College Experiences: What Your Resume Needs

Written By - The Young Vision Ambassador, Maymuna Akhter, Institute of Management Technology - Dubai.

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So in just few months you’ll be done with your finals, marking the end of your uni life.

Graduating from university is indeed a great milestone in anyone’s life. But, what’s next? Of course, it’s time to get a job and explore the corporate world by putting your skills and knowledge to use and showing employers what you’re made of. It’s at this stage of career planning that you might be bemused by several questions: What field should I go into? What roles do different companies have? How do they organise their departments? Which company would suit me? What about the work environment? Should I go for a well-known company or a start-up? Will I be able to impress with my limited experience?

Well, if this is the case for you, then I would definitely urge you to take the step of creating an impressive resume and sending it across to companies that appeal to you. You might think that a fresh graduate’s resume would struggle to compete with more experienced candidates, but it’s not impossible. Follow the suggestions below to give yourself the best shot.

  • Keep it simple. Interviewers will spend a maximum of a few minutes studying your resume, so keep it concise and to one page.
  • Add a professional picture on the header. No selfies!
  • Don’t leave your experience field empty. Even if you’ve only done unpaid volunteer work, include anything you can. Think about positions you’ve held in school/college, for example leading an organising committee or being president of a club. Recognitions and achievements can also be relevant here and help to show your qualities, motivations and skills that will transfer into the work culture.
  • Languages like French, Spanish and Mandarin are in high demand, so mention any other languages you speak, and to what competency level.
  • Add your technical certifications – include anything relevant, even if it was a short course.
  • Include details of your soft skills – interpersonal, leadership, communication, creativity, etc.
  • Mention what makes you different. Think about experiences you’ve had that may be unique to you. Companies are looking for standout candidates.
  • Include a short reference to your hobbies and points of interest. This could be exploring new places, playing football, cooking, etc.
  • Proofread! Ask someone to check over your resume. Employers don’t like a lazy resume!

Having completed 3 years in the corporate world, these are the few important things that have come to my attention. Graduates’ resumes should ideally look like a focused one page document with a clear job goal. Last but not least, be optimistic and visionary. Focus on building your career rather than just getting a job.

All the best!