Writing Your First Resume? Here’s What You Should Know
Writing your very first resume is a very challenging task. You don’t know what to include, what to leave out and if you’re a student or recently graduated, you don’t know how to deal with experience section. Lack of experience shouldn’t stop you from doing your best to write a highly professional resume. Remember, even recruiters had to start somewhere and they weren’t born with experience in certain niche. When I started working on my very first resume, I had zero experience, but luckily I learned that focusing on key strengths to demonstrate what you can do is a good way to start. In this article, I’m going to demonstrate how to write your entry-level resume. It’s quite simple, I promise.
Before you even start writing the resume, take a few moments to think about not only about your experience and other things to include, but the particular job post itself. Writing generic resume is never a good idea as every job is different. Ideally, you should adapt your resume to specific job post and what employer or recruiter is looking for.
You can take a blank piece of paper and write down all good qualities that you have for this job. Take some time to think what makes you ideal candidate for specific position or what would make your resume stand out among all others.
If you don’t have experience necessary for the first job, that’s okay as well. When there is no past employment you can feature some experiences where you demonstrated initiative or did something related to requirements in job post. This can also include some classes you have taken or participating in some organization etc.
Don’t forget the skills. They are usually overlooked, but skills are important part of your resume. Your skills demonstrate what you can, actually, do. Think thoroughly about job post, requirements, and write down all skills you have that employer or recruiter would find interesting.
Now that you took a few moments to brainstorm, it’s time to officially create your first resume. Since you have never written your resume before, you can browse and find some examples online. The point here isn’t to copy everything from that resume, but to use it as inspiration in order to get the “idea” of how your resume should look like.
Ideally, your resume should look neat and simple. Recruiters don’t really appreciate messy and cluttered resumes as they show that person doesn’t have organizational skills that are important in business world.
Start your resume with a brief summary that discusses your personal strengths and career goals. Make sure summary is short, a few sentences are just enough. Furthermore, align sections in your resume by featuring your key strengths on top to catch recruiter’s attention. For example, if you don’t have past employment experiences, then sections about education and skills should be on top.
Employment section can contain volunteer experiences or working on some projects within certain organization. If you haven’t done anything like that before, you can leave out this section. When you don’t have any work history, which is something that most people who write their first resume don’t have, then you should focus on your skills or what you can “bring to the table” if recruiter hires you.
Include social media accounts
Leaving social media accounts out of your resume is a mistake. Let’s face it; internet is important which is why you need strong online presence. After all, your social media profiles demonstrate how you represent yourself to other people such as friends, coworkers, employers etc.
Your resume should include link to your LinkedIn profile. In case you don’t have it, create one. LinkedIn is, basically, your online resume. Furthermore, if you have Twitter account you can include that as well, but make sure you don’t tweet or retweet inappropriate content. When it comes to Twitter, make sure your account isn’t protected. What’s the point of including Twitter username if they can’t see anything?
If you have your own website or blog; then you should include link in your resume.
I can’t stress enough the importance of proofreading your resume. Regardless of how small or seemingly insignificant typo can be, it can still make a big impact in recruiter’s or employer’s mind. Why? It’s because typos or grammar errors show that you don’t pay attention to detail.
Don’t rely on various softwares and word-processing programs to catch your errors and correct them. Read your resume from top to bottom a few times or you can send it to your friend to make sure you didn’t overlook some tiny error.