10 sections recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in a fresher resume format
1. Your Resume Header
Your resume’s header is the first thing that any recruiter will see. Typically, a header has contact information, website link(s), a linkedin profile, and other social links. Make sure that your contact information is up to date, and only add emails that look professional.
Ideally, a professional email looks something like 'email@example.com'. Also, keep the number of things in your resume format header to a minimum. Your goal is to give recruiters a quick sense of who you are and how to contact you, not overwhelm them with a lot of information.
2. Personal Summary
A personal summary and a fresher resume don’t exactly match all of the time. Almost 90% of freshers write a summary like this in their resume:
“My goal is to grow professionally and contribute to your esteemed organization and learn more”
This doesn’t work for many reasons. First, this doesn’t say anything about what you really want to do. Second, it fails to convey relevance your resume to the job. And, third, it makes you sound passive and shows a lack of enthusiasm.
A better version of a personal summary (for a design related role) would go in depth, connect your skills and goals with the role that you are applying for. Here’s an example:
“To become one of the best UX designers in the world by practising minimalism, design systems with optimized onboarding for large scale software products. I have a keen interest in UX research, information architecture, and motion designs which drive my desire to accomplish great things in my career.”
As you can clearly see, a hiring manager that looks at this professional summary will now understand who you are and what your motivation is for applying to the role. They will be more likely to take notice and evaluate your resume carefully. Mission accomplished!
Your skills paint a complete picture of how an organization can leverage you. If a recruiter sees relevant skills in your resume, there’s no reason for them not to hire you. If someone is receiving 200+ applications per day, applicant skills might be the main factor used to make the shortlist.
When you add a skill to your resume, ensure that it is:
- Relevant to the role you’re applying for
- Recognizable within your target industry
- A mix of both soft and hard skills
Some example skills that you can add to your resume format are:
- Software skills (proficiency with AutoCAD)
- Planning and management skills (Expert in SAP SCS planning)
- Predictive Analytics (Implementing customer lifecycle analytics using Tableau)
- Market research (Identifying the right, most profitable customers)
- Inventory management (keeping record of SKUs and managing demand supply pipeline)
Skills that you shouldn’t make your top priority:
- MS Word and Google docs
- Your typing speed (unless you are applying to be a typist)
- Anything that’s not relevant to the role you are applying for
4. Your Experience
Underestimating work experience is something that’s common across most fresher resumes. A lot of companies that hire freshers usually look for relevant projects or coursework. A relevant example of experience could be something that you did in your coursework, lab, projects or during your internship and can count as a professional grade working experience.
A lot of job requirements clearly demand a level of education (undergraduate, post graduate, PhD). Clearly listing them out in a way a recruiter can quickly understand helps your job application in getting closer to being shortlisted.
When you add your education to your resume, make sure to mention the important and relevant coursework in it. For example, if you are a mechanical engineering student, highlighting that you’ve gone through Production Planning helps you to be seen as a more relevant candidate for an Automotive Engineering role.
Now, let’s talk about language proficiency levels on your fresher resume format. Language is indeed a complex thing to add, but the most relevant language proficiency skills to add would be: reading, writing, speaking and understanding.
You can standardize your language proficiency levels with international and well known benchmarks as well. For example, your language proficiency skills section could be:
- English: IELTS CEFR B2
- Tamil: Native Language
- Hindi: Fluent in reading, writing and speaking
- German: Full professional proficiency (ILR scale)
7. Most Proud Of
Did you do something in your college life that you’re incredibly proud of? Adding this section helps you standout from other applicants. After testing it with 100,000+ resume applications, it has proven to be very effective.
Freshers can usually add things like a college project, an open source contribution, an achievement in sports, a fellowship, published research papers, etc to name a few.
8. Life Philosophy
So far, most of the sections we’ve gone through were more focused on your work-related skills. But, hiring is also about cultural fit. Take this chance to be more impactful with your resume format. Fortunately, showcasing your life philosophy doesn’t take much. You can simply reflect it by including a quote from a significant figure or a quote that you live by.
9. Certificates and Courses
Often, freshers undergo a number of certification and other courses during college. These courses and certificates can often help you gain first hand experience and prepare you well for your professional career. They are often critical in crafting a winning fresher resume format.
We spoke about using references and how including them is a part of the best fresher resume format. When you write your references section, ensure to add their name, designation, a contact number and email information.
How to get a referral for the role you want after graduating
As a fresher, you should try to leverage your existing networks to gain job referrals. A job referral is an incredibly powerful way to land a job as referrals often standout from the rest of job applications.
If you are unsure on where to get started, your college alumni, your professors and your social network (Linkedin, Facebook, etc) could be the first place. Here’s a detailed guide to getting job referrals (email outreach template included!) that just might come in handy to get job referrals.
Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.