Searching for a job when you have a load of knowledge but little to no work experience can be tough. Having a CV that will not do you any favours is even worse.
We’ve put together a list of a few common mistakes found on student resumes and how to fix them.
- One of the biggest issues with student resumes is that the work experience listed is not relevant to what is being applied for. It may be tempting to list every single odd summer job you have had in order to show you have some experience doing something other than attending University, but it is crucial that you fight that urge. Only list work experience if it is either in the same industry as the position you are applying for, is a similar position to what you are applying for, or is a job that had you utilizing similar skills you will need to perform the job you are applying for.
- If you would still like to list most of your work experience even though it is not necessarily relevant, do not waste valuable space by listing every responsibility you had at that position. Use the space to promote only the most relevant responsibilities you had, as well as to showcase any achievements you made.
- Be as vigilant as possible about your spelling and grammar. A resume with less information on it is going to make bad spelling and grammar stick out like a sore thumb; definitely not an impression you want to make on a hiring manager. If you are coming out of University, hiring managers are going to assume that you have recent years of experience proofreading, so having grammar or spelling mistakes is going to be far more damaging than you think.
- Being fresh out of school means hiring managers are not going to expect lengthy resumes. Try not to add extra padding in the form of fluffy wording to try to make your resume stretch farther than one page. Try to keep your resume as short, and to the point as possible; it should have a good flow and be easy to read.
- A good general rule of thumb is if you have less than 5 years’ work experience or are applying for a job that does not relate in any way to your job experience, your education should be listed at the top as this will be what sets you apart from the competition. If you have over 5 years’ job experience, list your experience first.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to apply for your dream job! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find jobs close to home.