the word resume until before college, but here you are drafting and making your own resume right after your college graduation. Your resume is the initial, first or the fundamental step towards the professional life. It acts as a gateway, as it is through your resume or the CV, your interests, forte and your abilities are reflected and analyzed by the employers. With the help of this formal piece of document, you can demonstrate yourself. All your skills, abilities, your educational life and part time activities are discussed in this document, which allow you to sign up for the professional life. Also known as a CV, it mentions all your past academic aspects, your earlier job experiences and other achievements and awards you might have received. CV or a resume is drafted carefully and with intense detail, the reason behind this is that, it is through this paper, an employer will take further decisions on whether to hire an individual or pass on. Creating and initiating the resume is a complex part, some individuals, even though with an impressive background, are sometimes not able to get the job they desire. All because, they might have flaws in their resume or might have not cautiously and wisely put their strengths and abilities aside. So make sure, before applying, your CV stands out and is highlighted among the piles of many others. As hundreds of people apply for work every day, it becomes a challenge for the employers in terms of hiring and employment. They look for diversity and variations within the document, something that excites them and removes them from the monotony. So how can you make your resume stand out? Here are some of the basic tips. (more…)

Posted February 06, 2015 by

Write a CAN DO Cover Letter!

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

During tough economic times job interviews are difficult to land, and some of them more so than others depending on the industry that interests you. Your cover letter must show who you are as a person, as well as a professional. Be sure to add examples and statements that communicate clearly that you’re someone who is eager to work hard, meet expectations, help advance the company’s bottom line, get along with colleagues, and promote harmony wherever you are.

I call this a CAN DO cover letter because it lets the employer know that you can do the work required of the position he or she wants to fill. (more…)

Posted December 08, 2014 by

Where Do Your Hires Come From?

Congratulations, you're hired! says manager to selected candidate

Congratulations, you’re hired! says manager to selected candidate. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For the past decade, Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler of CareerXroads have surveyed thousands of employers about where their hires originated. This reliable study (you can get your copy here) consistently points to three top sources:

  1. Referrals;
  2. Employer career sites; and
  3. Job boards.

(more…)

Posted December 04, 2014 by

Less is More in Recruiting

Recruitment concept on blue background with world map and social icons

Recruitment concept on blue background with world map and social icons. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Have you ever noticed how recruiting ‘experts’ and ‘pundits’ tell you that – more is better?

It isn’t. What’s the use of getting hundreds of applicants if they aren’t high quality? When you’re on the line for filling your organization’s open positions, you need quality applicants that meet your needs – not dozens of ‘poor fits’.  Wouldn’t you rather get 20 applications and have 10 of them be good fits than get 200 applications and have 12 of them be good fits? (more…)

Posted November 17, 2014 by

College Research Paper Writing Service

Business man writing service concept

Business man writing service concept. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are so many students who are in desperate need of professional help. There are so many companies that are present on the internet. The companies also claim to provide the best writing services. But there are the majority of the companies that offers unreal paper writing services. Most of them are a scam. But you will also find reliable College Research Paper Writing Services. For this you will have to do a little research. Students should be little alert while choosing them. (more…)

Posted October 08, 2014 by

Custom Writing Service as Recommended for the Students

Note pad or memo pad on an old grungy wooden board or surface

Note pad or memo pad on an old grungy wooden board or surface. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Almost all types of writing services have a lot of demand all over the world. It’s always a tough question to answer that how wise it is to go with a custom writing service provider especially when you ask it to no one else than yourself. Standing in front of a mirror and thinking for a while is not going to provide you the answer. If you are one of those persons who cannot bring yourself to a conclusion after thinking about whether you should go with a service provider or not, here are some of the things that simply enable you to say yes to them. (more…)

Posted June 26, 2014 by

Social Media Mistakes that May Put Off Recruiters

Computer keyboard with blue button for Social media

Computer keyboard with blue button for Social media. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

During the last few years, the scope of social media has expanded to include not only our personal but also professional lives. We tend to leave plenty of digital footprints all over the web, allowing for recruiters to see our full profile not just the part we present in our resumes. Learning more about a candidate through social media can sometimes have disastrous effects. Here’s a comprehensive list of all the little details that bother recruiters when checking a candidate’s suitability for the job through social media profiles. (more…)

Posted May 23, 2014 by

Would You Like to Work from Home?

While most employees probably don’t get the chance to work from home, that does not mean they wouldn’t like the opportunity to do so.  Who wouldn’t appreciate the flexibility and convenience of telecommuting?  Well, not everyone is intrigued by it.  In the following infographic, learn more about working from home, including who likes and does not like this idea. (more…)