Resume Tips for College Students Preparing for Their First Job After Graduation

You’ve recently graduated from college and you’re ready to enter the working world. Next step: drafting the perfect resume! As a recent college grad, you may be wondering what to include, since you don’t yet have any work experience to list. That’s OK—you can draft the perfect resume to help you secure an interview (and your first job) with these tips from a leading provider of temp jobs in Atlanta: Happy Faces Personnel Group.

Write a Functional—not Chronological—Resume

The first step in writing your post-college resume is determining how you’ll format it. You may feel you’re short on content, but that’s simply not true. The best resume you can construct is what’s called a functional resume. This means rather than listing your past work experience in chronological order, you’ll instead include all the skills you picked up in your coursework and through part-time jobs.

Five Resume Tips for Recent College Grads

Follow these tactics to round out your resume with plenty of valuable details:

Begin with an Objective

If you have a clear idea what you’d like to do career-wise, your resume should open with an objective statement about the type of job you’re in search of. Key: tailor your statement to the job to which you’re applying by reviewing the job description.

Group Your Skills into Categories

Based on what you’ve learned during your time in college, create category blocks. For example, your categories could be: professional skills, customer support, industry research, etc. Then, underneath each category, list out the specific skill you’ve developed.

Leave No Stone (or Job) Unturned

Let’s say that to help pay for your books, you worked part-time at a local department store. Even if it feels like you didn’t learn anything related to your industry, take another look—you may have developed valuable soft skills that can apply to any job. Did you improve your communication, problem-solving, independent thinking, etc.? Include these skills (and specifically how you obtained them) on your resume.

Keep Your Word Choices Powerful and Active

The verbs you use can make a difference when an employer does a key word search. Without trying to over-glamorize or disguise what you accomplished, use verbs that paint the best possible picture. For example, promoted, collaborated and consolidated are stronger than helped or completed.

Use Numbers When You Can

Numbers help a hiring manager understand the extent of your accomplishments and make them much more concrete and measurable. If you went to nursing school and had a clinical rotations, important numbers could include the number of patients on your case load, or the number of beds in the facility where you interned. Other important numbers could include the average number of customers you served during shifts at your part-time job, the number of reports you completed during your coursework, or even your GPA (if it’s high).

Always Review!

Once your resume is drafted, you can tighten it up by reviewing for grammar and spelling. You want it to be as professional as possible, so ask a friend or family member for their careful review.


If you’re currently looking for somewhere to send your resume and you’re in search of a job in the Atlanta area, contact Happy Faces Personnel Group! To learn more, contact us today!


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