Aside from summer jobs and internships, new graduates tend to lack any real experience going into their first job search. This makes it difficult for employers to evaluate how good a fit a recent college graduate is for an open position. So, how can you make sure your resume screams "Hire me!" without listing an substantial employment experiences? Here is what the experts say:
- Have Realistic Expectations: It is very common for new graduates to form unrealistic expectations about their first job. Jackie Ducci, President and Professional Recruiter of recruitment firm Ducci & Associates, notes: "It is amazing to us how many young college grads enter the work force with an air of entitlement. Many have an inflated sense of self, and unrealistic expectations as to how much money they should be making right out of the gate. The candidates who are more humble, realistic, and have the right attitude will stand out (in a good way) every single time."
- Showcase Your Extra-Curriculars: One area that recruiters will look to how you spent your free time during your undergraduate education in place of your work experience. Were you involved in any organizations that speak to your work ethic or leadership abilities? How well did you balance your extracurriculars with your GPA? As the Managing Partner of National Staffing Agency, Kavaliro, Bill Peppler has interviewed his fair share of new graduates. He explains that the type of organizations a student was a part of tells a lot about how they fit with your organization. He notes, "Activity and involvement shows a numerous amount of skill sets that can translate well into an entry-level position.â€
- Express your Passions: Hiring managers will try to get a sense for what you are passionate about and evaluate how you chose to express that passion during your time at school. As Senior Technical Recruiter of staffing agency, Eliassen Group, Anne Ledger uses an IT candidate's level of passion as a way to gauge whether or not they are fit for a role. "I am looking for their passion for the technology," she says. "I always ask about their hobbies and if they are using their IT knowledge to blog or make personal web sites. What was their senior project? Could that be applied to a practical work situation?"
Will you use any of our expert tips?