Best resume format tips for fresh graduates
06 February 2023
What is a fresher resume
With so many advices and templates out there, it can be really confusing for freshers to decide how to go about creating their first resume. A quick advice is that be original and show who you are in your resume. Quite simply, highlight all your achievements as a student. Period.
It is not like a term has been coined by the international community of resumes. Jokes apart, there is no classification of resumes by levels of work experiences. Resumes are all the same. A resume is a summary of someone’s credentials. That’s all there is to describe a resume. In general, people refer to a fresher resume as a resume of someone who is yet to have their first full time job. Surprisingly, the term fresher resume is usually used by fresh college graduates who are yet to join the formal full-time workforce.
Idea in Brief
Building your first resume can be a daunting tasks, mainly because there is a lot of misinformation around best practices. If there is one tip that we can offer fresh graduates, it will be never copy someone else's resume. It will do a whole lot of good to build your own resume from scratch.
Tips for a great fresher resume
One thing that baffles fresh college graduates when they set out to create their first resume is around what to write in the resume so they can fill up even a single page that finally would look like a resume.
While fresh college graduates may not have formal full-time experiences yet, they can include part-time work experiences, significant achievements as a student in college, social engagements, achievements in sports and voluntary contributions etc.
Follow the following guidelines to build a fresher resume.
Ensure you have all these sections:
Personal information: No matter it is a fresher resume or an experienced resume, the personal information such as full name, phone number and email address should be displayed right on top of the resume. Often with a larger font size and in bold. Also include your shortened link to linkedin profile. Don’t include any other links unless they are relevant to the job you are applying to.
Career objective: A career objective is another minimum requirement on the fresher resume. This is considered the heart of the resume. This is your first opportunity to impress the recruiter and the hiring manager. Have crisp couple of lines on what your strengths are and how they link to the job you are applying to.
Qualifications: Depending on how you structure your resume format, you can have qualifications immediately follow the career objective. There is no need to include the GPA unless you know that the company you are applying to have a minimum GPS or % expectation. You should include the abbreviated degree name, area of concentration (Example: BE Mechanical Engineering), the university or college you obtained the degree from and the period you spent studying for the degree.
Technical skills and certifications
Under technical skills and Certifications, list all the technical skills and certifications you have. A small tip here – do not include online training certifications unless you have really gained some skills you can back up very well during the interviews. For example, you took an online course on Python, be ready to be able to show what did you learn, what you built using that new knowledge, etc. You don’t want to be in an embarrassing situation of having taken a course with no knowledge of that course. Another tip – do mention at least two to three skills. You can easily include MS Excel, MS PowerPoint etc if you are absolutely blank. If you cannot even include MS Excel and PowerPoint, you better start learning at least these two tools that are so widely used at work places.
Soft skills: For a fresher resume, this section might sound a little difficult at first but dig a little deeper and find out what 3 soft kills you can include. If you are struggling to come up with even 3, think about what your friends would tell a stranger as to what your top skills are. Don’s just write communication skills; you could rather say presentation skills, structured problem solving, event management, etc.
College projects: An interesting and a very important section to include on fresher resumes is on College Projects. Be it a small side project that you delivered on your own or the mega final semester/year project you delivered as a member of a team, mention that. The key is how you include it. You should focus on the transferrable aspects of your project work. It could be creatively addressing a problem in a unique way, maybe you used a new technology, maybe you undertook an extensive market research, etc. Highlight the significant aspect of your contribution to the project. Stress on your role that made an impact on the project.
Internship and part time experiences: If you have undergone internship or have a part time work experience, do include them. Focus on what have you achieved in those opportunities; however small they might be. The very reason you want to include this section is to highlight what your specialties. So, focus on the aspects that are relevant to the job you are applying to.
Additional information – hobbies, voluntary contributions etc. This should be the last section on your resume. Mention anything noteworthy. Have a led your college team in the inter-college competition, have you participated in the municipality led covid-19 relief efforts in your community or you might have been the college football team captain, or you have a Youtube channel on local bird species – this is the section to include all of it. If you included all these in your resume, you would be mighty impressed by your resume.