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Via Chic Resumes : Resume Writing Tips for New College Graduates

You’ve taken your last final, written your last paper, donned your cap and gown, and finally have your degree in hand. Now that you’ve graduated from college, it’s time to jump into the workforce and put all of that education and training to use. But it can be hard to figure out what exactly to write on your resume since you’re just starting out in your career and may not have much experience to point to.

It’s likely that you have more experience than you think. Don’t overlook the value of volunteer work, work-study jobs, clubs you were part of, or freelance work you took on. These can all lend themselves to a variety of accomplishments and skill sets. Did you manage the drama club’s budget? Lead a group in sorting donations or serving meals at a community organization? Build a website for your accounting professor? Try to look at your experiences from the perspective of relevant skills and accomplishments that can show why you would be a good fit for the company.

Do your research

It can be tempting to apply for every job opening you find that you might be remotely qualified for, but resist this urge. You’re better off figuring out what types of roles you want to do and tailoring your resume to these positions. Spend time reading a variety of job descriptions so you know what keywords to include, what desirable skills you possess, and what areas you may be lacking in. Then look for opportunities to build up these areas, such as taking an online training course, or finding a volunteer position where you can gain hands-on experience.

Don’t overdo it

Hiring managers recognize that new graduates often have limited experience. Don’t try to stretch your resume to two or three pages by filling it with fluff if you can concisely convey necessary information in a single page. For instance, you don’t need to list every course you’ve taken. However, if you were very active in college and have several jobs or projects to highlight, don’t hesitate to do so as long as they add value to your resume.

Polish up your professional image

It’s time to ditch the “partygurl123” or “beachbum4ever” email address when it comes to your resume. Keep those addresses for personal use, but create something more professional for your job search. Using your first and last name or a combination of your initials or profession is usually a safe bet. Think “JohnSDoe” or “JDoeCPA”.

Don’t forget to look at your social media presence too. Clean up your Facebook or Twitter profile. Delete pictures or untag yourself in questionable content. And don’t forget to start a LinkedIn profile so that you can begin building your professional network, scoping out job opportunities, and making connections.

Via The Ladders : How to address an employment gap in your resume

You made it to the interview, but you know there’s a glaring employment gap on your resume. Here’s how to talk about it the right way.

Don’t be sorry about your story

This isn’t a good idea.

Kim Isaacs, Resume Writing Services Director and Resume Writer at Resume Power and former Monster Resume Expert, writes on the Monster site about why this is important to keep in mind.

“If you’ve been out of work because you raised a family, continued your education, cared for a sick family member, or recovered from an injury, be sure your tone is not apologetic. There’s nothing wrong with being out of work for whatever reason, and a negative attitude might affect your resume’s quality,” she writes.

How to talk about taking time off to travel

Be sure to focus on the right things.

Sjoerd Gehring, the Global Head of Recruiting at Johnson & Johnson, writes in The Muse about how to talk about a gap caused by you resigning to backpack around the world.

“The key with this one is to focus on how traveling contributed to your personal development, rather than how much fun you had schlepping around the world with nothing but a backpack and a smile. If you took on any paid or volunteer work during this time, concentrate your response on the additional personal and professional skills it’s given you,” he writes.

Don’t badmouth a former workplace

This is never a good idea.

Bronwen Hann, President and Senior Partner at Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, writes on LinkedIn that you need to “keep it positive when talking about why you left your job before the gap.”

“Explanations that scream: ‘I didn’t like my previous employer’ don’t look good. Hiring managers might just ask why you didn’t wait to find a new job before quitting your old one, especially because it’s easier to find a new job when you’re already working,” she writes.

Make sure you’re super prepared to talk about your strengths

If you don’t, who will?

Alison Doyle, a career expert, author and founder and CEO of CareerToolBelt.com, writes about this in The Balance.

“In all instances where you need to account for a gap, you should share as much concrete evidence of your success in the jobs prior to the gap and after you resumed employment. Itemize your accomplishments by referring to situations where you intervened, specific actions you took and the results you generated,” she writes. “Emphasize how your company benefited from your role. If possible, secure recommendations from supervisors to support the explanation you plan to give during the interview.”

Via The Balance : First Resume Example with No Work Experience

Writing your first-ever professional resume is a challenge. How do you sell yourself to an employer, when you don’t have any experience in your targeted field? When writing your first resume with no work experience, it’s appropriate to include casual jobs like babysitting, pet sitting, lawn mowing, and shoveling snow. All experience counts – and the way you present yourself, your skills, and your assets to a hiring manager begins with a strong resume.

Writing a First Resume

To get started, review information on the different parts of a resume and what is included in each element. It’s a good idea to review high school resume examples, to give you an idea of what is appropriate. Even if you’ve never held a formal job, you still have life experience that’s applicable to the job search. Don’t forget to look at volunteer work, civic groups, and youth organizations (for example, the Scouts or 4-H). The skills you have developed doing these things have given you valuable experience that will impress employers.

Writing your first resume can seem intimidating, but if you take it step by step, you will be able to put together a document that will highlight your abilities and show the hiring manager that you’re worth calling for an interview. The bottom line is that you actually have a lot more experience than you think you have.

