Post Grad Survival Guide — Change Your Resume and Land An Interview

Time for some practical career advice.

This past Sunday, my friend and I went to a bustling Barnes & Noble (it was so PACKED) to plan our upcoming trip to New York. This hang quickly turned into a free resume writing lesson. She had so many things wrong with her resume that we stopped our trip planning to completely rewrite it.

The following tips are most applicable if you graduated college within the last 3 years.

1. List your education first

At this stage in your professional career, your Bachelor’s/Master’s/Doctoral/What-have-you degree is likely your most important and relevant accomplishment.

  • DO NOT list your high school (or middle school or elementary school). A college degree implies the completion of high school; this redundancy isn’t necessary nor relevant.
  • DO NOT include your GPA unless it’s stellar, meaning higher than a 3.5. Even then, I don’t suggest you write it unless the position requires an undergrad GPA greater than “X” number.
  • List your education in reverse chronology. For example, if you have a Bachelor’s, a Master’s, and a Doctoral degree, list the Doctoral first, then your Master’s, then your Bachelor’s.

2. List your Experience second

If you think you don’t have any experience, you may be wrong. Here, you can list occupations you have had with no pay like Tutor, Research Assistant, Research Intern, Intern, Writer (for the school paper), Radio host (for the school’s radio station). Think of all the experiences you have to offer and list them, and if you don’t have any to list, apply anyway! Employers know that you are just starting out in your career.

  • DO NOT describe your experience in a personal way. This means don’t say things like, “I loved this job because I really grew as a person, not only professionally but personally as well.” This is not professional. Look at the description of the position you held or google the description (e.g. search ‘research assistant job description’) for ideas on what to write and how to write it.
  • DO NOT list your responsibilities as bullet points.

3. List “Outreach” or “Volunteer Experience” third

Employers love community outreach; volunteering serves to make you a more well-rounded person. List this the same way you would list a job.  If you don’t have anything to list here, get to volunteering! Go to an animal shelter or rescue mission to see what you can do for your community.

4. List Scholarships fourth 

List them in bullets, along with the years you had them. An explanation isn’t necessary. You don’t want your resume to become a drag to read. Here’s an example how what it should look like:

  • Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship (2012-2016)
  • First Generation Scholarship (2012-2016)

DO NOT list financial aid as a scholarship award.

5. List “Conference Presentations” or “Publications” fifth

Maybe you presented at an undergraduate research conference or you were included as a coauthor on a professor’s publication (if you worked in their lab or research center) or you wrote articles for your school paper/magazine. List these accomplishments.

6. Certifications

List only relevant certifications. If you earned a certificate in bartending, that’s something you would only list if you were going into Hospitality or the Food & Beverage Industry.

7. Extracurricular Activities

Were you a part of any club or organization at your university? List them in bullets along with the years you were active. For example:

  • Phi Alpha Delta (2014-2016)
  • Alternative Breaks (2012-2016)
  • Student Council  (2012-2013)

8. Languages 

You should only have this section if you speak more than one language. List the language along with your level of proficiency. It should look like this:

English (native), Spanish (native), German (Intermediate)

DO NOT list a language you can’t even speak a full sentence in. If you speak a language at an elementary level, you should probably leave it out.

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If there are headings in this outline in which you don’t have anything to list or mention, like Conference Presentations or Certifications, DO NOT list the heading. Skip it and move on to the next heading.


Do you have any tips on resume writing? Leave them in the comments! It could help someone! Thanks for reading.

How to get clear skin and keep it that way

I had terrible acne growing up. After years of trying different products and health habits, these are my tips for getting rid of acne, based on what worked for me.

Change your diet.

Drink water, cut out dairy, and eat foods rich in anti-oxidants.

  • Water will keep your skin hydrated and help your body flush out toxins that may contribute to acne.
  • Dairy (milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc.) increases sebum production in the skin leading to clogged pores, which leads to more acne. Cutting out dairy will drive a huge turnaround for your skin.
  • Consuming more antioxidants may reduce skin inflammation which could reduce your acne (Inflammation leads to more acne, antioxidants reduce inflammation). Antioxidants also help keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant.

Change your skincare products.

These are the products that worked for me.

If buying from cruelty-free and vegan brands is something you care about, check out these links:

Don’t know if it’s vegan? Double check the ingredients here.

Don’t know if they test on animals? Check here or here.

Workout.

Working out (and drinking water) increases the blood flow to your skin which helps bring more oxygen to your skin cells which helps excrete cell waste from your skin, leading to clearer skin.

Keep your makeup light and don’t ever wear it to sleep. 

Also, try going a few days without makeup during the week. Letting you skin breathe will unclog your pores and increase oxygen circulation to your skin.

 

Do you have any skincare tips? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?

Learning More About People Through Conversation

Here are some things to pay attention to in your conversations with other people. You may learn more about them than you otherwise would!

Statements and Generalizations. Pay attention to the things people say. If someone says a generalization about a group of people, that could say more about the person saying it than the group they are claiming to generalize. For example, one of my friends recently said, “people never behave how they feel, they only say how they feel and behave how they think,” which told me more about him than it did about humanity. Sometimes when people aren’t trying to talk about themselves, they end up telling you a lot about who they are.

Overreactions. If you’re discussing something with somebody and they start yelling or become angry, seemingly out of nowhere, their frustration probably has nothing to do with what you said about the topic you were discussing. As soon as there is a reaction unmerited by the situation, the conversation/argument is no longer about the subject you engaged in but in the person’s need to blow off steam regarding a separate situation they’re unhappy about. Sometimes people lash out in situations unrelated to whatever it is they’re unhappy about to unburden any anguish/stress they feel about that outside problem they’re dealing (or failing to deal) with.

Insults. Whenever a conversation, argument, or discussion resorts to insults, not only is it time to walk away, but it says a lot about the person doing the insulting. If you notice that somebody is becoming disrespectful in a conversation, it could mean that they feel belittled or beaten by the dialogue and are aiming to “win” through insult by trying to verbally hurt the other person as much as possible. It’s pointless to continue engaging with someone who’s enraged and in their anger, are unable to concede that they are either wrong or that they can’t/don’t want to continue defending their position.  Insults are often just used as a defense mechanism, even if the situation makes them seem unnecessary to you; if you pay attention to what and how a person is choosing to insult you, it could tell you a lot about how the person is feeling about themselves and what they’re insecure about.