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7 Resume Tips for Vocational and Trade School Graduates

Be Prepared When Job Searching

Now more than ever, it is important for vocational and trade school graduates to not only create a resume but also perfect it. By putting in the extra effort to make your resume spotless, you can give yourself a leg up during interviews, which could be the factor that lands you the job.

Why is having a resume important? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your resume is essentially the sum of your career. It includes your background, education, and any relevant experience. When applying for a job, it’s essential you make a good impression, as your resume will determine if you get an interview.
  • If you’re invited to an interview after applying, it’s likely because the employer thought you could be a good fit. A perfect resume can go a long way in establishing that.
  • Vocational school graduates should have a clean and clear resume because it will provide employers with a summary of their past job experiences as well as where they want to take their career in the future.

With these benefits in mind, here are seven resume tips that every trade and vocational school graduate should be utilized to further advance their career:

Tip #1: Don’t Include Everything

Your resume is the first thing potential employers read about you before meeting you in person, so it needs to capture their attention and make a good first impression. Trade school resumes should include your previous experience, but only the experience that is relevant to the job you’re applying for, even if that means you have to leave things out. If you have relevant experience for the job you’re applying for, it doesn’t matter how long or short your resume is.

Tip #2: Highlight Your Trade School Experiences

As a trade school graduate, it is wise to include as much as possible about the program you chose to train in. This means including information such as:

  • How long you were in school and when you graduated
  • A list of relevant certifications received and/or coursework taken
  • A list of specific skills you learned in your training program
  • A reference from a professor or faculty member

Tip #3: It Shouldn’t Be More Than One Page

If you include your relevant previous experiences and indicate the career path you’re desiring, then your vocational school resume can be short and sweet. When recruiters are reviewing your resume, chances are they’re reviewing multiple at a time, including yours. They won’t be able to spend time reading every single word, so you should try to keep it at just one page, anything longer and they may not have time to read all of it.

Tip #4: Use Keywords

When you’re catering your resume to a specific job description, use keywords that were given in the description. This will optimize your vocational school resume to the job you’re applying for, and by having matching keywords your resume will stand out in applicant tracking systems.

Tip #5: Ask Someone to Proofread

Trade school resumes will showcase plenty of worthwhile experience, so don’t put it all to waste by accidentally including a typo. Some key aspects to remember:

  • If recruiters see a typo on your resume, they’ll assume you didn’t make the effort or take the time to perfect your resume, and they’ll question your attention to detail.
  • It’s difficult to find typos on your resume when you’ve been staring at it for hours, so instead, send it to your friends and family for proofreading.
  • The more eyes on your resume, the better. This can allow you to discover any typos as well as receive suggestions for how to improve your resume.

Tip #6: Utilize Bullet Points

A general rule of thumb on resumes is that a paragraph is much easier to read if it has been broken up into a list of bullet points. Bullet points are more pleasing to the eye than a long string of text and they give you the chance to quickly list information. They also take up less space, allowing you to keep to the one-page rule.

Tip #7: Don’t Forget to Include Your Contact Info

The goal of putting your resume out there is for a recruiter to contact you. They can’t do that if you don’t include any of your contact information. Your name and phone number should automatically be included, but it could also be worthwhile to include other ways to reach you, such as your email address or social media handles.

You’ve Submitted Your Trade School Resume – Now What?

After you’ve created your resume, thoroughly proofread it, and sent it, it’s in the hands of the recruiters. Be patient! They may be busy, but if they believe you’re good fit for their company, they’ll reach out. As a trade school graduate, if you utilize these tips, the chances of your resume catching an employer’s attention will increase.

If you ever need resume help or have any questions, feel free to reach out to our faculty.