Fresher Graduate Resume: Answers to All Your Questions

Getting fresh out of university? About to write a graduate resume? You have been through so many hardships by now with all the assignments and exams and perhaps even internships. You have also had a lot of fun along the way. You might already know how different the corporate world is, how the job market, and corporate work experience are going to be absolutely different from everything you have experienced until now.

Last update:
01/01/2024

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We understand you might be worried, concerned, or even anxious about the new beginning, when you are a fresher and a new graduate, looking for a job can be the toughest. Since you do not have any experience, you have to find your own strengths and aspects that you can focus on, on your graduate resume. This is the only way you can get an interview call.

Once you get the interview call, you also have to be prepared for the interview because the hiring managers will not be very lenient with you. They will ask tough questions. You will need to show a lot of confidence during the interview while also making sure you don't display overconfidence. You will need to do some research so the hiring managers will be satisfied with your approach and dedication.

fresher graduate resume

Now, let's talk about the graduate resume. You may have many many questions about what to write, how to write, how to begin, where to begin, what should the graduate resume look like and so many more questions. Most importantly, what can you do to optimize your resume and increase your chances of getting hired?

We have curated this guide with all the answers to your questions. We will go over every question, step by step, and discuss every possible question, confusion and worry you might have. Let's dive in!👇

How to write a professional resume?

Writing a professional graduate resume is not difficult when you know some of the basic professional resume writing guidelines that need to be followed. These guidelines help you display professionalism on your resume, the guidelines also help you highlight the important parts of your resume.

  • Always use past tense and third person in your language to reflect a formal tone in your graduate resume. You may also want to avoid any and every pronoun throughout the resume to ensure a completely formal sentence formation.
  • When you are labeling the graduate resume document, you should use simple labels that are easy and helpful to recognize your resume document and identify the document as yours. For that, you should use your first name, last name, and the term 'Resume' or 'CV' or 'Curriculum Vitae'.
  • Your graduate resume will be seen by a number of hiring managers on various document viewing mediums. Your graduate resume will also go through a number of applicant tracking systems and that means your graduate resume needs to be in a document format that is compatible with all the systems and mediums that the document may be viewed through. The most compatible document formats for your resume would be the Microsoft Word document format and the PDF document format. You may want to choose one of them as well.
  • A professional graduate resume should be professional and that means no mistakes. You need to proofread your graduate resume two times before you save it. While proofreading, you need to pay attention to every detail and ensure that you get rid of any grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes, and factual errors. Any such mistake can make you look like a person who doesn't pay attention to details or someone who is careless and unprofessional.
  • You will have various information on your resume such as your contact information, details of your education, skills development, your internship experience information, and so on. All of this information on your recent college graduate resume should be accurate so that the hiring manager can reach out to you easily, if they fail to connect with you, they will not try to find another way and you will miss the opportunity.
  • Another reason to ensure accuracy on your recent college graduate resume is that if at any point, after being hired, the recruiters find any inconsistencies or points on your resume that cannot be verified or are not the entire truth or a lie, it can result in you losing your job that you acquired with so many efforts and hard work.
  • Lastly, one of the most important aspects of writing a professional recent college graduate resume is to choose the right resume format. If you choose the wrong resume format, your professional graduate resume will not be highlighted on the parts of your profile that need to be focused upon but the recruiters.

When you follow these guidelines on your resume, you will have a recent college graduate resume that is not only written well but also meets the professional standards of a professional resume, which means the recruiters will be pleased to see your resume and will go through your resume carefully.

In case the recruiters come across a resume that is not written well in terms of professional resume format and guidelines, they are likely to not pay attention to the resume information because they will be disappointed from the beginning.

You can use this article as your checklist while writing your graduate resume. You can also take a look at various examples of graduate resume to get a better idea of how your resume should look.

Now, let's talk about the resume formats.👇

How do I choose the right format?

The resume format provides you with a layout that is most suitable for your profile information. Various layouts focus on various sections of a resume to highlight the important parts of profile information. There are many resume formats that you can choose from, we will talk about the most preferred options.

  • Functional resume format: Functional resume format is a layout that focuses on skills and education instead of experience. In this format, you can mention your education with details such as relevant coursework and subjects, and academic performances, you can also list your relevant skills along with their description of how you developed them and/or instances where you have displayed them as a piece of evidence and even volunteer experience and more relevant information. A functional resume format is suitable for freshers and recent college graduates such as you.
  • Reverse chronological resume format: Reverse chronological resume format focuses on the work history or the experience section of any professional resume. This format also gives some importance to skills however the primary focus will be on the work history or professional experience. This format is suitable for those who have significant experience or extensive work history that needs to be highlighted properly.
  • Combination resume format or Hyrbid resume: Combination or hybrid resume format is nothing but a simple combination of the above two resume formats. The combination resume focuses on the experience section or the work history section as well as the skills section. The skills section in this resume may consist of skills that are transferable from one career or professional experience to another, skills may be listed with crisp descriptions. The experience section is also focused upon with equal weight. Usually, these sections will include the transferable aspects of the job description including skills and experience.

