Summer is over and if you’re a recent college graduate and you may have found out landing a good job isn’t always easy. You’re competing both with other recent grads and with older folks who probably have more work experience than you. Whether you’re a recent grad trying to get hired or someone close to you is going through this stressful ordeal, we hope you find the following tips helpful for crafting a great resume despite a lack of relevant work experience.
- Emphasize scholastic achievement. If your work experience is nonexistent or irrelevant to the jobs you’re applying for, be sure to talk up any awards or special projects you were involved with in college, since these will be your main selling points. Give the specific number of hours of related coursework and what you achieved. Be sure to include your major, minor and any awards or publications. Don’t include your GPA unless it was 4.0 or very close to 4.0.
- Include organizations you support or volunteer work you’ve done. This is another way to supplement a lackluster work experience section. Show your potential employer that you’re involved in your local community or that even though you’re new to the industry, you’re already professionally invested in tackling its problems, celebrating its successes and striving toward new innovations.
- Place a professional objective at the top of your resume. Include specifics about what career goals you have and explain how working together to achieve those goals will be mutually beneficial.
- Be specific. Whenever possible, demonstrate in numbers and specifics your accomplishments. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t be generic!
- Don’t include references. In decades past it was standard practice to list contact information for three professional references on a resume. Now, however, it’s assumed that references will be furnished upon request. Including them on a resume just looks old-fashioned and wastes valuable space.
- Tailor your resume for each job. Searching for a decent job can seem like a full-time job in itself. As tempting as it is to send out the same resume to dozens of potential employers, you’re much more likely to get noticed if you take the time to tailor your resume to the specifics of each job posting. At large companies especially, no one is likely to even see your resume if it doesn’t contain specific keywords. Look at the job description for each job you’re applying to and try to word your accomplishments to match what the employer is seeking.
- Employ a second pair of eyes. Resumes will often be weeded out based on small typos or errors, so make sure yours isn’t one of them! No matter how careful you are, the truth is that nobody should be their own proofreader. When you’ve read the same phrases over and over again, it becomes difficult to take in each word and not skim over them. It’s always a good idea to have a friend look over your resume before you send it.
- Remember to put just as much effort into writing a great cover letter! With so much emphasis placed on writing a stellar resume, it can be easy to forget that your cover letter can be just as important. Your cover letter gives you the opportunity to make a great first impression and show why you’re the best candidate. Demonstrate that you’ve done research about the company, explain why you’re passionate about the industry, highlight the best points on your resume. Your cover letter is really your time to shine if you feel like the work experience section on your resume is lacking (or doesn’t exist at all).
At LG Insurance, we want what is best for our clients and hope that everyone we insure realizes their potential and lands that dream job!