Lauren Marinigh

Building a Winning Resume as a Recent Grad

By Lauren | November 6, 2017 | 1 Comment

Writing your resume as a new graduate can be challenging. Your resume that you had to get part-time jobs as a student, aren’t really going to stand out when applying for a career. However, you’re probably thinking that you have nothing else you can add to your resume, which isn’t the case.

Most new graduates don’t have a ton of related experience. They likely held jobs as bartenders, retail jobs, or working at a local restaurant. How is that going to help you land a job or internship at an advertising agency or wherever it is that your dream job is?

Here are some tips to nail down that perfect resume…

Cover letter

I wouldn’t say cover letters are always necessary, unless the employer asks for it. However, new grads with minimal experience should always have one. Why? Because this can be a great place to tell the employer more about you. If you don’t have the experience, then you need to show them what kind of person you are and why you would be a valuable addition to their team.

What are you passionate about? Why do you want to work there? What are you most excited about when it comes to starting a career in this field? And how will your experience and education so far (related or not) help.


Whether you have a generic degree or a related one to the career you want, your education is one of the biggest things you have to go off of at this point. Eventually your education won’t be as important down the line when you have real job experience, however, right now it’s super valuable.

Don’t just include the name of your degree/diploma and school, instead, add some valuable insights on what you learned while you were there. Related courses, accomplishments, transferable skills like team work, presentation skills, etc. can also add a lot of value.

Job history

So your jobs may not be related to what field you want to get a career in. However, with each job you have held, you have gained some sort of skill set that can be transferable to your next job. Find a way to tie in your previous work experience to the job you are applying to. For example, if the job description asks for someone who is a team player, include details about the teams you worked on at previous employers. If you need communication skills, talk about how many customers you helped or worked with at your retail job.

Although experience like knowing how to mix the perfect vodka cran may not be valuable, you can twist that into having the ability to think on your feet, work well under pressure and remember a large amount of drink orders or combinations. This can sound more impressive than the more obvious skills and tasks you’d think to include under your job title.


If you want to add more relatable experience to your resume while job hunting, look to volunteer in your community. Not only can this show passion about things you believe in but it can also allow you to gain added experience. Lots of times too, local, small organizations need support in areas that they can’t pay a professional.

For example, maybe a local charity is looking for help with building their social media presence, that can be a great thing to add to your resume if you’re looking for a job in marketing and communications. Or maybe there’s a industry related conference happening near you that you can’t afford tickets too (since these are usually super pricey). Instead, contact them to see if they’re looking for volunteers. Volunteer experience can sometimes be just as valuable as work experience!

The most important thing to remember as a new grad is to not give up hope when job hunting. There will always be someone with more experience than you, but sometimes, it’s just the way you look at your experience you already have. Your education and past jobs have taught you a lot so far, and many things are more relatable than you may think!


Sharing my inspiration, advice, opinion & fun stuff one post at a time.


23 November, 2017 Reply

Hi Lauren,

I really liked your blog. I am a newcomer to Canada and will be landing there in April next year. I like being proactive therefore I've already started working on my resume. I wonder if you have any advice for newcomers to Canada who do have an experience in their chosen field 'technically speaking' but doesn't have that valuable Canadian experience. How can I bring out that aspect in my resume?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *