Resume Writing Tips For Recent College Grads

Get noticed by prospective employers with these simple guidelines for writing an effective resume and cover letter.

So here you are: A recent College Grad who has years of experience in the workforce, desperately searching for your first job in your chosen field. This situation can be as frustrating and demoralizing as trying to find your first part time job in high school.

Your resume, while artfully formatted and beautifully written, is woefully lacking in related experience. You have the education and the drive to succeed, but all the employers seem to be looking for years of direct, on-the-job experience that you don’t have. How can this challenge be overcome?

In order to find that perfect job, you need to know how to sell yourself to prospective employers. Anything you have on your resume can sound impressive if presented in the right manner.


You have just completed your training to become a Registered Nurse. You have been waitressing in a busy diner for the past five years, and before that, you spent two years as a convenience store clerk.

You could say:

“I have extensive experience in managing high-volume traffic and dealing with high-pressure situations in a calm and efficient manner.”


“I can communicate effectively under pressure, and I have developed a keen understanding of the importance of performing my tasks efficiently.”

Both of these statements would be true. You have simply taken your past experiences and related them to the job you are applying for.

resume writing tips for graduates

Don’t be afraid to boast about your accomplishments. While being on the Student Council or participating in sports may seem like nothing to you, prospective employers will see these activities as demonstrations of teamwork and a willingness to take on responsibility. A high GPA can be enough to set you apart from your competition, but if employers don’t know about it, you may miss out on the opportunity.

Another key factor is your cover letter. Employers want to see that you have taken the time to research their companies and the opportunity available. Your cover letter should be addressed to the individual in charge of recruitment and staffing, and it should make reference to the specific position you are applying for. If you don’t have this information, simply address the letter to the Human Resource Department of the company and state the type of position you are interested in.

Your cover letter should be no longer than one page, and it should be written in an easy to read font with clearly defined paragraphs. If an employer is sorting through a pile of resumes, they may be just skimming for pertinent details, and your cover letter should entice them to flip the page and keep reading.

On your actual resume, information should be presented in point form whenever possible, and bullet lists will make the information easier to absorb. Remember that you are trying to appeal to busy executives with tight schedules, and their attention may be drawn away very easily. A strategically timed follow-up call can also be just enough to remind the employer that you are still interested.

Above all, don’t give up! Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and the employers that you are trying to reach will understand and respect this. It may take some time to find the perfect job, but eventually your persistence will pay off.

Good Luck!

Author bio: Beatrice Howell, writer and editor for  

A high qualification, experience in students newspapers, Beatrice works with dissertations, essays, articles, reviews, summaries and other students work, help in university selection and preparation to entry exams.


Leave a Reply