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Common Problems Faced by Graduates While Creating a Resume

The importance of creating a resume is equally proportional to the horror of creating one, more so if you are doing it as a fresher. Undergraduate students often face a lot of difficulties while making resumes because securing jobs has become a very tough competition. With the number of positions available in the job market continuously decreasing, one glance at your resume can make you either win or lose the job. Hence making an impressionable resume becomes imperative to land that dream job of yours.

Here are 7 common problems that undergraduate students might face while creating your resume:

1. You are applying for a role that is different from your degree
Don’t worry skills matter more than the degree. Read the job description carefully and identify the keywords that state the required skills. If you have the required skills and possibly some amount of experience also (no experience also works for undergraduates), then the trick is to present that in a more prominent way. Do not keep your degree completely off the resume though.

2. There is an academic gap in your timeline
Academic gaps are not very uncommon. Entrance exams in India like JEE, NEET or AIIMS are highly competitive and demand hard preparation that is not possible along with the pressure of board exams. That is why a lot of students take one or even two years off to prepare for these exams. Recruiters understand this and hence do not give any negative points to students with academic gaps. Therefore, there is no need to hide such gaps. Presenting false information in your resume is anyways a big no. so clearly mention the gap and justify it by explaining what you learnt during that period.
For example – if you took a year off to prepare for JEE, but did not get into any engineering college and ended up doing a B.Sc, your one year of preparation might actually have made your concepts more clear that eventually helped you develop some new, practical skills during your graduation.

3. Is it necessary to include marks if they are not good enough?
Yes. It is absolutely necessary to include your marks no matter how low they are because if you don’t, the hiring manager might assume them to be even worse than they are. Marks are never the primary basis of judgment for recruiters. They might be an important criterion in some cases, but more often than not that is not true, more so if you were actively involved in extra-curricular activities or developed any other additional skills.

4. How long should the resume be
For graduate students, more than one page of resume becomes tedious to read. The most apt length would be between half to page, neither more nor less. Try to include all the required information – name, contact information, education, internship experience, skills – in this length only. If you see that your resume is exceeding more than page, then filter out the information – go over it 10 times if you have to but do not let it exceed one page.

5. Should information from school years be included
Although it is heartbreaking to know this, but hiring managers are not at all interested in what you did in school. You are now a graduate and those are the years that matter to your recruiter. So no matter how many inter-school/zonal competitions that you won, or if you were a part of the student council, hold your emotions back and refrain from adding any of it to your resume unless it is absolutely extraordinary. Although, you are obviously supposed to mention your 10th and 12th standard board and marks in the ‘Education’ section.

6. Should I use a different resume for different companies
The purpose of reading resumes before taking interviews is to short-list the people with the required skill-set. This skill-set is generally mentioned in the job description and it goes without saying that different companies have different requirements. In the first screening, hiring managers take a glance at your resume that is only 6 seconds long. Needless to say, in this glance, they look for keywords which are basically the skills that they mentioned in the job description. Therefore under these circumstances, generic resumes have a very high chance of falling in the ‘no’ pile. Hence it becomes imperative for you to customize your resume each time and align it with the job description and the core values of the organization that you are applying to.

7. What are some soft skills that can be included
Soft skills are given as much importance as technical or hard skills. Although, the main platform to judge a candidate’s soft skills is the interview, including them in your resume in a strategized manner can give you some benefit. Some common soft skills like hardworking, team worker, diligent, determined, compassionate etc can be used. However, to create a greater impact, you can go to the Careers section on the company’s website and have a look at the kind of people they are looking for. You can also find some keywords from the job description. This can help you determine the kind of people that the company hires and then you can align your sift skills accordingly.
For Example, some companies give great emphasis to public speaking skills even if the current job that they are recruiting for does not require it but because they focus on hiring future leaders.

These were some of the common problems and their solutions that undergraduate students face while making their resumes. Creating a resume can be a very tedious task, especially because it requires particular attention to detail. An error as small as a negligent grammatical mistake can lead to you losing the job. To make the process easier for you, Prep Junction has rolled a specialized course in Interview Training which addresses these concerns.