# Passing the resume screen as a new grad

How new grads can pass the resume screen

# How can a new grad get interviews for engineering roles without much experience?

A Reddit user struggling to get interviews for a CS job (opens new window) asks if there's anything he can do to improve his resume.

Ah I remember the days when I was a fresh graduate - so many job openings asking for experience with this or that framework and I barely had enough experience to fill a single page resume!

Take a look as I run through this example resume and provide 5 tips here:

For those who prefer the written form, here's my 5 tips listed below.

# Tip 1. Make the most of what you have

As a new grad, it's difficult to apply for roles since you don't have much experience. And of course, many companies are looking for experience even for new grad roles!

You need to convey that you have some experience with common web technologies - whether this is through internships, side projects, class projects, or online courses.

On top of this, communicate some qualities which will encourage a hiring manager to take the chance on you vs some other new grad - a willingness to learn, ability to communicate, and a proactive approach goes a long way.

You are aiming for a single page resume which demonstrates all of the above. If your experience is a little light, read on for some ways to expand on these.

# Tip 2. Expand on what you studied

If you had class projects which used Python, don't just write "Python".

Give this more detail, something more like the following:

Worked with 4 students to build a CRM using Flask, a Python-based web framework. The UI was built using React, with data stored in a Postgres database and cached using Redis. Demoed the application to sales managers at 3 local businesses.

This demonstrates some extras which may give you the edge over other candidates - you know how to work with others, you at least have some early experience with common web technologies, and you have started understanding user requirements.

# Tip 3. Include hobby / side projects

Maybe over your summer break you spent a few days playing around with some new framework which sounded interesting.

Even if this was not an official class project or even if you never showed it to anybody, talk about it on your resume if you are looking for material to include and describe what you learnt.

# Tip 4. Keywords, keywords, keywords

While I don't encourage "resume stuffing", a common practice at many hiring companies is for HR teams to screen resumes before you are even considered for interviews.

Many HR teams are not very technical, and are basically looking for keywords in your resume to match against a role they are trying to fill.

What does this look like? If the role is for a React developer and your resume states you have experience with "modern Javascript frameworks", the recruiter may not consider you for an interview. Say you have worked with React (and common libraries like Redux) and your chances of an interview just went up!

# Tip 5. Tailor your resume for different roles

When you are starting out, you may not be able to land a software engineer role directly (or even want to).

You may need to use one of these roles to get a foothold in the tech industry, it can be easier to switch to an engineering role once you are inside the company (if that's what you want to do).

If you are applying for different types of roles (eg web developer, IT support, QA tester, engineer, etc) you should have separate resumes for each of these.

It can be difficult landing your first role, good luck!

Last Updated: 11/21/2021, 9:50:52 PM