Now more than ever, it is important for vocational and trade school graduates to not only create a resume, but to also perfect it.

By putting in the extra effort to make your trade school resume spotless, you could very well be giving yourself a leg up in interviews, which could potentially be the factor that gets you the job.

Why is Having a Resume Important?

As we’ve said, having a vocational school resume is important, but what about it makes it so vital? Here are some aspects to keep in mind:

  • Your resume is essentially the sum of your career – including your background, education and any relevant experience – on a piece of paper. If you’re applying for a job online, then it’s essential you make a good impression since your resume will determine whether you’re even interviewed.
  • If you are asked to interview after applying, it will be because the employers at said company believe that you could be a good fit. A worthwhile resume will go a long way in establishing that.
  • It is imperative for vocational school graduates to have a respectable resume because it is seen as a summary to potential employers about your past job experiences as well as where you want to take your career in the future.

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

Resume Tip #1: Don’t Include Everything

Your resume is the first thing potential employers read about you before meeting you in-person and it should be able to capture their attention.

That being said, 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 the right relevant experience for the job you’re applying for, it doesn’t matter how long or short your resume is (within reason).

Resume 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 about your training 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

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

As long as you clearly include your relevant previous experience 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 will have multiple resumes to review in addition to yours and will not spend the time reading every single word on each resume (though you should still ensure yours is without errors).

A general rule of thumb is that any resume that is longer than one page is too lengthy; so if you can fit everything onto one full page, that’s the magic number.

Resume Tip #4: Use Keywords

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

If you’re stuck on which words from the job description to use, copy and paste it into a word cloud generator such as TagCrowd and it’ll show you the keywords that are used the most often.

Resume Tip #5: Send It to Friends to Proofread 

Trade school resumes will showcase plenty of worthwhile experience, so don’t put all of that 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. That way, you’ll discover any typos you may have and can also receive suggestions for how to make your resume more impressive.

Resume Tip #6: Utilize Bullet Points 

A general rule of thumb on resumes (and just about anything) is that a paragraph is much easier to read if its sentences are 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 such as the courses you took during trade school. Plus, they take up less space, and as we’ve mentioned, your resume should only be one page.

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

The biggest goal of putting your resume out there is that a recruiter would contact you for an interview. They can’t do that, however, if you don’t include any of your contact information.

Your name and phone number should already be present, but it would also benefit you to include other ways to reach you, such as by supplying your email address or even your 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 that you would be a good fit for their company, they’ll reach out and express interest.

As a trade school graduate, if you utilize these resume tips, the chances of your resume catching your potential employer’s attention should increase.

Everyone here at North American Trade Schools wishes you the best of luck on your career path. If you ever need resume help or have any questions, feel free to reach out to our faculty