Dos and Don'ts of Graduate Resume Writing

Posted by GradConnection

If you’re in your final year, you might be starting to look at how to put together a resume specifically for graduate roles in your field. While they’re similar to your standard resume and at times confused with a student resume, there are a few distinct differences that make them stand out.

Read on for some dos and don’ts on how to brush up your graduate resume so you have the best chance possible when applying for roles.

Don’t overcrowd it with too many jobs 

One easy way to brush up your resume is to reassess what experience you want to keep on there. 
This could mean saying goodbye to your first job or two on your resume in order to welcome more relevant internships and placements from throughout your course. 

In saying that, it’s still worth including some previous casual or part-time work experience that isn’t directly related to the graduate roles you’re applying for, just don’t overcrowd it. Keep it down to two jobs, and use the rest of the space to highlight internships, placements, and any other professional experience you’ve had in your field.

Don’t forget to check spelling and grammar 

It might seem obvious, but make sure you proofread your resume! In Season 1 of our podcast, former recruiter for PwC and GradConnection's very own Senior Account Manager, Mai Ly, mentioned that roughly 1 in every 20 resumes she receives has typos in them.

Even if you’re a well-seasoned writer, typos do happen, so it’s best to check your resume a few times before sending it off to a graduate employer.

Do include keywords from job descriptions

As with cover letters, it’s a great idea to include some keywords that recruiters used in the job description: it shows that you have the relevant skill sets and experience that the employer is looking for. 

Additionally, using keywords directly from the position description may give you a leg up if your application is put through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The systems are used by some workplaces to filter through several applications before employers look at them, and sometimes the recruiter can look for certain keywords through the system. For more information, check out our explainer article on ATS here!

Do keep it short and sweet

Try to keep your resume down to maximum two pages. Employers have a lot of resumes to look through, so it’s best to keep it short and sweet, and highlight the most important aspects of your experience and skills. 

Do include links to your work or folio

It’s really important as a graduate to show grad employers what you can do: one of the best ways to do this before you’ve even landed an interview is to put together a portfolio, or include links to relevant coursework and professional work throughout your CV. Luckily we’ve already got you covered - head over to our article on how to create a graduate portfolio website for more tips!

Looking for more on graduate resumes? Check out our article on how to create the perfect graduate resume/CV.


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