10 tips for writing the best resume for your post-graduation job search

The biggest challenge facing college students and new grads is landing a good job. A job that is in your chosen field provides real-time professional work experience, utilizes your learned skills and pays well. Opportunities are opening as the economy expands, but new grads are often labeled as inexperienced and excluded from hiring consideration. Internships abound that offer “work for free” terms, supposedly in exchange for professional experience, yet often provide little or no experience substance.

The solution is to develop a resume that translates your academic achievements into real professional work experience.
So how do you translate your academic successes into needed workplace skills?

1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and that self-confidence will be reflected on your resume. Whatever obstacles you think impede your entry into the professional work world will be overcome by recognizing your unique skills and strengths.

2. ASK YOURSELF:  How does my academic major mirror my professional career goals? How do my studies prepare me for the professional work world? In what scholastic projects was I a participant? A key contributor? What were the impact and results of my project contributions? Did you come up with an idea that was adopted by others? What was the idea and why was it a good one?

The answers to these questions will help structure your resume. And help you prepare for your interviews.

3. STATE YOUR GOAL. Clearly stating your target job goal will reflect confidence in your ability to do the job.  Be exact. Then the reader will exactly know the job you want, and your desired responsibility level.

4. SET THE RESUME STAGE to showcase your unique talents by presenting highly-valued know-how that positions you as a strong candidate!  Cultivate appeal by creating a Branding Statement that showcases your experience and supports your target job goals.

(It might look something like this.)


High-performing Communications graduate prepared to shine as an entry level Communications Specialist or Marketing/Communications Associate. Strengthen customer retention and satisfaction rates, and build internal/external customer relationships as organized, energetic and highly motivated professional. Studied in communication strategy and plan implementation. Offer hands-on academic experience in classroom teaching, corporate training and communication research. Fluent in Spanish, Italian and English. (Include multi-lingual skills in your branding statement.)

5. EMPHASIZE your academic achievements. Earning a degree was your job. You worked hard to achieve that goal. Show employers how you bring this commitment to the workplace by designing an Education section that highlights all academic honors, leadership activities, athletic awards and all other distinctive achievements.


Bachelor of Arts (BA), Communications, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2017

Cumulative G.P.A. 3.57, Major G.P.A. 3.9, Dean’s List 2016, 2017

Thesis Topic:  Communication Trends in Social Media

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team-in-Training (TNT) Program


Bachelor of Science (BSN) Nursing, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 2017

Basic Life Support (BLS), Active

State of California, Licensed Registered Nurse, (Exam Fall 2017)

6. USE ACADEMIC PROJECTS TO SHOWCASE YOUR SKILLS. Highlight your project work and achievements by identifying and defining your academic accomplishments. Describe what you have learned and how that applies to your career objective:


Washington Post, Washington, DC   2016

Marketing Analyst Intern

Analyzed entire marketing program, including advertising and media presentations, pricing strategies, in-store promotions, image and competitor positioning. Conducted extensive research, phone surveys and comparative shopping reviews.

    Modified existing marketing program by preparing and utilizing survey participant recommendations.
    Recognized by CEO for exceeding expected results and demonstrating professionalism.

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Study Abroad Program, Florence, Italy   2015

Completed coursework on Italian artists during the Late Renaissance.  Examined detailed surveys on the art and culture of 16th century Florence.  Gained fluency in Italian.

‘Learn City’                         2014

Project centered on improving school environment health and safety. Key contributor of health instruction to urban teachers and nursing students on nutrition, wellness, basic hygiene, immunizations including recordkeeping, emergency health planning.

6. SKILLS, SKILLS AND MORE SKILLS. List your learned, most significant and in-demand skills as they apply to your desired job.

Press Releases|Communication Plans & Strategies|Media Placements | Writing/Editing Speeches & Presentations|Market Research & Analysis |Team Building |Journalism

7. TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW is an essential section to any resume, especially that of a new grad. Showcase your technical skills and your knowledge of the latest software trends.


MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook

Google Docs, Forms and Drive

8. EMBRACE YOUR POWER and lose the fear with your college triumphs as the framework for a clear, concise and to-the-point resume!

9.  INSPIRE the reader to want to learn more about you and what you have done by designing a resume that uses your successes to capture and hold the prospective employer’s attention.   

10. KEEP IN MIND you are not just writing a resume. You are setting the foundation for your professional career development. Reflect on what it is you have done and where it is you want to go.  Your resume will support your accomplishments and successes, and how you will utilize what you have learned in your first professional role.



Source: college.usatoday.com