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How To Build A Resume From Scratch

Learn How To Create A Resume From Scratcheven When You Have Limited Job Experience

Resume Template | How to Create Resume from scratch | Downloadable Resume

Even with zero or little experience, you can still write a killer first resume.

Youre staring at a blank page willing it to become a resume. You get up, get coffee, sit back down, type your name, but then youre tempted to take a break because you have no clue how to make a resume for your first job and turn your work experience into something that will entice someone to hire you.

It’s true that many employers prefer to hire workers with a demonstrated track record of success rather than someone who’s young and inexperienced. Employers may view older workers as more stable, mature, reliable, and skilled than younger workers, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. You just need to learn how to properly present your strengths in a way that makes your age irrelevantor even beneficial.

Writing your first resume can seem overwhelming, especially when theres so much on the linelike paying rent and having an answer every time youre your mom calls to ask if youve found a job yet.

You dont get a second chance at a first impression and your resume is your introduction to your hopefully-soon-to-be employer. Your goal is to convince employers that they would benefit by hiring you. But dont panic. These tips will help your resume stand out from the crowd.

How Should I Format My Resume In Microsoft Word

The format you choose will depend on your experience level!

There are 3 basic resume formats to choose between:

  • âReverse-Chronological: Details your most recent job and works backwards from there. This format focuses heavily on work experience.â
  • Functional: Focuses on skills and education rather than work experience. This is a good option for recent graduates or applicants with minimal work experience.â
  • Hybrid/Combination: Combines elements of both the Reverse-Chronological and the Functional. This is a good option for applicants with gaps in their employment history.

Choosing the best format for your needs is key. For more help on this subject, check out our guide on How to Choose the Correct Resume Format in 2021!

Open Microsoft Word And Pick A Template

First, open Word and search for resume by selecting the search icon in the top right-hand corner.

This will bring up a range of options. Choose templates, which will display your choice of resume templates, and then select the one that you like best:

For our examples, we chose Microsoft Words Bold resume template.

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How To List Education On Your Resume

The next section were going to cover is your Education. Lets start with the basics – how to format the education section & what to mention there. Then, well move on to tips & tricks thatll help you stand out

  • Program Name. E.g.: B.A. in Business Administration
  • University Name. E.g.: New York State University
  • Years Attended. E.g.: 08/2008 – 06/2012
  • GPA. E.g.: 3.9 GPA
  • Honors. E.g.: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude.
  • Academic achievements. Any interesting papers youve written, courses youve excelled in, etc.
  • Minor. Minor in Psychology

Here’s an example:

Tips on perfecting your education section:

  • If you dont have any work experience, mention your education section first.
  • Mention your latest educational entry on top.
  • If you have a university degree, dont mention your high school at all.
  • ONLY mention GPA if you had a very impressive academic career .

Write A Matching Cover Letter

How to Write a Resume from Scratch

Now that you know how to write your dream resume, you might be wondering: is a cover letter necessary? The answer is yes, always include a cover letter if you have the option.

Knowing how to write a good cover letter helps you round out every application you ever send out, and boosts your chances of landing an interview.

Cover letters are a valuable tool in your job-hunting arsenal because they give you an opportunity to provide context to your resume, show off your personality, and express enthusiasm for the job youre applying for.

Heres an example of what a resume paired with a matching cover letter might look like :

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Compile Your Personal And Employment Information

Collect all the information you need to include before you start writing your resume. Its much easier to write, edit, and format a document when you have all the details you need in front of you.

Before you get started, make a list of the contact information you want to use, all your jobs, your education, training, certifications, skills, and other credentials.

Tips For Formatting Resumes In Usajobs Resume Builder

You can copy and paste text from Word documents into the resume builder. However, some formatting in these documents may not work in the USAJOBS resume builder. To fix formatting errors inside your resume, you must first save the original file in a .txt format.

To copy and paste from Word:

  • Open up your Word document or other word processing tool.
  • Select the File tab at the top.
  • Go to the Save As option.
  • Choose to save it as a Plain Text file.
  • Open the new file and ensure the text appears in an acceptable format.
  • Copy and paste your resume text into the resume builder.
  • To edit your USAJOBS resume-builder resume:

  • Click on your username at the top of the page and select Documents from the menu.
  • Find the resume you want to edit and click Edit .
  • This will bring you to the first page of your resume.
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    Describe Your Work Experience

    This is the meat of your resume and the part thats the most important to potential employers. If youre wondering what type of information to include in your work history section, a good way to get some ideas is to check out some resume examples for your field of expertise and years of experience.

