Finding a job is always stressful, especially when it happens for the first time. Job seekers who are just entering the labor market are afraid and ashamed of their lack of experience and the necessary skills. However, many employers are looking for new employees, ready to be trained and educated. Each new applicant’s task is to present themselves correctly to be noticed and invited to work.
In this article, you will learn what to put on a resume for the first job, tips and advice on employment, and step-by-step instructions on making a resume without job experience.
How to make a resume for the first job
To create a professional resume, a beginner needs to know the basics of resume writing and cover letters. Below are detailed steps for creating a resume and answers to frequently asked questions.
Step 1. Structure
You should adhere to the basic structure to create a resume for your first job. Remember that your resume’s purpose is to show the employer that you are the best fit for the job. Your resume should include the following sections:
- Contact Information. This section should include your name, phone number, and email address. You can also add a link to a professional website, social media sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter, or an online portfolio.
- Resume objective or summary. Your resume objective or summary should be short—two to three sentences, where you briefly explain who you are and why you qualify. To write this part, you need to study the job description and highlight your technical and personal skills most essential and relevant to the position. The summary and objective are different. In summary, you highlight your work experience, and the objective should state your short-term goals. The summary should be chosen by those with minimal work experience that can be quickly summarized. And the objective is more suitable for those who recently graduated from high school or university.
For example, a summary looks like this: A result-oriented, young specialist with three years of experience in the service and administration sector, seeking to work in the company “X” to acquire new skills and perform more complex tasks.
- Education. This section is significant for those candidates who have just graduated. In this section, employers mostly focus on degree, certificate, or experience level. It is not necessary to list every institution you graduated from and every course you completed. You should only indicate your most recent and relevant education that qualifies for the position requirements.
In this resume block, you should indicate your school or university’s name, the degree you received, the year of graduation, and your GPA, if necessary.
You can also add awards, coursework, certificates, academic recognition, and other achievements that you received during your studies.
- Professional history (also known as your work experience). This section is often intimidating to novice job seekers. Almost everyone has questions about how to write a resume for the first time if you don’t have any experience. Don’t skip this section as it provides an opportunity to showcase the value you will bring to the employers.
If you have little work experience, you should indicate your previous job, even if it is not related to the new one. Potential employers can use this information to gain insight into you as an employee, what skills you have learned from outside work, and how it can help you in your new position. You can also list your experience in volunteer organizations or project work. This will greatly help to show the employer that you are the best fit for the job
Your employment history should include your career, employer name, years of work, and the responsibilities you performed. Whenever possible, use numbers. It’s a great way to demonstrate your success.
- Skills, certifications, and tools. In this section, you indicate your hard and soft skills. In recent years, recruiters have paid more and more attention to this section since you should be a professional in your field and interact with people.
Hard skills are your professional skills, like working with programming languages, database management, fast printing speed. Soft skills focused on personality qualities such as excellent communication skills, strong memory, quick reactions, adaptability, multitasking, etc.
In this section, you can add the tools you have mastered or skills confirmed by certificates. But it’s worth remembering that the skills should be relevant to the job you’re interested in. For example, if you are an amazing dancer, this is unlikely to help you with sales. Find out what skills employers seek by reading job descriptions for similar positions. Highlight key points and include them in the appropriate section on your resume.
The above are five main points that should be included in the resume for a first job.
Step 2. Formatting
The resume should not exceed two pages. Try to avoid italics and underlines. You should provide only important information for a potential employer and do not go into too much detail. If the employer wants to know the details, you can talk about it at the interview.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to format your resume, but you should stick to these simple guidelines:
- Align the margins of the text, so the document looks readable.
- Choose one font that is easy to distinguish and read, for example, Times New Roman, Georgia, Verdana. The font size depends on the style you choose. For the Times New Roman, it’s 12-14.
- There should be space between the blocks so that the recruiter can easily find the information they need.
It can be difficult to format a resume, especially when you want to add decorations to make it stand out from other competition resumes. Therefore, you can use the services of an online builder. For example, you can create a resume using GetCoverLetter. Its editor will help you write and format your document in minutes. The service offers various resume templates that differ in design, text placement, font, and additional blocks. You won’t need to think about what should be written in the resume, as the builder suggests perfect options depending on the position for which you are applying.
Step 3. Cover letter
You may ask why a cover letter if you want to know how to write your first resume to be noticed by an employer. The answer is straightforward: the fastest and most reliable way to attract a recruiter is to attach a CL to your resume.
A cover letter is like an advertisement for your resume. In a more free form, you present your skills and express your high interest in getting this position and tell how your acquired skills or experience will be useful and effective for the company. In your cover letter, you also make a call to action that can prompt the HR manager to invite you for an interview. It is worth noting that generally, resumes with cover letters are considered first. This means that you will be noticed before other applicants.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Resume Writing
1. Is it obligatory to start a resume with contact information, or can you swap the blocks?
Blocks can be swapped. It all depends on the type of resume. But, the block with contact information is always first since the recruiter needs to know who the author of this document is and how to contact you.
2. Is it possible not to fill in some fields?
If you write a resume without using any editors, then some blocks can be skipped, but do not indicate their title, leaving an empty space next to it. In builders, the program will not add empty fields to the document.
3. Do I need to add a photo to my resume?
You can, but this is not a requirement.
4. How important is work experience in employment?
Naturally, your work experience plays an important role for recruiters, as many employers want to hire qualified employees. But this does not mean that if you have no experience, you will not land a job. Many companies are ready to hire people with no experience and train them.
5. Can I use different colored resume templates?
Yes, you can. Many editors offer several design options for a resume while still maintaining a business style.
Before creating your first resume, think about your strengths as an employee and the skills and experience that you can offer to the employer. It will help you write your resume quickly and easily.