The “Graduation” Paradox
You finally have your degree and you’re ready to take the world by storm, land your dream job, become a future CEO of a large corporation, and make a real change in the world. You’re beyond excited to explain your diverse skillset and your amazing potential to the first person who has the honor of reading your resume.
When you’re just out of college, it’s easy to get a big head about what you can do in the workplace. Unfortunately, chances are you’ll need to clean the proverbial toilet for a while before you’re given any real responsibility. This means you need to show off your work ethic even if you’re stuck doing tasks you don’t like. That’s the cold, hard truth and also why your resume shouldn’t necessarily reflect your current frame of mind.
There is only one thing that needs to come across very clear in your resume: You’re ready to start at the bottom and you’re ready to GET TO WORK.
A graduating senior who understands where he fits in the marketplace is the one who gets the interview. We read far too many entry-level resumes that read like the next Elon Musk, but that’s not who people want to hire for the position of “Junior Marketing Analyst”. Your ambitions are a wonderful thing, but your resume needs to show that you’re not above sweeping the floors at the end of the day.
It might sound like simply “paying your dues,” but it’s easy to get a little full of yourself when you apply for your first job. However, when you show you are willing to do [the boring work] and do it well, about 10% of the time you get to do the fun stuff. You get to dress something and make it look cooler, or you get to solve a problem. If you do that well, you get to do a little more of it. Then a little more… You have to dedicate yourself to the drudgery, and doing the legwork that’s not fun or glamorous… No one comes out of college or trade school knowing what they need to succeed down the line.
Our advice? Show them you’re up to working hard no matter what the job is. You might be smart and clever, but a solid work ethic is the main thing that’ll separate you from all the other viable candidates.