A new graduate can use only so much luggage, no matter how much you want them to leave. Even cash has its limitations since you don’t know if it will go for books or, well, not books. There’s a gift you can give that will last an entire career: a professionally written resume and cover letter.
Of course, college seniors are capable of writing their own resumes, but consider this: What are the chances your newest grad has had time to stay on top of the five different types of resumes they will need to compete in this job market? Do you think they have been studying for finals or researching Applicant Tracking Systems? Planning a graduation party or figuring out the best way to match their transferrable skills to the requirements of an employer who wants them to have three years of experience by graduation?
Even the university career center may not give them the advice and support they need to stand out amid other applicants with the same qualifications. I have seen resumes coming out of university career centers that would not make it past the first screening because they:
- Placed the candidate’s address above the name in the format.
- Did not optimize for keywords.
- Failed to adequately showcase the candidate’s accomplishments.
- Focused attention on education although the candidate possessed relevant professional experience.
Many new graduates have just borrowed several times their first salary on their education. They aren’t likely to have several hundred dollars handy for a professional resume, so they will assume they can’t afford it. They may never think of asking you for one.
Give them the graduation gift that starts them out right: a professionally written resume. They’ll have their whole career to thank you.
(Photo by James Almond)