Features of Resume Writing in 2024 for Graduates

By Taillor Maizer

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

what to put in a resume

It’s not easy to get your dream job without making a good impression on recruiters, HR managers, and potential employers with the help of a resume. Of course, a well-written and thought-through resume serves to effectively present candidates as highly valued professionals possessing all strengths, skills, and even the right mindset and personal traits that fit the vacant position. However, it is also necessary to figure out how to keep up with other candidates when you’re only a graduate who don’t have a lot of work experience.

Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the latest trends and norms in writing resumes. If you want to write an excellent resume, try following these tips for job-seeking graduates. Doing so will increase your likelihood of getting invited for a job interview.

Do Detailed Research

write a resume

The first and the most important step towards writing a perfect resume is considering all the positions you are interested in, and then conducting detailed research. This research will help you to analyze the market and figure out all the requirements you need to meet if you want a particular type of job.

Visit job search websites and try to do your research. Make sure to pay attention to traits, skills, degree, and additional trainings indicated in the description. This will help you gain an understanding of the particular qualifications that the job market is looking for when hiring. With this, you will know what to write in your resume in order to present yourself as a perfect match, such as the skills and strengths that need highlighting to land a job.

Highlight Your Key Skills

Once you have conducted the necessary research, it is time to synthesize all the details you have to mention in your resume. Be sure to mention all the keywords you have noticed in the job description. On average, it is believed that a company’s recruiter spends only about thirty seconds on each candidate’s resume.

In fact, it is common that there are dozens or even hundreds of candidates applying to the same position. It is obvious that recruiters are not able to thoroughly review all the files they receive. To save some time, they only skim instead of reading all the resumes and CVs.

However, if you mention the anticipated keywords, there’s a greater chance that a recruiter will put your resume aside for further evaluation or even immediately invite you for an interview. Therefore, the primary aim of writing a resume is the need to make a candidate stand out from the crowd in the best possible way.

Choosing the Right Sequence

As we know, the right sequence defines what parts are highlighted in a resume. As a rule, candidates put the skills section at the top since it gives an idea of what a candidate’s capabilities are. However, it would be better to put the sections in the following order: education, skills, and work experience. The thing is that graduates usually have only started to learn the required skills and do not have much work experience.

In the skills section, mention keywords that appear in the analyzed descriptions of similar roles. Try to find the skills you possess that would be useful in the position that a company is looking to fill. Do not forget about your linguistic skills and your knowledge of software programs and platforms. Work experience is usually the second section. It is essential to mention the recent position in the beginning.

If you are a graduate who already has some work experience, make sure to put your latest experience first. As we know, recruiters prefer the reverse chronological order. If it is going to be your first job, it would be a good idea to describe some volunteering experience, different accomplishments, and awards. It is also recommended to mention industry-related certificates and the year of their acquisitions.

The third section is usually dedicated to education. Pay attention to the relevance of your education to the job position you are applying for. If your education is relevant to that position and you do not have any work experience, it is possible to place the section in the beginning. As a rule, the education section must have such information as your university degree, graduation year, and academic honors. It may also include your GPA score if required by an employer.

Responsibilities Overview

Listing previous work experiences and positions is not the only element needed to write a good resume. For each job position, do not forget to list your responsibilities. Use bullets to make the summary easier to read. Each bullet should start with an action verb that correlates with your responsibility: “to coordinate”, “to plan”, “to execute”.

Also, list your greatest achievements (sales were increased by 10%, etc.). Make sure that all these accomplishments are in alignment with the criteria the employer indicated in the job posting.

Keep Everything Simple

A resume should be a very concise summary that includes bullets and highlights all aspects of a candidate’s professionalism. The indicated traits, skills, experience, and accomplishments should prove that a candidate is perfect for a particular job.

  • Layout; if you are applying for the position of a designer, think about a creative layout. However, if your position is related to some other sphere, it is better to use a simple layout.
  • The section heading should be simple and bold;
  • The letters should be capitalized;
  • Make sure that there is plenty of white space since a resume overstuffed with a lot of different information is extremely hard to read.
  • Avoid graphics, charts, and illustrations that are not displayed well by resume-scanning programs (ATS). In this case, create a resume in a standard Word document.
  • Infographic resumes use visual elements to highlight skills;
  • Limit your resume to precisely one page;
  • Use keywords found in the typical job description for a position;
  • The titles should be traditional (Skills, Education, etc.);
  • The header and footer should remain empty.

The Correct Grammar Usage

According to statistics, approximately 60%-70% of recruiters will disregard your resume if there is presence of any grammatical or spelling errors. That’s why it is crucial that you review your resume thoroughly.

Use the right form of a word (for example, you need to distinguish ‘their’ and ‘there’), the correct lexical choice (fall and fell), punctuation, and the correct usage of apostrophes. Use Google Docs, Grammarly, and other applications to catch grammatical and punctual errors. Ask professionals to read through your writing.

While writing the work experience section, pay attention to the correct usage of tenses: write down responsibilities in the past tense for former positions and write down action verbs for the current position in the present tense.

Sending Your Resume

writing a resume

While sending your resume, follow all the directions listed on the application page of the company or the page on a job seeking website. If there’s no direction on how to submit a resume, send it through the indicated format (usually, it is done in a PDF format). The PDF format is chosen to make the file unchangeable: it can be only viewed. However, there might be some changes to the format while sending the information.

Make sure to create a really strong resume in order to land your dream job. A strong resume includes such sections as Education, Skills, Work Experience, etc. Choose a simple layout and transform the resume into a PDF format. Do not forget about conducting detailed research and use keywords in your skills section.

Some information should be cut off from your resume as well. For example, there is absolutely no need to share personal information, marital status, religious and political views, etc. If required, you can also add a cover letter to a resume.

Author’s Bio

Alice Silverston is a writer with exceptional skills in writing political and economic news, as well as human resource management for Pro-Papers. Alice is also fond of cooking. She cooks Chinese, Italian, French, Vietnamese cuisines, etc. Alice knows that a good article is like mixing ingredients according to a recipe: it’s crucial to have a concept, pathos, logos, ethos, the right structure and compelling ideas. In the future, she wants to take up a new hobby, gardening.

Taillor Maizer

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