When you leave college, the first thing you’ll show others is your resume. Future employers want to know the things about you that stand out and they want to know it fast. Employers will often weed out resumes based on certain criteria before they even read through them. Companies are even implementing software that searches resumes digitally and throws out the ones that are missing select keywords and phrases.
To prepare for this kind of job competition, you’ll need to make sure that your resume stands out. The first thing you want to make sure is on there is your contact information. Emails, phone numbers, and current physical address should be visible, but not overbearing on your resume. You also want to include the area code because some jobs you’ll want to apply for may not be in your immediate area. Also, employers aren’t impressed by how creative your email address is—keep it simple. The initials of your first and middle name followed by your last name makes an easy to remember and professional email address that employers now expect.
One thing you DON’T need is your objective. This section of the resume takes up space and forces you to continually revise your resume based on for what position and to what company you’re applying. Remove this section unless the employer specifically requests it on your resume.
One other main component of your resume that is critical to getting hired is your job experience. Whether you were an intern or employed, the job experience must be the bulk of your resume. Include the most relevant job experiences and list what you learned to do, your responsibilities, and your duties. During your college experience, you will have to gain experience in the field you want to enter, and this experience should come from leadership positions on campus, internships on and off campus, and employment.
If you are not currently involved in these things, meet with your advisor and use your campus’s career services. The career counselors can provide internship and employment opportunities that are oriented toward your career goals.
Start working on your resume now. You’ll need it sooner than you think.