A college blog for curious readers.

Basic Skills All College Grads Should Have on Their Resume

Sep 9, 2013 • Sarah Teczar • Work & Internships
The career services center can help you include skills in your resume.

The career services center can help you include skills in your resume.

Marketing yourself to employers is tough when you have no work experience, but there are a few basic skills every college grad should be able to list on a résumé. When I graduated from college, I felt behind some of my classmates who had completed internships in fields they wanted to enter, but after my professors, family members, and the school’s career center helped me with my résumé, I realized I had more skills to offer than I had previously thought. Here are the best resume skills that college grads should have in today’s job market.

Basic computer skills: It almost goes without saying, but it’s important to list computer skills on your résumé, even if you think they sound basic. List any operating systems, data management systems, software, and tools you have ever used. For example, the Adobe Suite, Windows XP, JavaScript, and Outlook are skills you might include.

Since I had never worked in an office before, I listed tools and computer skills I had used for class presentations and writing papers, such as PowerPoint and Word. I had also worked with various computers on campus so I could say that I was both “Mac and PC able,” which employers like to see.

Social networking skills: No matter what field you’re entering into, social networking is hot in today’s job market. From advertising to job networking to starting your own business, social networking touches professional lives as well as personal ones. Since I work in web writing, I need Twitter and Facebook to promote my articles, and my friends who work in marketing are required to maintain a strong online presence. It’s also a good idea to have a LinkedIn profile, too. It’s the easiest way for employers to look for you. I found my current job with the help of LinkedIn.

Communication skills: It may seem surprising, but many college graduates are lacking good oral and written communication skills. In our text- and Twitter-driven world, people often don’t pay attention to their grammar and sentence structure. Think about it: If you were an employer and you received a job inquiry email filled with typos and bad grammar, would you want to hire that person? Whenever I redo my résumé or write to a colleague, I check it over several times for errors, and then I’ll ask someone else to proofread it for me.

Oral communication skills in a professional environment come with practice. I went to the career services center at my school to do a mock interview for practice.

Of course, the resume skills you need will depend on the job for which you’re applying, but listing these basic skills will make a big difference in your job search. Be sure to take advantage of your college’s career center before you graduate if you need help with your résumé!

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