The web abounds in resume writing advice and many beginners or entry-level candidates with little work experience feel disoriented with the large amount of information. Writing your first resume comes with different challenges compared to writing a resume for an experienced, senior-level professional.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when writing a resume for the first time:
If you have never written a resume before, that moment when you look at the blank document in front of you can be quite intimidating. For those who are not expert resume writers, it’s recommended to use resume building software or a resume template serving as a guide. Once you have a structure, creating your resume becomes much easier.
What to put in your resume when you don’t have work experience
The lack of work experience is often perceived as a vicious circle by beginners: you can’t get hired if you don’t have work experience and you can’t get work experience if you are not hired, right?
What if you started seeing things from a different perspective? There is plenty of information a beginner can include in their resume, even if they have never been employed before:
• Education – besides formal training, include other qualifications and academic achievements
• Volunteering experiences – they suggest you can work well with other people and have acquired various skills
• Qualifications – for each asset, provide details on how you have acquired and used it in the past
• References – the lack of work experience can be compensated for by providing the contact details of people who can validate your abilities
If you don’t have any work experience, you can make your resume more impressive by highlighting academic accomplishments and mentioning relevant coursework, depending on the role you want to fill. Any outstanding activities you’ve had during your studies can also be included in your resume.
Highlighting valuable skills
Aside from general business skills, like teamwork, communication, or analytical thinking, you can differentiate yourself from other candidates by showcasing technical processes knowledge or the ability to use specific software. List your skills and explain how you have learned each skill and also how you have employed it in the past.
Impressing recruiters with a well-written professional summary
This may be the most difficult or, on the contrary, the easiest part of resume writing, depending on how confident you feel. The summary can be considered your resume’s “elevator pitch” and it should consist of 2-3 sentences describing who you are and what value you can provide. Beginners should focus on emphasizing their skills, education, and professional objectives.
Typos, grammar mistakes, inconsistencies throughout your formatting, and skipped or double spaces – you need to avoid all flaws if your want to be considered an eligible candidate.Writing your first resume can be a time-consuming and tiring process, so ask a friend to check your resume before sending it. A pair of fresh eyes can easily notice aspects you have overlooked.
Are you ready to start writing your first resume? We wish you success!