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Resources for finding and applying for jobs during or after college.

No Employment History? Learn What to Add When Creating a RESUME

Feb 26, 2010 Pervin Shaikh

Using work experience and leadership roles to enhance a RESUME. No experience? Learn what needs to be added to get a competitive advantage

Trying to get that all important first job after university can be tricky at the best of times, but the task can appear to be an even more of a challenging feat during tight economic conditions. This is when the process is likely to become an even more of a steep curve. However, knowing what can enhance a young graduate’s chances of landing a job can make a big difference.

Employment savvy graduates know in order to get ahead they need to be engaging in activities which will demonstrate transferable skills later on in employment. There are a number of activities and tips a young graduate can take into account when writing a RESUME for the first and most important job.

Building a RESUME with Little or no Work Experience

Many graduates may have little or no relevant experience when it comes to employment. This however, provides an enterprising student or a graduate an opportunity to highlight many skills gained from the academic and extracurricular activities. RESUME writing need not be too challenging or time consuming process and by adopting a positive approach to RESUME writing will come through in the final document

Some graduates may feel that without relevant experience, they may not get a second glance in the employment arena. The key approach is to ensure transferable skills are clearly listed and examples given where appropriately. All graduates have to have a starting point and a useful starting point is to decide what is relevant when writing a RESUME.

Useful Information to Add to a RESUME

Employers are consistently looking for enterprising graduates who can succinctly demonstrate this on paper. It is these enterprising graduates who are most likely to add value to their organization.

The following are helpful tips to write about when creating a RESUME:

  • Roles of responsibility held including any leadership roles within student societies
  • Examples of team working and group related projects which could highlight team working skills, organization and time management
  • Presentation skills
  • Extracurricular activities such as sports, debating society, creative arts, learning new skills
  • Academic achievements
  • Awards or scholarships

One of the downfalls of many graduates is their inability to demonstrate transferable skills to a potential employer. To overcome this, an individual for example can highlight any experience of working with teams detailing the project, role played and end result achieved. This is an excellent example or demonstrating team working, organization and leadership skills detailing

Sample RESUME for Students

Many universities will have dedicated careers advisers who will advise on what needs to be added to a RESUME. In addition, there are many external websites who also provide free and invaluable RESUME advice and useful tips. Making the most of these services can be all the worthwhile as the advisers will know from experience and industry contact what employers are looking for.

How to Build an Interview Winning RESUME

The following may help with the layout

  • Personal Details including name and address
  • Personal Profile – a brief professional summary of the individual
  • Key achievements
  • Education detailing all qualifications including title or thesis
  • Internships
  • Positions of responsibility
  • References – this should be “available upon request”

Writing an interview winning RESUME need not be a cumbersome or time consuming experience. However, what is does require is a succinct demonstration of transferable skills by the graduate. If the graduate is able to successfully utilize skills s/he has gained and adopts an enterprising approach in illustrating this, then s/he will no doubt stand a better chance in convincing a potential employer.

Potential employers are interested in seeing how an individual can fit in their organizations and demonstrate a willingness to utilize their knowledge and skills within an organizational setting. If a potential employer can be convinced at the RESUME stage, then the student or graduate stands a good chance of being invited to an interview.

Getting that all important first job need not be an uphill struggle. However, it does require a little bit of careful planning, and ensuring the RESUME is jargon free. The major task of any student or graduate is to craft a winning RESUME which will capture a potential employer’s attention in the first 10 seconds.