How to Get Your Resume Noticed Even When You Haven’t Done Much Yet

Start by mining your life experience and academic achievements to show that you’ll be an asset to the company, despite the fact that you don’t have any related job titles to show off at this stage in your career.

Take the skills you have, and show how they translate into success where you choose to apply them. Include volunteer experience, school achievements, sports, and clubs and organizations you belong to.

Scan the job descriptions for the positions to which you’re applying. Look for keywords that indicate what the hiring manager values in a candidate – for example, the job listing might say “successful candidate will be a self-starter who delivers on time and on budget.” In that case, despite the fact that you don’t have relevant work experience in the same field, you can get the hiring manager’s attention by being sure to include (and emphasize) projects that you’ve managed, such as high school clubs in which you held a leadership role and had to manage both your time and the team’s money.

If you start with the job listings instead of with the blank page, the hiring manager’s keywords will guide you, and help you focus on which of your academic or after-school experiences have prepared you for this first step in your career.

The following is an example of a first time resume for a high school student with no formal work experience.

First Resume Example

Mackenzie Rideout
6 Bristol Street, Arlington, NY 12133
Phone: 566.486.2222
Email: mac.rideout@gmail.com


Arlington High School, Arlington, NY
20XX – 20XX


Pet Sitter
20XX – Present

• Provide pet sitting services including dog walking, feeding, and yard care.

Child Care
20XX – Present

• Provide child care for several families after school, weekends, and during school vacations.


• National Honor Society

• Academic Honor Roll

Volunteer Experience

• Little League Coach

• Arlington Literacy Program

• Run for Life

Interests / Activities

• Member of Arlington High School Baseball Team

• Piano

Computer Skills

• Proficient with Microsoft Office, Internet, and Social Media

Cautions for Preparing a First Resume

Don’t lie. No matter how tempting it might be to stretch the truth, lying on your resume is always a bad idea. You might make it through this round of interviews and even get the job, but you won’t be able to deliver on the promises your resume offered.

Plus, you’ll probably be caught – and fired.

Don’t pad. You don’t need to include the line “references upon request,” or personal information beyond your contact info, or a bunch of unrelated hobbies. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t need to put on your resume, even when it’s your very first one.

Proofread. Nothing is less persuasive than a resume full of typos and inconsistencies. Have a trusted friend or family member proofread your resume before you submit it.

Via LifeHacker : The Most Efficient Way to Keep Your Resume Up to Date

Looking for a job is difficult under the best of circumstances, and it gets considerably more so when you’re not prepared. Optimistically, we stick with a gig for a while even if we don’t love it, neglecting to keep our resumes and other materials prepped if an opportunity comes up that we want to jump at.

If you want to (or must) move on, here are some tips for keeping your resume organized and up-to-date for when it’s go time.

Don’t Wait to Update

The subreddit r/LifeProTips is usually a font of helpful, no-duh info on life, but one post that rose to the top from u/hey_im_allison this week embodies the spirit of accepting a new job while preparing for the next. They write:

When you get a new job save the description and requirements from the application and use it to later add the job to your resume

When the day comes, you’ll be able to explain exactly what you were doing to your next employer. In fact, just add it to your resume ASAP, followed by the current date, a dash, and a blank space for the date you leave.

In response, u/chaoticnuetral added that it’s good to have your specific job description on hand because it makes it easier to negotiate your salary if future duties are added. They also quoted Quora on the definition of assigned duties:

The more concretely your job role is defined, the less out of that scope they can reasonably expect you to operate

If they are changing your job function substantially away from the original description, it’s a lateral transfer or a promotion, and it needs formal recognition

If you are working extra time, you need extra pay

If you are working at a higher pay grade, you should (minimally) get a title bump, and a promise of a salary review in the near future (set a concrete date no more than three months out! They need your work product on tax day!)

Being clear on what your job description is is good for when you have performance reviews, think you deserve a different title, or are looking for other employment and need a concrete list of your specific qualifications. But yes, about that resume…

Keep It Current

So, you added your new job to the resume, but you’re there a year, then two. Then BAM, all of a sudden layoffs come around. Does that old job description still reflect what you ended up doing the last 24 months? According to u/KungFuHamster, you should be checking in on your resume more regularly than a Tamagotchi:

Keep a work journal. Every major accomplishment should be noted. Best practice is to update it every day before you leave or you’ll forget.

  • Reacting well in a crisis situation
  • Finishing a project or a major milestone in a project
  • Learning something new that makes you better at your job
  • Adding new responsibilities, job titles, new people you oversee
  • Lessons learned
  • Improved standards

But, they add, be sure not to violate any company security policies in place about protected information, on the off-chance you work at the Pentagon or something.

Make It Your Own

You are copy-pasting for ease of reference, but before sending that resume, it’s recommended that you try to adjust the language, at least by u/DuffinDagels, who claims to be a recruiter that sees a lot of resumes:

As a recruiter, I’d say be careful with making your resume read too much like a job description. Recruiters and employers want to see what you have achieved and accomplished in your job. Not just a list of responsibilities that can be pretty standard. Your resume should be personal and sell YOU.

