How to Write a Resume for the Career You Don’t Have Yet

If you’re graduating in the next few months, your last days will likely be filled with writing last minute final papers, ordering caps and gowns, and, finally, saying tearful goodbyes to your best college friends.

You’ve thought lots about your future and how your new degree will help direct your career path. You might have had some internships and even a mock interview at your campus career center. But have you actually sat down and written your resume? If you have, are you 100% confident it can get you onto the career path you want?

These days, companies know they have to adapt to what the millennial generation wants in a career. This isn’t a generation that simply wants a job to pay the bills or a straightforward path that climbs the corporate ladder. If you’re graduating into today’s job market, you want a job that means the start of a career path, which means you’re using your passions and skills to be part of something bigger.

But what does your resume say about you?

Does that neatly typed Word document say what it needs to say to get your foot in the door to an amazing company? If you’re not sure, we hope you’ll find this resume guide helpful.


Cover your bases

You’ve probably heard all the most basic resume tips a hundred times, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

  • Make sure you’ve thoroughly checked spelling and grammar, as well as your verb choices and sentence structure.
  • Verify that your document format is clean and consistent, and will remain compatible if a hiring manager opens it in an older or newer word program.
  • Be clear and concise in your wording. Although our advice means going beyond the basics, it’s still important to avoid being wordy. Additionally, be smart about keywords, and when and how to use them.
  • It’s a good idea to have an extra set of eyes review your resume, too.


Beyond the basics

A common resume mistake is focusing your resume on a mere list of responsibilities in previous positions. Though this approach can work, it’s typically a recipe for “just” a job, instead for a great career that really aligns with who you are.

  • Instead of listing responsibilities, include your major accomplishments within each past position.
  • Explore how your skills and passions allowed you to exceed the expectations of your role.
  • Also, don’t underestimate the power of numbers; quantify your results and achievements whenever possible.


The big picture

As a new graduate, your breadth of experience may be short, but in truth, you are more than the sum of your previous work history.

  • What other activities have taken up your time? Volunteer experience? Extracurricular activities? In-classroom leadership? How did you take responsibility and initiative in these roles? Did they help grow your skills?
  • There’s a lot of resume advice out on the Internet that suggests always listing your education last. However, you need to assess whether this is really the right course of action for you. Your education may be highly valuable in shaping who you are and what your skills and passions are.


At IDR, we’re always looking for passionate new team members who are seeking an outstanding career path. Find out more and apply here.