Choosing the right format is crucial because it will decide which part of your resume is highlighted and thus paid attention to by the recruiters. As a fresher who is writing a graduate resume, you should go with the functional resume without a doubt.

fresher graduate resume

Which sections to focus on?

As we have mentioned before, in the absence of any significant or extensive professional experience and work history, you need to focus on your relevant skills and the education section.

In addition, you can also talk about your volunteer experience, training, and other exposures. For example, you can talk about extracurricular activities and aspects of your profile that are relevant to the role that you are applying for. It can be seminars, events, programs, courses, training, workshops, volunteer experience, or assistance experience of any capacity that is relevant to your job and new role or the job description.

How do we leverage education?

Talking about your education can be tricky because you may find various aspects of your education that can be mentioned on your professional graduate resume however it should be mentioned in the right manner so that the information is received with the desired impact.

To do that, you should talk about any and everything about your education that can make an efficient difference. For example, you can talk about your relevant coursework, you can talk about the various subjects that you learned, and which were the most prominent topics you covered and learned. Any skills that you learned and developed. Your academic performance such as your grades and so on. All of this information can help you appropriately leverage your education on your graduate resume.

How to begin writing a resume?

Research is the answer to most of the questions. Before you begin writing your graduate resume, you should do some research first. This research may include exploring your role, various designations, and positions that you qualify for, various job descriptions, potential employers that you want to work with, and the industry that you want to work in.

Doing this research will help you learn all about the job market, current trends, what the recruiters expect, which are the usual job duties that you have to handle, and so on. This will also help you understand how you should present your profile on your resume in a way so that you can stand out from the pool of your fellow job applicants and candidates.

After the research, you can choose the resume layout and go on to explore various resume templates. Resume formats provide you with resume layouts. Resume templates help you design the resume for visual appeal. There are a number of professional resume templates available on the internet that you can explore, they offer a wide range of options for visually appealing resumes with various themes, designs, colors, and so on.

💡Nearly four in ten Americans ages 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, a share that has grown over the last decade.

(Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/04/12/10-facts-about-todays-college-graduates/)

When you choose the template, keep in mind that it should be professional so that the final resume doesn't seem informal or unprofessional in design. Templates have the margins, font size and colors, white space, and everything else arranged well and all you have to do is insert your information in the template.

Templates have sample information added so when you are using a template, make sure you replace all the content with the real information of your resume. You might have to fix the margins and white space a little bit in case your resume has more or less information than the sample information in the resume template.

fresher graduate resume

What should my resume look like?

Now let's talk about how to write your professional graduate resume and what it should look like.

Resume header

The best candidate has the most important aspect in their resume- accuracy! Your information should be accurate throughout your resume. The resume header consists of the contact information about you through which the hiring manager will contact you in case your job application is shortlisted for the position.

The resume header should include below mentioned information:

  • Your full name (first name and last name) with the correct spelling
  • Your contact number with area code and country code, the number which is always available and you have handy so that you don't miss any job opportunities because of missed calls.
  • For the professional email address that you use for professional and formal communication when you mention it, ensure that the professional email address is formal and does not have any unnecessary numbers and words, It should be as simple as possible so that it is formal and professional.
  • Your LinkedIn profile link (only if your profile is updated and carefully curated in a professional manner. You should also be regularly using the platform as well as being active on the platform on a daily basis.

Resume summary

A resume summary can be written in a short paragraph however a professional graduate resume of the best candidate should have the resume summary written in bullet points. You should start with the role and designation you are applying for.

Followed by the role or designation, you should write about 3 to 5 bullet points where you highlight the relevant, important, and impressive parts of your resume. You need to mention information such as what you learned in the university, and which skills you developed. What kind of work experience or internship experience do you have, what kind of company or business you are hoping to work at, and what are your future goals and career goals that you value the most? Try to keep it crisp, short, and concise.

Education

Your education section is important and you should pay enough attention when you get here. Your education section is not just for your degree information, you can also mention any online courses or classes you have completed, any trainings you have completed, and any extracurricular activities you participated in that may be relevant.

When mentioning your degree, you should state the full degree along with the institute, organization, or platform from where you acquired the degree. You can also mention the relevant coursework and other information such as your academic performance and exposure to practical work or professional field.

Skills

Your skills matter a lot because you don't have any professional experience. You need to not only list the top most relevant and important skills but also provide a little description of each skill, where you talk about how you acquired the skills, how you developed the skills, how you have faced instances where you used the skills and reached a solution or achieved success.

This section should give insights into your professional capacity and abilities. You can also include language proficiency in case your role demands language proficiency as a prominent skill. You should mention your soft skills as well along with your hard skills. Soft skills are skills that help you navigate situations regardless of your role and field. Communication, interpersonal, organizational, etc. are some of the soft skills. Soft skills ensure your ability to be an efficient professional.

Experience

You may not have professional work experience however you can talk about your volunteer work experience internships or any other experiences such as having attended various seminars or workshops, and having completed any practical programs or coursework in the field.

