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How To Fill Out A Resume For A Job

Start With A Resume Objective

How To Fill Out a Resume With No Job Experience

A good resume objective first tells the hiring manager what your career goals are, and why youre passionate about the position.

In three or four sentences, your resume objective should:

  • state your skills
  • highlight your relevant experience
  • detail your education or training

The relevant experience can be something you accomplished at school or elsewhere in your life, as long as it relates in some way to the job.

When writing the objective for your first job resume, consider the companys needs. Dont just write about what you want from working there. Instead, show the hiring manager how your goals align with theirs. For example:

Resume for First Job Objective

High school honors student with two years of volunteer experience. Aiming to use acquired interpersonal and problem-solving abilities to effectively fill your retail position. A quick learner looking to fulfill the company mission and grow in the role as fast as possible.

If you can quantify several of your core skills, a different type of introduction might benefit your overall application. Its important to learn how to start a resume in the way that best plays to your strengths.

From One Paragraph To One Page: How To Beef Up Your Resume

Did you catch the recent Office episode when Pam was applying for a new job? After spending pretty much her whole career at Dunder Mifflin, her resume was a blank page with a few lines on ittext so brief that it could fit on a Post-it note.

Sure, it was funny but for some of us, it hit a little too close to home. You often hear the advice, keep your resume to one page, but what if you type out your education and work experience, and you still see a half page of white space left?

Dont worry. Whether youre right out of school or youve been at the same company for years like Pam, here are a few strategic ways to fill up that page.

How You Should Address Getting Laid Off On Your Resume

Resume experts offer tips on how best to address a job termination on your resume.

Getting laid off or fired can be hard enough. Figuring out how to explain the gap on your résumé so that you can get a new job may be even more stressful. Although the gap may raise some questions, fight the urge to explain why you were laid off or fired on your résumé.

  • Eliminate the months.
  • Include your experiences during the work gap.
  • Resist the urge to list your last position as present.

Read Also: Who To Put As Reference On Resume

Assess What You Offer

When you’re learning how to write a resume with no experience, remember that what you lack in job history you may make up for in your motivation to excel. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and ask, “Why should I hire this person when there are 100 other applicants with more experience?”

Before you revamp your resume, research your target positions on Monster and review the job descriptions to see which qualifications are most important. A key to understanding how to make a resume with no experience is finding where your background overlaps with the duties described in the job description. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What skills, abilities, and credentials are listed as desirable?
  • Do you offer competencies, personal attributes, or unpaid experience that compensate for your lack of work history?
  • How would the employer benefit if you were hired?
  • What are the top five reasons you should be selected for an interview?

These will help you find skills that can help differentiate you from your peers.

Select The Right Format

Blank Fill In Resume Templates

The two most effective resume formats you can turn to when writing a resume with no experience are functional and combination. Steer clear of strictly chronological resumes, which place emphasis on your work history.

Option 1: Your first option is functional resumes, which emphasize your related skills while downplaying your work chronology. Rather than citing dates of employment, this format uses categories to highlight your aptitudes. For example, if you’re seeking a secretarial position but don’t have any related experience, you may create the following categories: “Computer Skills,””Interpersonal Communications,” and “Office Management Abilities.” The latter may refer to managing your own home office, for example.

Option 2: A combination resume is a chronological resume that leads with a qualifications summary, in which you emphasize the credentials that most qualify you for the job you’re trying to land. The fact is, hiring managers and recruiters are super-busy, so you need to can grab their attention right away. It makes sense that this section would be a detailed, personal, and thorough explanation, but many people make the mistake of writing one vague and unclear statement. A specific reason for why you’re applying makes you look determined and committed to the specialized industry much more than a generic “hire me!” sentence.

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What Are Technical Or Hard Skills On Your Resume

When listing hard skills on your resume, include specific proficiencies and certifications. Front-end web developers, for instance, would report their level of expertise in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and other technologies the company lists in its job posting. A financial controller, meanwhile, might claim a strong foundation in GAAP or SEC reporting, and an administrative professionals resume skills could advertise a CAP or MOS certification.

Here are some hard resume skills for 15 in-demand fields:

  • Accounting or bookkeeping Basic abilities include invoicing, collections, payments, account reconciliation and proficiency in software such as QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Xero.
  • Data analysis Businesses need professionals who can gather and interpret technical data for various stakeholders. Hard skills in this area range from a thorough knowledge of relational database theory and practice to strong writing and verbal skills.
  • Data privacy Cybersecurity is top of mind for any organization that deals with sensitive or proprietary client information. Specific in-demand skills will depend on the position and field.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP systems such as Oracle, NetSuite and SAP help employers manage their business and automate functions. Professionals in this area will want to talk up their coding expertise and project management skills.
  • Header And Contact Information

    The header should contain your personal and contact information, short and sweet. Also, make sure the information is correct, otherwise this example of how to write a resume wont do you much good in the long run. Triple check your information in order to make sure everything is up to date. The must have information covers your name, phone number, e-mail address and location. You could also benefit from adding your job title, LinkedIn URL, social media or website/blog.

