When you graduate college, you have a lot of work put behind you and you should have a great resume to boot. When writing a resume, there are certain things you should and should not do. Even though my recruiting firm solely staffs executive level employees (VP and above), we still receive a lot of resumes from recent college grads. Some are good and some need work. Here are some tips which your interviewing competition is not currently utilizing.
1. Never be vague.
The term "Assisted with the administrative work" does not really say much.
You never want to leave the resume reader making assumptions. Instead, that
sentence ought to read, "Was responsible for assisting the Vice President of
Sales, First Name Last Name, with setting up client meetings, gathering
marketing material and mass emails to prospective clients." As the owner of a http://www.kasplacement.com">New York executive sales recruiting and marketing staffing agency I see very nebulous terms all of the time. Even on resumes much more senior than yours.
This rule also applies to the header of your resume. Here are some sample headers:
"I have spent the last four years of my life learning all about various subjects so I can contribute to an organization in an intelligent, effective manner which will allow me to be a team member and, in time achieve something great."
"I am not looking for my "first job out of college," instead I am seeking a career. If I have the opportunity to work for someone who is truly great and has progressive, cutting edge ideas, my ambition and ability to executive will become evident."
If you had not had an internship before:
"The resume which you are about to read, is not complete. I have no doubt that, after this resume, you will read about 20 CVs which, on paper, are a better fit. However, I am one of the few that can tell you how I want this document to look in 5 years, in 10 years and why I will make those goals a reality. I can offer the right company passion, contribution, results and execution."
If you are going up against students from a better school:
First, to these words stick out, write "before you look at the bottom of this resume." Obviously, for this one to work, you have to have your education listed on the bottom of the resume.
"Please, before looking at the university I graduated from as it was not an Ivy League college, take a minute to read my thoughts. I am applying for this position because I know this is something which I can do. This is not a job I may want or may succeed at, this is a job which I can do better than the majority of the applicants out there. Regardless of college, I can think; I use my brain, decipher ways to achieve results and don't expect anything to be handed to me."
2. Keep your cover letter bullet-pointed
No employer, at least most, are going to read your cover letter. The only reason I would recommend writing one is because cover letters are such the norm for recent college grads that you almost have to. Don't do the generic two paragraphs. Instead, touch on these points:
Why you studied what you did. Again be specific. Nobody is going to like "I found it interesting." Instead, something like this will do:
"Among the x number of majors (and call your college, they'll tell you the numbers), I decided to spend my four years studying psychology. I enjoy the examination as to how people think, and like any other form or subject of learning, I find it helpful both personally and, more likely than not, professionally.