    When crafting your document, be sure to include specific information from the job ad but only if you actually have that experience. Because the ATS will automatically search for appropriate keywords and phrases, you can readily find what employers are searching for in other resumes and the ad for the job youre applying for. Also, look at other ads for similar positions to find industry-specific keyword information to include.

    Add A Resume Summary Or Objective

    Create a professional resume

    After your contact information, you have the option to include either a resume summary or objective statement. An objective statement quickly explains your career goals and is a good choice for those with limited professional experience, such as recent college or high school graduates. A resume summary is a short statement that uses active language to describe your relevant work experience and skills.

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    Start By Choosing The Right Resume Format

    A format is the style and order in which you display information on your resume. There are three commonly-used resume formats you can choose from depending on which is right for you: Chronological , functional or a combination.

    A chronological resume format places the professional history section first and is a good option if you have a rich professional work history with no gaps in employment.

    Image description

  • Awards

  • List Your Experiences Or Skills

    For Chronological/Combination Résumés, List Your Experiences

    Starting with your most recent or current job, list your previous work experiences.

    • This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
    • This is where content can make your résumé run over a page, so be selective about what you include.
    • Pick experiences that seem most relevant to the position you seek. For inspiration, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork and special projects.
    • Don’t worry whether your experiences are “good enough.” Employers admire people who have worked hard in a variety of positions.
    • Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb, like accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, solved, maintained, generated, effected, advised, controlled, trained or utilized.
    • Don’t worry if there are gaps in the timeline, but keep everything in chronological order, with most recent jobs at the top.


    Southwestern Writing Center, Peer Writing Tutor, Yuma, AZ

    Camp Granite Falls, Area Director, Mountainville, TNJune 2013September 2017- Directed staff of four while supervising 20 campers.- Taught crafts, sports and cooking.

    For Functional/Combination Résumés, List Your Skills


    Self-Motivated: Proactively organized volunteers to assist with distribution at the community food bank.

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    What Should I Leave Out

    When it comes to your CV, there are certain words and phrases you should try to avoid and they mostly consist of overused clichés.

    Not only could using them risk mildly irritating the person in charge of hiring, you could also end up blending into a sea of similar candidates.

    Although all recruiters will have their own pet peeves, here are just a few of the worst CV words:

    • Excellent communication skills
    • Detail oriented
    • Self-motivated

    Obviously, exceptions can be made if any of the above were included in the job description as an essential skill but using examples to back them up is still crucial.

    Tailor Your Resume For The Job

    How to Write a Resume From Scratch

    It cant be stated enough: You must tailor your resume to the specific position that youre applying for. Dont forget to search the job description for keywords that you can use in your previous employment bullet points, skills section, and resume objective or summary. You may even need to change your wording in the education and additional sections so they fit.

    Its important to write your resume for the position you want as listed in the job posting to make sure you pass through ATS and then draw the recruiters attention once the document reaches human eyes. Even if youre applying for a single position across the board, youll need to create a new resume for each different company because they may all have different requirements and keywords. While this may seem like a lot of work, you dont want it to look like youre sending out mass-produced documents to just anyone and everyone.

    At this point, youll also want to consider the type of field youre in. If youre applying to a highly professional position, youll want to keep your wording in line and focus on your expertise. Choose a traditional layout for your resume. However, if the position is with a casual startup in its early stages of operation, you can likely include more creativity because the recruiter may be looking for someone innovative and imaginative. In this case, choosing a more modern layout can help you stand out above other applicants.

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    Proofread Your Resume And Finish Strong

    Once youve written your resume and cover letter, youre in pretty good shape to send out that first application. However, youre not quite done yet.

    The most important step before sending out any resume is to read it over and make sure that there are no issues that could get your application discarded.

    To help make that process easier, heres a checklist you can go through to make sure your resume is looking spotless:

    The Resume Genius Resume Checklist

    Is your contact information accurate?

    Does your resume NOT include details like headshots or sensitive personal information?

    Does your resume fit on one page ?

    Is your information easy to read ?

    Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position youre applying for?

    Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?

    Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?

    Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?

    Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?

    Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?

    Feel free to use our on-page checklist, or and begin reviewing your resume.

