Published On: Wed, Jan 18th, 2017

Résumés for graduates: The main ingredients to secure that elusive first job

It’s probably the toughest job that you’ll ever apply for and for that reason, it’s crucial to make life as easy as possible. As the name might suggest, this means that you simply must put together the perfect résumé for that elusive first job.

Résumé

Unfortunately, far too many first-time applicants make umpteen schoolboy errors when it comes to this first résumé. While getting that elusive experience and education is of paramount importance, first impressions matter – particularly when you have to stand out from such a big crowd chasing those entry level jobs.

We were first alerted to the ‘golden rules’ of the entry level résumé following a Tweet by JD Dukes. Having researched the topic further, here is the lowdown on some of the best tips to fine-tune your first résumé to perfection.

It starts with the font

It sounds remarkably simple, but the font is something which can make or break a résumé in a flash.

Opt for something like ‘Comic Sans’ and you’ll be laughed out of the office. Go for something more formal, with ‘Arial’ and ‘Times New Roman’ being common choices, and you’ve made a good start. Of course, we’re not going to discount any other font styles; the main advice here is to stay formal and under no circumstances opt for the trendy.

It doesn’t just stop with the font though; contrary to what most people say, size does matter. 10-point is one of the most commonly used and it’s for good reason. Less than 9 and it will make the receiver squint, while any larger than 11 and suddenly you’re giving the impression that you don’t have much to say on paper.

Your education is more important than ever

We’re by no means suggesting that your degree is going to be less valuable as you age, but from an entry level perspective your education is what a potential employer really is looking out for. They understand you don’t have the experience, so the next best thing is what you have achieved at college.

As such, it’s all about putting the education as high as possible. Additionally, if you have been involved in any coursework which is relevant to the role that you are applying for, then list it. On the other hand, don’t feel the need to list every module that was part of your course – relevancy is paramount here.

‘Customize’ your experience

As this is an entry-position, your experience is likely to be quite bare. Nevertheless, if you do have some experience, at least customize what you list.

When we talk about customize, we’re referring to the way in which you describe each role. Sure, volunteering is always going to be looked upon favorably, but don’t ramble about something that isn’t related to your application. Pick out the parts which will help you in the prospective role, just to drill home to the person reading the application why you are suitable.

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