Tech skills help new grads land a job

(BPT) – With a graduation cap in one hand and a newly-inked degree in the other, many grads are hitting the online pavement looking for their first post-college job. But how do you set yourself apart from the masses and quickly land your dream job?

According to a recent survey, 83 percent of millennials say having tech skills makes it easier to get a job. But to hiring managers, there’s a difference between listing tech expertise on your resume and demonstrating that you’re genuinely tech-savvy.

“A resume and cover letter are often the first point of reference hiring managers have in learning about a candidate – it helps us imagine how an individual would fit into an open role or with the company at large. Technology is infused in so many jobs now – it’s obvious if it’s missing, even in the first few sentences,” says Kerry Olin, general manager of Human Resources, Microsoft.

Follow these tips to ensure your resume and cover letter make it to the top of the pile and that you’re presenting yourself and your skills in the best way possible:

1. Make it personal

Not only should you tailor your resume to the specific job, it’s also a key opportunity to highlight how your skills relate to the role. For example, if the job requirements include strong communication skills, note your ability to effectively work across media from in-person meetings, to email, to social media.

2. Catch their eye

Create visually appealing and professional documents with Microsoft Word resume and cover letter templates from There are even templates to help you with your follow-up thank you note.

3. Make it interesting

Use action verbs and interesting descriptors to show results. For example, “actively engaged customers and prospects via social media to increase readership and participation” says a lot more than “managed company social handles.”

4. Take it for a test drive

Get friends, family, fellow alumni and others to read your application, resume or cover letter, and ask them what they take away. You can use a cloud share such as SkyDrive to get feedback and tips anytime and from anywhere. As a bonus, it streamlines version control by doing it all in one document.

5. Audit your social footprint

Hiring managers can find a bevy of information from a single online search. And search they do. Take time to ensure your online profile – Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, et al – represents you in a way that won’t be embarrassing. Better yet, leverage these tools to highlight professional events you attend, publicize awards or participation in industry outlets and share examples of your work.

Bottom line, technology can make or break your first impression when job hunting. Taking a few extra minutes to make sure you’re presenting your best, most tech-savvy self can mean the difference between continuing to pound the pavement and landing an interview for your dream job.

Courtesy of BPT