Post-graduation resumé

Just graduated and looking to jump into the job market? Focus on you best asset: your education!

To get your master’s degree or PhD, you can spend 5, 8 or even 10 years hitting the books. And though you come away with a prestigious degree, you may not have a lot of practical experience. To get noticed by employers, your resumé should include all your qualifications.

Good resumés start with a section that summarizes your strong points. For graduates, this may include excellent grades, scholarships, etc. Specify your area of specialization and the title of your thesis or dissertation. This information will give the recruiter a clearer idea about who you are and what you have to offer.

The next thing to add is a list of your education and training, starting with the most recent. After that, you want to add a skill section, where you describe the abilities you have acquired.

Include it all!
In the professional experience section, list all the jobs you’ve had, including internships and volunteer work. “Emphasize how these experiences are related to the job you want now. Did you work in a daycare while doing a degree in psychology? This shows that you are comfortable with kids, which can be a real plus if you want to work with young people in the mental health field,” says Mélanie Paquet, a career counsellor and coach at Brisson Legris, Unveiling Potentials, a company that helps workers make the most of their abilities.

What about hobbies? They’re worth mentioning if they demonstrate you’ve got qualities the employer is looking for. For example, playing on a volleyball team for 5 years proves you have a competitive spirit and are able to work toward common goals.

Finally, write a cover letter to let employers know you are interested in their company and to convince them you are the ideal candidate for the job. “Establish a connection between the job and what you studied. If you worked on related projects or did an internship, mention it here,” Ms. Paquet advises.

Think ahead
The decisions you make as a student will shape your career, so take the time to consider them carefully. If you are currently doing a master’s or doctorate degree, choose a thesis topic, then look for an internship or volunteer opportunities in that field. This experience will make you more valuable to employers.