    Write A Standout Resume Headline

    A resume headline is a concise, one-line description of who you are as a candidate. A well-written headline can grab a recruiters attention and encourage them to take a more detailed look at your qualifications.

    Your headline is a short but powerful addition to your resume, often the first thing a recruiter reads. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a strong first impression. Its also another opportunity to include a specific job title or keyword that might be used to sort your resume in the ATS.

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    Easy Steps To Perfect A Cv

    It only takes 3 simple steps and a few minutes to put together a CV that employers will notice. When you spot the perfect job opportunity you just need to add your data to your chosen template, follow quick and easy instructions, download your file and youre ready to apply.

    1 Choose from 20 professionally prepared CV templates

    2 Follow the step-by-step instructions and fill in your personalized data

    3 Add finishing touches and download your completed CV as a PDF

    Detail Your Work Experience

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    The work experience section is the heart of your resume. Employers look at this section closely to determine whether your job history and prior accomplishments make you a promising candidate.

    Thats why its important to detail not only your job responsibilities but also your competence in prior roles. The work experience section is your chance to show recruiters and hiring managers how you have added unique value to other companies.

    The first things a recruiter looks for on your resume are the job titles youve held and the caliber of companies youve worked with. Make this information easy to find by sticking to a familiar format.

    List each job in reverse-chronological order. Each job should have its own subheading that includes the following information:

    • Company

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    Summarize Your Work Experience

    Your work experience section is the core of your resume, as it proves that you have the qualifications and skills to do the job. It will also take up the bulk of your resume.

    To start, click on the section of your Microsoft Word document labeled Experience:

    Then, list your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning that your most recent job title is placed at the top of the experience section. Remember to only include experience that is relevant to the job that youre applying for.

    For each job you list, provide the following basic information:

    • Job title
    • Company address
    • Dates of employment

    You should also write 3-5 bullet points describing your duties and achievements under each job title. Remember to use strong action verbs to show off your skills and accomplishments.

    If your work experience is too thin to create a reverse-chronological resume, use a different format. For instance, you can emphasize your relevant skills with a functional resume or combination resume.

    Heres an example that you can follow to write your own work experience section:

    Start By Adding Your Name And Basic Contact Information

    Lets get started! The top of your resume should include your name, location, email, and phone number. For your address, city and state is enough if you arent comfortable putting your full street address.

    Center your contact information on the top of the page or have this off to the side, depending on your desired design. You can bold your name to let it stand out.

    Do not include private information such as your social security number. Your sexual orientation, your religious beliefs, and your political affiliation are none of the hiring teams business either.

    JOHN SMITH555-845-7994

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    Now Lets Move On To Work / Internship Experience

    Start with the company name, location, job title, and your dates of employment. Like before, bold and underline the header and bold the name of the establishment .

    Add in paid and unpaid internships. Any working experience is experience. Choose the things more recent and most relevant to the job you are applying to. Go here for information on tailoring your resume to a job.

    Add in your job responsibilities. Write down what you do each day in your role. Think about the projects you have worked on and the achievements youve reached.

    Do NOT. I repeat. Do NOT write your responsibilities in paragraph format. That is an easy way to get your resume thrown away. Managers and recruiters are working at a fast pace and only have time to scan the thousands of resumes they receive. Stick to bullets!

    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:Inside Sales Representative Responsible for 100 outbound dials daily to potential customers. Generates leads and qualifies opportunities. Familiar with Salesforce, Outlook, and Sales Navigator. Q2 2018 Rep of the Quarter. Responsible for a part in the closing of a $375,000 deal. Completed 180 hours of sales and technology training

    How To Make A Cv From Scratch: Whats Inside

    How to Write a Resume From Scratch
    • Free CV Template great for getting started but you should avoid certain pitfalls. What to look out for and how to use them.
    • How to make a CV a step-by-step guide to help you break writers block and create the perfect CV. A choice selection of the best CV writing tips available anywhere.
    • CV Samples Some samples and guidelines on designing your own
    • CV cover letters your covering letter creates your first impression, make sure it is positive
    • CV format should the format of your CV be Chronological, Functional or a combination of the two?
    • Sample CV objectives should you use/include a CV objective at all?
    • CV Power Words use these CV writing tips to add some punch to your CV.
    • Electronic CVs how are they different and what should you do?
    • CV thank you letters Do not forget this important CV writing tip.

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