The Best Way to Set up your Resume for College Grads

Ideally, your resume will be a one page marketing document highlighting your job experience as well as your academic achievements. Below is a step by step guide along with a sample resume on how your resume should ideally look.


1. Use a professional looking email

Using an email address like may have been fine when you were younger but now that you are about the enter the professional world, it’s time to retire your old email and create a more professional email.

2. Add your LinkedIn

Not only is it great to have a LinkedIn for networking but it’s also a great tool for recruiters to find you faster! Take it a step further and customize your LinkedIn profile URL so it matches your brand and fits nicely on your resume.

3. Only list a career objective if you are sure on what you want to do or if you are applying to a specific job

If you’re looking to be in a particular field but not sure what you want to do in that field, you probably shouldn’t have an objective at the top of your resume. Having an objective when you’re unclear about what you want to do can do more harm than good. If you are pretty positive you want to be an ‘Entry-Level Financial Analyst’ or you’re applying for the position of ‘Marketing Assistant’ then you can place your career objective on the top, otherwise leave it off.

4. Only list your college education/achievements

Hiring managers are only interested in what you have done lately, not on what you accomplished four or more years before you went to college. So we recommend leaving your high school education and achievements off the resume. The only exception is if you received a national or international accolade that would set you apart.

5. Only list your GPA if it is high

We recommend only listing your GPA if it is over 3.5.  If you graduated with honors, be sure to include that as well.

6. Do not use Pronouns

The generally accepted practice is to refrain from referring to yourself in the first person with pronouns such as 'I' or 'me'. Similarly, don't use pronouns or your name to talk about yourself in the third person.

7. Use bullet points

Use bullet points to draw attention to the information you believe recruiters will care most about. This may include an accomplishment or other major contribution you helped your team achieve. When writing these bullet points – follow the STAR method whenever possible to describe your responsibilities (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

8. Use Action words

When you're new to the workforce, you may not have many major accomplishments and contributions to include in your resume; however, you can use action verbs, like 'created,' 'led,' 'managed,' 'improved,' 'developed,' and 'built' to describe your activities. Make sure to also highlight personal achievements on your resume.  

9. List your honors and extracurriculars

Your first resume out of college should play up your best selling points. This may include any projects or extracurricular activities you held while attending college, as well as any scholarships or other honors you’re receiving during that time.

10. Technical Skills

Look at the job descriptions that interest you and note what technical skills they expect you to possess. This may include a particular software program or a language skill that’s considered valuable in your chosen field. If you have a working knowledge of these platforms and will be able to speak to that intelligently in an interview, list them on your resume.

11. No references need to be included

As an entry-level professional, you only get one page of resume real estate – don’t waste it by adding references or the phrase, “References available upon request.” Employers usually won’t ask for this information until you make it to a face-to-face interview, and they know you’ll provide it if they request it.


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