Since you are fresher, you should not feel that it is mandatory that you have relevant experience, you can mention any experience that you might have had in a professional capacity and in a professional setting.

For example, you may be applying for the role of social media executive and you do not have social media executive experience. However, you have taught kids or have taken tuition as an English teacher or a teaching assistant, or you may have taught music as a music teacher. It is professional experience and should be mentioned on your resume briefly because any kind of professional experience is better than no experience at all.

Extra Sections

In case you have any more information that is relevant or important, you can create a separate section for such information and add more value to your graduate resume. You might have gone through various job ad, and job advertisement and explored job duty or job description, and you will write your resume accordingly.

Your fellow applicants will have also gone through the same and their resumes might have similar information about relevant experience and skills and so on. What this means is that you need to stand out and the way to do that is to add more relevant information that can help you stand out.

Cover letter

A cover letter can make a big difference for you when you are a fresher. Cover letter allows you to include more keywords which helps you beat the ATS when your job application passes through the ATS.

An effective manner of writing a cover letter is to personalize it in a way so that the recruiter is impressed and is able to connect with you through the cover letter and take the cover letter sincerely. A cover letter allows you to use a bit of an informal tone as opposed to the strictly formal tone of your professional graduate resume. A good balance of formal yet informal language can really make a big difference in your cover letter.

In your cover letter, you can reiterate your interest and pitch your candidacy or profile for the position. A cover letter can also include more details of specific skills, internship experience, university education, knowledge of various subjects, and minimal work experience if you have, your achievements as a student, your plans for the future, your interest in the particular role, your performance during your studies and so on. It can be similar information as your graduate resume, however, it will be in a bit of informal language.

In addition, you can also talk about your inspiration and how you ended up as a particular professional in a specific field, you can talk about how your journey has been with developing skills, getting experience, and developing various proficiencies, you can also explain various obstacles you faced and how you overcame them. These details will reflect your passion for the role and industry and leave the recruiter genuinely considering your job application for the position.

Recommendation letter

A recommendation letter can help you a lot when you are a fresher with no experience. Recommendation letters can make a good impact and a big difference if the letter has good information and content that seems genuine. You can get a recommendation letter from anyone at your university.

It can be your professor, dean, or department head from the university that you studied. You can also get a recommendation letter from your supervisor or manager or the boss from the organization or company that you worked at for your internship or even from the place where you had your volunteer work experience.

Keywords

You may have heard of the applicant tracking systems or the ATS that is used by recruiters across the globe and various industries. It is simply an AI software that helps recruiters scan, filter, and shortlist the resume and job applications.

These software operate on the basis of set parameters such as the job description or the relevant keywords for your role, industry, potential employers, and so on.

These keywords need to be used throughout your graduate resume. You need to make sure that you use them sensibly and in a meaningful manner while ensuring that the use of keywords in relevant sentences and context does not seem very apparent.

Conclusion

In conclusion, your professional graduate resume should highlight the right aspects of your profile such as the important skills and education details. You can also use this guide article as your checklist when you sit down to write your graduate resume.

You should also check out our extensive collection of resume writing guides, resume examples, resume templates, and more. Our resume builder feature is equipped with AI prompts and suggestions, similar to ChatGPT that will be really helpful for you in case you are confused about what you should write on your resume.

Now that you know all about writing a graduate resume, you can sit down and explore various graduate resume examples. And then get down to writing your own professional graduate resume. Best of luck with the job hunt!

fresher graduate resume

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I need a cover letter with my fresher graduate resume?

If you are a recent college graduate, you may have given an interview or two for college admissions or even internships. You are already aware of how difficult it can be to convince the hiring managers. Your graduate resume has all the important information but it is likely very concise and crisp, it is also formal and likely without descriptive context.

A cover letter helps you out here because a cover letter allows you to be a bit informal and provide more context. You can also talk about your journey, inspiration, and goals that reflect your passion. You can reiterate your skills and education through which you will also be reiterating your interest in the opportunity.

What's more, you can also personalize the cover letter easily, you can look up the recruiters and use their name to address them in your cover letter. This will have the desired impact on the recruiters and they will be compelled to call you up for an interview.

What should be the focus of a graduate resume?

A graduate resume of a fresher will not have a lot of relevant experience to describe and that means all you have to show on your graduate resume are your skills and education. You need to focus on the skills that you can leverage at your professional job, you can ensure this by exploring various job descriptions and finding relevant skills that align with the job description.

The second focus of your graduate resume should be on your education. The education section should talk about the degree or diploma, the education institute, and educational performance. You can also mention various relevant subjects, relevant skills you learned, any awards or extra-curricular performances that can be marked as exceptional and any involvement in various clubs and activities.

Which sections are important for a graduate resume?

For a fresher, the experience section may be empty or may not have sufficient information. That leaves you with the options of a resume summary or resume objective section, skills section, and education section.

When you choose the functional resume format, you will see how the layout helps you focus properly on your skills and education by providing you with a template where you get to mention your education and subjects in depth.

You will also get to not only mention the skills but also provide a description for them where you can talk about any backing evidence such as instances where you showed the skills and also how you learned or developed the skills.

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