Fresh Graduate's Resume

posted Jul 20, 2019, 7:40 AM by jeffery jim

I hope this article benefits students, diploma or degree or even master’s degree graduates especially in engineering course or program. It is definitely absurd to write proper curricular vitae (CV) or worst, a resume when you are a fresh graduate. Forget about tailoring words and phrases which hot-sell yourself like some in LinkedIn; you don’t even have anything to offer except for your result in an academic transcript.

I saw a lot of online resume templates after all these years as I give career talks around, from the old school dot-your-‘I’s-and-cross-your-‘t’s to modern minimalist infographic styled. None of these formats is wrong and none of these formats is a winner. The clear winner is still content and composition. Apart from that, you have to choose wisely between a CV or a resume. That also depend on which particular firm or company as well as field you are apply for opening and vacancies. Always customize your resume or CV to fit an organization. Remember the golden rule of any resume; HR or Managers have only 30 seconds before deciding whether to keep or to discard your submission. Always keep it short for large corporation or you can go slightly longer for smaller companies since most of the employment is reviewed by the Managing Director. If your resume start failing on you, start to declutter the content size, manage placement which ease the eyes and the use of appropriate font and size; nothing less than 12pt.

The rule of thumb is as follows;
a. Consultant – 1 page resume-CV hybrid
b. Contractor – 3 page CV 
c. Government – None
d. Sales – 3 page CV

Most consultants love resume. It is short and simple, and straight to the point. Applicant should highlight their ability in sound engineering design practices as well as an intermediate operator for design software or in manual calculation. If an applicant has no previous job experience, your industrial or practical training is your gold mine and at times, attachment to a good firm provides better chances to secure a job more than your transcript. Applicant is encouraged to drop or even ditch the minimalist infographic styled resume and adopt a hybrid approach which combines skills as sub-headings with two bullet form sentences describing your ability for that particular skill together with supervision/construction experience. Never rate yourself, instead get a competent person or a referee/referees to sign off at the skill rating attachment. That makes you look like a LinkedIn pro. Remember, highlight your skills which will cut short the process for a firm to teach you from scratch.

Contractor on the other hand will try to probe you more if you are a fresh graduate and you don’t have any experience. Again, your industrial training is the basis to make judgment and assessment. Fancy header on your resume only clutters the reader’s focus; try to avoid it at all cost. You can state your leadership quality and so on (which I often refer as pointless fillers) but it should not overshadow the technical ability from your past experience or lesson learned during industrial training. Instead of mentioning “team player” and what not, try to incorporate the quality as part of your work scope. You can always rephrase or express such terms and qualities indirectly (similar like paraphrasing) such as “coordinate”, “liaise”, “manage” and et cetera. The clear winner among all applicants is the one who did supervision or coordinating during practical training and able to converse like a rookie in construction industry during the interview. So the trick here is to build a CV with some key points which serve as navigation route for readers and interviewers. Another way to impress the interviewer is by bringing a construction drawing from your practical training attachment and show them basically what you have learned about sequence, trouble shooting and your ability to read and interpret drawings.

The CV for vacancy as sales engineer is similar to contractor; however a short course in marketing or finance-related is another great advantage since you will have to do a bit of proposal, pro-forma, and quotation and so on. Another advantage you can use to strengthen your resume would be the ability to do taking-off which is very much related to proposal and quotation preparation.

There are more but I will have to stop here. Good luck in job hunting!

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