How to Make Your Graduate Resume Stand Out?

To stand out from your peers, you need to know what an employer is seeking. The traditional resume template and resume writing services will not work in this situation. Employers know you have the theoretical knowledge attained through your studies, and they will provide you with the opportunity to gain experience to put this knowledge into practice. So, what other soft skills or personal attributes that are not so quantifiable for an organisation can you highlight that will put you ahead of your fellow grads?

  1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ), is not a skill that they teach at university, and many graduates are extremely lacking in this area. You can address EQ in your resume by adding a key achievement demonstrating how you kept calm under pressure or supported a fellow student or team member to excel and succeed. Please don’t say you have high EQ; anyone can say they have a particular skill; it is about being about to demonstrate this.
  2. Written communication skills. Now, this should be an easy one, but the number of applications I receive that have spelling and grammatical errors is unreal! Employers judge the quality of a person’s resume and apply this judgement to the quality of work the graduate will produce if they were to get the role. Using this thought process, why would an employer hire a graduate that can’t even spell or use grammar correctly in their application? Review your resume, download a grammar and spellcheck application, ask other people to review your documents for you, or you can even take the stress out of the process and pay someone to create your application. But be careful of resume providers who write resumes in the third person, you don’t want it to be highlighted that you didn’t produce your application, because it will sew the seed of doubt in their mind about your communication skills.
  3. Teamwork. Highlight your ability to work in a team and don’t make your resume all about me, me, me or I, I, I! Otherwise, an employer will make a quick snap judgement about your ability to work collaboratively. You can do this by merely highlighting project work or team activities that you were involved in and using wording like ‘as a team we’
  4. Critical thinking and problem-solving are skillsets even experienced candidates find challenging to demonstrate. Don’t just say ‘I possess excellent problem-solving capabilities’ and leave it at that. Critical thinkers can analyse and evaluate situations. Ways in which you can highlight these areas are by examining the PD or job advert and relating your skills and experience to the role in your cover letter. You can also demonstrate your skills in this area by describing a situation where you needed to use critical thinking and problem-solving. You can then elaborate on your example by mentioning why you believe it is so essential for a person to have these skills and how it can make them valuable team members or employee. These are just a few areas that will set you apart during the application process, and then it’s time to start preparing for the interview process itself!

When it comes to graduate opportunities, it is even more critical for a person to make sure they stand out and make their application count. You only get one chance to apply for a graduate role, and you have another hundred or more people trying for the same opportunity, with the same qualification. Get in touch with our career coach who speacilises in graduate career coaching to review your resume and coach you on interview skills that will set you up for success.


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