Make things a bit more personal, but also remember that you often have a cover letter for that, too. Try to take what your job responsibilities are and put into words how you fulfilled them or accomplished measurable results in your time at a company. It’s the accomplishments, not the requirements that people notice. But that copy-paste serves as a good backbone to start with.

Stay Organized

With all this copy-pasting, updating, journaling, and adjustment, things can get wild pretty quickly. Which brings us to a different post from u/rlc327 two months ago. They recommended keeping a “separate master resume” that you can return to and adjust. It should include all of your previous work experience:

When sending out a resume for application, duplicate the file and remove anything that may be irrelevant to the position. You never know when some past experience might become relevant again, and you don’t want to forget about it.

And if you want to HAM, u/dannyisagirl says they keep a spreadsheet similar to the journaling recommended above, but mostly to help them through interviews:

To add to this, I actually keeps a spreadsheet with other information that might not be put on a resume. Things like the full dates that I worked there, actual titles I held, actual duties vs ‘resume duties’ (a list of keywords that could work while remaining honest/accurate), pay rate, managers/superiors/good co-workers names and full titles, physical addresses and phone numbers, the real reason why that is no longer my job.

Not nearly all of it is always necessary nor will a good chunk of it ever actually be seen by an employer, but it can help jog a number of memories as well as help you think of better spins on negative experiences. Especially if you’re a nervous babbler like me.

Now, go forth and get new jobs that you’ll be ready to leave immediately!

Via Forbes : Why Résumé Writing Is Difficult (But Doesn’t Have To Be)

If you sat down to write the biography of your work-life as a novel, how interesting would it be to the average reader? Did you sign any key agreements with foreign nationals? Could you show a patent for a technical or medical issue you solved?

Let’s say you’re a six-figure executive. Can you prove in a short space that you led a novel-inspiring work-life that influenced many?

If not, maybe the company won’t hire. Maybe you won’t even make the first interview cut. Some of my military, business and political clients can show one-of-a-kind experiences that truly make them the candidate of choice for their next role. But even if you’ve got it, it’s not easy.

Let’s talk about one more step in the selling of you: the résumé’s inherent value proposition. What you will need to do is try to tell your possibly less-interesting, less-dramatic work story in no more than three pages. To make your résumé defeat the applicant tracking system that most companies employ on LinkedIn and elsewhere to sort you out, you need to build a résumé that defeats an algorithm. Powerfully convey the value you bring in a humble-enough way to do what one of my executive clients asked me to do for him:

“John, if you could make it look like I walked on the moon and did most of the work to build the rocket ship that took me there, I will be happy.”

Here are three reasons résumé writing is difficult and how you should think about it instead.

You’re probably not an astronaut.

For the rest of us non-astronauts, we need to convey powerful, compelling stories mixed with metrics to show we contributed to a company’s bottom line. We need to show how we built something, solved problems and involved others.

Résumés must create value for the human reader but not be so magnificent that the person seems to walk on moon water. If you want to win an interview and demonstrate your achievements, it usually helps to take some credit for revenue growth and cost savings, for example, but you don’t want to be so unrealistic that the reader thinks, “Did this guy have no help in doing all these things he said he did? We are looking for collaborators and leaders in sales. Not ‘I did everything narcissists.'”

In today’s modern-day résumé, achievements and numbers matter, but so do context, collaboration and cooperation. Render your achievements powerful without understating or overstating your claims.

It’s hard to write about yourself.

In my 27-plus years of résumé-writing and résumé reviews, I can’t think of a time when my clients did not powerfully influence and help me craft their core résumé. In fact, to this day, I take a journalistic approach by looking at evaluations, talking to clients and pulling out stories that may be part of what I develop, offering my rendition of the cover letter and résumé.

The collaboration, interview, review of stories and achievements results in a working copy that we hope will truthfully but powerfully tell my clients’ work-life stories, mission and overall value proposition.

Take it from Miles Davis, who said, “Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.” Your work-life collapsed into this silly thing we call a résumé is not easy to write. It has to show your value, be a forward-looking instrument and win you an interview by influencing both the humans and the bots.

You live and work lost in space.

Most executives I meet in my professional life don’t spend most of their time refining their professional and personal brands. Why not? They often work very hard at building revenue and solving business, medical and people problems so their organization and stakeholders can prosper and make the world a bit better and more efficient.

Best case? If those same executives love what they do and know that what they do helps others, it adds to their work-life satisfaction and mission.

The job market and the selling of yourself is like a confusing, alien adventure, especially if you’ve mostly just focused on making it as an executive. What do you do to change that if you need to build your résumé and look for your next opportunity?

Get professional résumé help. Find creative ways to render your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Articulate complicated work history as a continuous, achievement-filled journey. Infuse documents with an argument and a point of view, and stop your job history from sounding like an obituary. Don’t let your audience read you as, “Ah, a work-life well-led.” Lead them into wanting a conversation with you, where you can continue playing the music you were destined to play.