Meaghan Marshall Career Services - Resume Writing Services. Interview Coaching

By Meaghan Marshall, Apr 2 2017 11:29AM

Here are six tips for writing your graduate resume. These tips will help you create a strong resume to apply for graduate programs or for your first role after completing your studies.

⇨ 1. Target your resume to the company and role you are applying

Employees know that you will be applying at a number of organisations, however they will still be making an assessment via your application of your motivation and desire to work for their particular organisation.

Ensure that you show interest, and knowledge of the role and organisation you are applying to. It is important that you match your achievements, interests and skills to the role requirements, and also that you reflect the keywords and specific terminology of the organisation in your resume.

⇨ 2. Provide extra details about your university studies

Most people simply list their course details on their resume under a heading of education without any further information. This is a missed opportunity, especially at this point in your career when you perhaps don’t have a lot of practical experience or relevant work history. Include details of subjects studied, exceptional results, awards, major projects, publications and achievements.

⇨ 3. Include extra-curricular activities

Once again, you need to take every opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants and by showing you have been involved in additional activities is a great way to achieve this. This might include volunteer roles, community involvement, sporting activities, or positions of responsibility at university. Including this additional activity will also help you fill in any gaps you might have due to limited work experience.

Don’t just list these activities but also include your achievements and examples of where you have demonstrated key skills, for example teamwork, leadership, and problem solving. Including extracurricular activities also demonstrates your ability to manage study, work and additional commitments. As you gain more experience this section of your resume will carry less weight, and eventually won’t be included.

⇨ 4. Don’t include an objective

I have noted that many of the university produced resume writing guides include the instruction to include a career objective. A career objective however almost always ends up being cliqued and self-centred. Instead keep the focus on what you can bring to the role, and how the organisation will benefit. Include a qualification summary or branding statement instead.

You might like to read here: Why You should Ditch the Objective Statement

⇨ 5. Make sure it is perfect

There is absolutely no room for error. You need to make an immediate impact and stand out from the crowd. When finding the difference between two similar candidates, it may ultimately come down to who presented the most polished resume with faultless formatting and precise punctuation and spelling.

⇨ 6. Use a professional email address that you check regularly

If you are just starting out in the professional world you might be still holding on to the email address you created in high school. It is essential that you have a professional email address, that should be your name only.

It is a good idea if you are applying for multiple roles is to create an email specifically for this purpose. A lot of communication will occur via email. With a separate email address, you can be sure you won’t miss any emails and can keep an eye on your junk email folder.

Also, see how to create a professional email signature.

You may also find these posts helpful for your job search:

Auditing Your Online Presence

Reference Checking - Insights for Job Seeker

Cover Letter Tips

By Meaghan Marshall, Mar 2 2017 12:15PM

For most organisations, having employees with good interpersonal skills is important and a key priority when recruiting. If you are job searching you will often see job advertisements or position descriptions listing interpersonal skills as a required skill.

It is important to note that although communication skills and interpersonal skills are closely linked, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, interpersonal and communication skills are not the same.

A simple definition of communication is “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs”. Communication skills therefore refer to the skills we use to communicate with others, including our ability to listen, read, write, and speak.

Interpersonal skills specifically refer to the abilities we need to interact effectively with others. Interpersonal skills have a focus on interactions with other people, our ability to get along with others, and form relationships. This includes our communication skills, but also our attitude and demeanor.

Interpersonal skills are sometimes also referred to as people skills, and include a vast set of skills and attributes necessary to interact effectively with others including:





Conflict Management

Conflict Resolution


Constructive Criticism

Customer Service

Developing Rapport



Gaining Trust














Social Awareness





Having “excellent interpersonal skills” means having a balanced repertoire of these skills, which will allow you to handle any interpersonal situation gracefully and effectively.

How to demonstrate on your resume you have excellent interpersonal skills

As always, the most effective way to prove your skills on your resume is to provide real examples of how you have used these skills.

Don’t include a vague claim of ‘excellent interpersonal skills’, but instead describe a time you have applied your interpersonal skills with a positive outcome.

Keep in mind the list of skills above when thinking of examples. In your resume make certain that you describe the situation, the action you took and the outcome.

Here are some example achievement statements that demonstrate interpersonal skill:

Diplomatically handled tense interpersonal situation. Thoughtfully intervened when inexperienced colleague experienced conflict with customer. Diffused tension and offered solution.

★ Provided constructive feedback on staff member performance. Explained errors made during data entry task. Listened to feedback from staff and suggested solutions to improve accuracy.

★ Nominated for client service award. Inherited dissatisfied client account, turned relationship around by rebuilding trust.

★ Persuaded Board to support technology upgrade. Communicated benefits and networked with Board members extensively to gain respect and trust.

If you are stuck for ideas, you might find it helpful to refer to the example interview questions below. These questions might prompt you to remember an example from your past experience.

How to demonstrate your interpersonal skills at Interview

At an interview, you will be asked behavioral interview questions in order to gather evidence of your interpersonal skills relevant to the position you are applying.

Example Interview Questions Include:

★Tell me about a time when you disagreed with the actions of your manager or supervisor. How did you approach the situation?

★When entering a new workplace, how have gone about developing relationships with your new co-workers?

★ Tell me about a conflict you were involved in at work. How did you resolve the conflict?

★ Tell me about a time you needed to have a difficult conversation with a staff member? How did you make sure the message was delivered effectively?

★ Describe a time when you have needed to sell idea. How did you go about this? What was the result?

★ Tell me about a time you needed to lead your team to achieve a challenging project. What are the methods you used to motivate your team?

The best way to structure your response is to provide your answer in the ★ STAR ★ format.

S = Situation: Briefly describe the situation to give the interviewer context.

T = Task: Describe what needed to be done to address the situation and what your role and responsibilities were.

A = Action: Describe what you did and how you did it.

R = Results: Describe the outcome, what happened as a result of your actions.

Remember also your performance at interview and the way you interact with the interviewers, will also provide evidence of your interpersonal skills. Make sure you show excellent communication skills and attempt to build a rapport with your interviewers.

Greet your potential employers with a smile and friendly handshake, and engage in small talk. It is a great idea to research the company and industry beforehand so you have some ready conversation topics, but you can also include some informal small talk too.

For additional help demonstrating your skills on your resume you might like to read:

How to Demonstrate You’re a Team Player

How to Demonstrate Communication Skills on Your Resume and At Interview

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