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Resume Tips & Tricks For Recent College Graduates

Lesley Yarbrough March 2, 2021 · 4 min read

Congratulations, graduate! You’re ready to enter into your new career, undoubtedly excited and perhaps a little overwhelmed. One of the first orders of business is to polish your resume. It’s usually the first impression your make on potential employers, so it really needs to shine. Here are some resume tips and tricks to get you started:

Don’t Waste Time

Staring at a blank page is counterproductive when creating an excellent resume efficiently. Resume templates give you a great starting point, so you can get the gears of your mind turning and fill in the appropriate sections with your information. Don’t waste time wondering where to put your educational summary, volunteer experience and other features — choose from one of the creative resume templates available and just get started! Most are customizable within Microsoft Word, making your job easier.

You Don’t Have to Spend Your Cash reports that a resume for a recent grad can cost $400 or more. Instead of paying someone else to create this vital document, put together a creative resume on your own with a free resume template. There are many styles and themes available, and you can impress decision-makers without paying an arm and a leg. For example, this resume template comes in at $8 – probably less than what you spent on lunch today!

Stand Out from the Crowd

Employers can receive dozens or hundreds of resumes in response to one job advertisement. What can a new college graduate do to get noticed, particularly if you don’t have a lot of work experience yet? An infographic can look professional and highlight the features that make you different from the rest. Do you have interesting volunteer or interning experience that you don’t want potential employers to overlook? An infographic resume template allows you to highlight these accomplishments without the stress of designing your own graphics from scratch.

Be Industry-Appropriate

If you are entering a creative industry (marketing, digital design), your resume might look very different from that of someone looking for a position as an accountant or office manager. Think about your ideal workplace. Would your employer be more focused on crisp, clean details, or on something visually pleasing? According to, creative types should focus on elegant design, clear content and a reflection of your personality. Creative resume fonts might differ from fonts used on a “strictly business” resume, but keep in mind that should never look cartoonish or juvenile.

Make Things Easy for Your Potential Employer

One of the most important resume tips is to make sure everything is easy to read. This means leaving enough white space, making the font large enough to read, and being sure that the print is dark (or light) enough to stand out from the background. Choose colors that are easy on the eyes; lime green, fuchsia and turquoise are almost never appropriate for a professional resume. You might choose one subtle color (navy, hunter green, dark blue) to stand out but, if you do, be sure the rest of your resume is done in black and white.

Choose Your Format Wisely

Another consideration to keep in mind is the format in which you submit your resume. Many employers will ask specifically for a PDF or Word document. In these instances, following directions is vital! If no preference is made, however, consider choosing a PDF. The reason for this is that a Word document or a plain text file can lose its formatting, depending on the software used to open the file. With a PDF, your resume will look as perfect on the employer’s screen as it does on yours.
Applying for jobs and submitting resumes can be stressful, but with a beautiful, professional template, you will know that you are putting your best foot forward. Free creative resume templates allow you to make an impact even if you don’t have a long work history to highlight; use them to save yourself time and money, and to help your resume stand out and get your foot in the door.
Happy job hunting!

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About the Author
Lesley Yarbrough

Tinkerer. Maker of quirky fonts with a sprouty disposition.

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