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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 3.02.57 PM

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.

5 Tips for New Runners

Here are some basic tips for new runners from a non-professional, clumsy runner with 9 years of running experience. Enjoy!

Number 1. Your running shoes. 

You need to get yourself some light-weight running shoes that will support whatever type of arch your foot has or doesn’t have. I recommend New Balance running shoes. I’ve had the same pair of New Balance running shoes since the beginning of my running journey and every time I buy a different brand I always end up going back to my old shoes. I know they’re pricey, but divided by 9 years, they’re a steal.

New Balance 880v6, $119.99

Number 2. Shoe Insoles.

Okay, more foot stuff. But seriously, this is important if you have flat feet, bunions, or any other foot problem. Buy yourself some arch supporters and your run will go from foal to stallion. Don’t get the gel insoles; those burn the hell out of your foot during a run.

Number 3.  Self-Defense Ring.

This tip is for the solo runner. I like to run alone, in the mornings, in a very woodsy park (my park happens to have no visibility of the running trail from any main road). Every time I run, I’m constantly on the lookout for any strange man popping out of the bushes and attacking me. This ring grants me some peace of mind during my solitary runs and is lighter than pepper spray.

Fisher Defensive Go Guarded Self Defense Ring, $15.99

Number 4. Do Ab workouts.

You use your abdominal muscles a lot during a run. The lower your belly fat and the more muscular the belly, the faster the run!

Number 5. Throw your legs forward.

New runners can make the mistake of dragging their feet instead of propelling them forward. You can ensure you have the proper technique by thinking about how your legs can help your run be more effective. By throwing each leg high with each successive step to land your foot at a further distance on the ground, you guarantee the least amount of strain on your body by forcing your legs to sprint forward at a greater distance than if you were to simply drag your feet quickly (as many new runners do). Think of the ground as something your feet have to tap to push your body forward, or better yet, pretend the ground is burning underneath you and you want your feet to touch it as little as possible. Some people run as though the objective is to repeatedly stomp their feet on the ground, but rather the objective is to cover as much distance as fast as possible.

Have fun running! Don’t forget your sunscreen! Please let me know if any of these tips helped 🙂