American employers added almost half a million jobs in April alone this year. Things are starting to look up, with unemployment rates healthier than in over a decade.
It’s the perfect time to make sure you are ready to secure that entry-level job in your dream career, starting with writing a professional resume.
Here is our guide on how to make a resume for a first job.
Choose a Template
Using a proper resume template or free resume builder will help you create a resume that looks professional. However, try and customize this to suit the job and industry.
Some industries will want to see more conservative styles of templates, such as accounting and law. But some industries will want to see some creativity in your resume presentation – graphics design is a good example!
Add Your Contact Details
When employers are sifting through hundreds of resumes, they want to find contact information quickly. They’ll expect to see this at the start, so add it at the beginning, below your name.
Make it big, clear, and easy to read, and avoid fancy fonts or elaborate formatting. Keep it simple. If you want to refer to social media profiles (LinkedIn being the obvious one), add your handles here.
Add Your Qualifications and Certifications
Depending on the job and the seniority, you might choose to put qualifications before experience or vice versa.
If you were applying for a senior position, you would add your previous experience first. But for an entry-level position, start with your qualifications.
You might have a string of qualifications but focus on the highest levels you’ve achieved. If the qualification area looks cluttered, leave out the lowest/earliest level of qualification.
Always add complete information on your degree title, type of qualification, and where you achieved your award. Omitting this information from your resume might make employers think you have something to hide.
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Add Your Experience
When adding your experience, think about what you achieved in that job rather than what you did, and use plenty of action verbs.
And be specific, too. Managing a $10,000 budget as part of a university fundraiser sounds more impressive than simply saying that you were in charge of the finances.
The experience section is somewhere that you might want to customize for each job application to make it more relevant to your potential employer.
Check out the job description for the role you are applying for and find past achievements that best match their expectations.
You’ll find that most employers tend to put requirements in order of importance, so start with the ones at the top of the list in the job role description.
Add Your Skills
You should split skills into two sections: personal qualities (i.e., soft skills) and training (e.g., certifications). Employers want to see both. Look at the job role you are seeking to get a feel for the personal qualities employers want to see.
Do they prioritize good teamwork? What about communication skills? Use that to guide you and think about strengths you can confidently discuss in an interview.
Add a Summary and Proofread
You’ll need a summary at the top of your resume, but it’s best to do this last. You can review the information you’ve included in your resume and find the best highlights to add to the summary.
Be succinct, and always get someone else to proofread your resume to ensure there are no errors.
How to Make a Resume for a First Job
If you want the perfect job, you’ve got to have the perfect resume! Use our guide on how to make a resume for a first job, and you’ll have a good chance of winning the attention of that recruiter.
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