The National Association of Colleges and Employers just released preliminary results of its annual survey of college seniors, which found that 58.5 percent have started their job searches. But only 40.7 percent of those students had actually applied for a job.
Translation: Now is the time for soon-to-be college grads to evaluate their resumes and get ready to send them out.
Peggy Padalino is a resume writing expert at Jobfox, a Virginia-based job matching Web site. Each month she oversees the evaluation of more than 100,000 resumes -- and she compiled this list of strategies to help college students who are looking for a job.
GPA is important, but don't forget ROI
An impressive GPA from a top university will certainly catch the eye of a prospective employer. But in the current labor market - where you are not only competing against fellow students but also experienced candidates - a resume should also, when possible, highlight the ROI (return on investment) you will deliver to the employer. For past internship experience, don't just list job functions performed. Instead, focus on results and leadership demonstrated while interning.
All resume formats are not created equal
Populating your resume with bullets, boldface and indenting is fine when handing a physical resume to a prospective employer or recruiter. But it is not always ideal when submitting a resume online, during which formatting is stripped. For this reason, you should consider maintaining two resume versions, one formatted for print hard copies, and an "e-version" for submission to employer databases.
Keyword optimize your resume
Employers are increasingly utilizing resume-screening software when evaluating job candidates. The software scans resumes for specific keywords related to a job's requirements, pushing keyword-laden resumes to the top of the proverbial stack. Read the job posting carefully, and weave keywords into the resume in a way that does not disrupt flow and readability.
Consider professional resume writing service
You have just spent tens of thousands of dollars on an education, and will likely spend hundreds more on new suits and attire for interviews. Given the importance of resumes to a job search, a professional resume writing service can be valuable. For a few hundred dollars, graduates can receive assistance with many key resume writing strategies, such as keyword optimization, formatting and content.
Be judicious with social networks
Social networks have become an integral part of many college students' lives. While it is true that demonstrating you are social media savvy can be valuable to a prospective employer, you should do so prudently. Create a LinkedIn profile. If you include a Twitter handle on your resume, make sure tweets are professional and beneficial to the job search.
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Posted by: dominiqueatwisechoice | March 26, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse
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