Ask The HR Expert: Resume and Interviewing Tips for Recent Grads

Part 1: The Resume
It’s that time of year again, and nailing the interview process to secure that much-needed job right after college has gotten more competitive than ever. To keep your edge over the rest of the pack, here are some basic resume and interviewing tips to follow to make sure you get that job!

Less is More: Right out of college, you want to aim for a one-page resume. Use your resume to highlight your key strengths, accomplishments, technical abilities and experience. Highlight any leadership roles you may have had (team captain, yearbook editor for example). Though it’s too late now, every resume should include a relevant internship to your area of study or interest. (If you are finding it tough getting a first job, consider interning at a company that will provide you with this experience while you look.) I am always impressed with internships at great companies where interns are assigned projects and “real work”.

Be Honest! Always. Period. No embellishments. The probability of you being caught is huge. Do not ever put your integrity on the line. For example, I have had more than a handful of applicants present themselves as college graduates, when in fact, they are not. I have also had applicants embellish dates so that it appears as though there are no gaps between jobs.

Social Media Watch it and clean it up! No Facebook/Myspace pictures of you drunk at the frat party, at a keg party last weekend, or, of you passed out on the floor at someone’s house. No Twittering about your crazy weekend. Not good and not funny. It will cost you the job.

Check! Check it and check it and check it again. Spelling, grammar, typos. Never solely trust spell check. Have at least three other people that you trust and respect review your resume. While I may retain your resume for the period of time required by law, I probably won’t be calling you if you have typos or incorrect grammar or information.

References: Be sure to check with anyone first before you give their name as a reference. It is courteous and respectful. Previous or current job supervisors, internship supervisors or professors that you worked with especially closely are ideal references. “References available upon request”, in my opinion, is not a necessary statement. Of course they are!

Liked this one? Found it interesting or useful? Part 2: The Interview, comes next week!

Sharon Jautz has over 20 years of HR experience at major media companies like Forbes, Conde Nast, and Playboy. She’s been tapped as an HR expert on Washingtonpost.com, giving advice to job seekers everywhere. Her super-power? Scanning a resume in 15 seconds. Find out more about her at her LinkedIn page.