Congratulations, recent graduates! In the 49th episode of our Career Warrior Podcast, Let’s Eat, Grandma founder Chris Villanueva, CPRW gives a quick 15-minute rundown of 3 great tips for optimizing a recent graduate resume.

(Be sure to check out Episode #48 for recent graduate job search strategies, too!)

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Listen up, college students and recent graduates! Since graduation season is wrapping up, we felt inspired to create this podcast for you, as you’re probably feeling one of these 3 things:

  • You’re panicking because you just graduated and don’t have a job lined up yet.
  • You’re panicking because you need to start thinking about jobs.
  • You’re panicking because you know what job you want but don’t have the resume for it (or you’ve never written a resume before).

Don’t worry! Transitioning into the real world is anxiety-inducing for everyone.

It certainly was for Chris – going into his senior year at Cornell in 2013, he had to watch his graduating friends accept jobs with companies like Goldman Sachs and wonder what he could possibly do to keep up.

That’s why, as a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Chris can offer you these 3 great tips for 3 common questions about how to craft a job-winning recent graduate resume that he wished he had known back in college:

#1: Why does every job ask for “3-5 years experience?” What do I do if I haven’t had any real experience yet?

Answer: Beef up your Education section. It’s likely your most impressive accomplishment yet, so don’t be afraid to elaborate on everything awesome you did in college. Plus, if you don’t have much job experience yet, this section is also a great place to fit in keywords that will be picked up by an ATS, whether that’s in the form of skills you learned, course titles, or even your school’s name or location.

#2: How much detail should I go into about my experiences?

Answer: “Go an inch wide and a mile deep.” Most college graduates do the opposite on their resumes, trying to puff them up by exhaustively listing all of their duties for their jobs and club positions. Don’t feel obligated to do so because your resume seems small!

We actually recommend the opposite – focus on only the elements of your jobs and extracurriculars that are really relevant to the particular job you’re applying for. (And P.S., your resume should still definitely be one page.)

#3: How relevant does my field of study have to be to my job?

Answer: Again, relevance is your best friend! If your major was in a different field of study than the jobs you’re applying for (which is totally common), try to downplay your explanation of your studies and focus on pulling out the elements of your jobs and extracurriculars that were most relevant to what you’ll actually be doing in the position.

(Example: say you spent a couple hours each week running the social media accounts for your college coffee shop. If you’re applying for a Marketing position, that deserves more space on your resume than your classes in Philosophy!)


Check out the episode on iTunes or Spotify for full, in-depth explanations of these recent graduate resume tips.

And (pretty please!) be sure to subscribe and tell us what you think in the ratings!

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