    Stay away from information like date of birth or age unless specifically required. Create a professional email address. Nobody wants to see your childhood idea of an appropriate email address on a job application. Sure, youre witty, but lets keep it a secret for now. Should you include a photo? Depends on the job.

    Recommended Reading: How To List Multiple Positions At One Company On A Resume

    The Best Font Size For A Resume

    The size font you use on a resume will depend on how much you have written, as you need your content to fill up one entire page. A good place to start is using 16pt for your name, 12pt for your section headers, and 11pt for the body of your text. Experiment conservatively until your one-page resume looks complete.

    Creating A Resume Skills Section

    Resumes & Job Applications : Filling Out a Job Application

    The skills section is an essential part of your resume. However, there are several different ways to approach creating yours.

    Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways you can format your resumes skills section:

    Example 1

    If you have many relevant hard and soft skills, add them to your resume skills section using separate bullet points, like this:

    If youre a student or recent graduate and have no significant job skills yet, there are still plenty of things you can list in your resume skills section. Heres an example of a skills section written by a candidate with no work experience:

    Example 2

    Another way to organize your skills section is by using bars to provide employers a rough estimate of your proficiency.

    This type of skills section is particularly popular with more creative professions, like graphic design or social media management:

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    List Any Awards You’ve Won And When You Won Them

    When you’ve been recognized by someone else, you should let potential employers know about it. But you shouldn’t worry if you haven’t received any awards just skip this section.


    Richmond County National Essay Contest, Honorable Mention, May 2006.

    Honor Roll, South Satchewan High School, Junior and Senior Years, 20082010.

    How Does The Application Process Work

    As we mentioned above, every companys process might be a little different. But they all serve the same purpose and tend to have a similar flow.

    Usually, the first stage is you providing everything the company asks for. This can include filling out an application form, submitting a resume, attaching a cover letter, and answering some standardized questions.

    Once you submit your information, itll typically go through an initial screening. If the company uses an applicant tracking system , that process may be automated. Essentially, the software will scan your form entries and attached documents for specific keywords that relate to the job. In most cases, the keywords are the same words and phrases you see in the job ad, particularly the skills and traits on the must-haves list.

    After that, the applications that are the best match move forward to the next stage. This could be a general review by human resources before the top candidates get sent along to the hiring manager. However, they can also go straight to the hiring manager for review. It all depends on that employers approach.

    Once the hiring manager has your job application, theyll take a look and decide if they want to bring you in for an interview. If so, youll get a meeting invitation and have a chance to answer a slew of job interview questions in hopes of impressing the hiring manager. If you shine there, you may have a job offer headed your way.

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    Who Should Use Resume Headlines

    Resume headlines are most beneficial to candidates who have robust, applicable experience, but all job seekers can use them. Entry-level applicants who dont yet have relevant experience can use headlines to display soft skills, tool proficiencies, and winning attributes.

    Example of an experienced applicants resume headline:

    Customer Service Lead with 7 Years of Inbound Call Center Experience

    Example of an entry-level candidates resume headline:

    Personable Customer Service Representative Proficient with Call Tracking Software

    Include Any Extracurricular Activities Or Volunteer Work


    When surveyed, the majority of employers say that they take volunteer experience listed on your resume, such as being a soup kitchen volunteer, into consideration alongside paid work experience. So any volunteer work that highlights your talents or where you learned a new skill should be put on your resume. Only include extracurricular activities and hobbies if they are relevant to the position and have equipped you with transferable skills that would be useful for the job role.

    Related: How to Build a Resume Using College Involvement as Experience

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    Choose The Most Suitable Format

    Before you start writing anything, the first step is to decide on the right format for your resume. There are three basic resume formats used by job seekers today: reverse-chronological, functional, and combination. Each format has advantages and disadvantages based on how the resume sections are arranged:

    Things To Do In The First 5 Days After A Layoff

    From severance packages to unemployment benefits to finding new work, we lay out the five things to tackle in the first week following a layoff.

    2. Understand Your COBRA Benefits Being laid off can be an emotional, stressful experience. What makes it more stressful is not having a plan. When you get the bad news, your first action should be taking a deep breath and doing your best to stay calm. Spend the evening with a favorite comfort food or a loved one, how ever you like to unwind. The next day, dont dawdle. Start on the following five steps. If you take them one at a time, youll have all of your ducks in a row, and your layoff experience will seem more manageable, which will only help you feel calmer and more centered when you start looking for your next role. Related Content1. Understand Your Severance PackageSeverance is more than the money an employer gives you when you part ways. Sure, one of the main ingredients in a severance package is pay. The amount is ordinarily tied to length of service, with many employees receiving two weeks of pay for every year of service. However, there are several other elements to severance packages. If youre laid off, you should take a moment to understand the range of components, which impact everything from health insurance to your ability to collect unemployment benefits.

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    Decide Which Type Of Rsum You Want

    There are three types of résumés: chronological, functional and combination. You might want to consider more than one format of résumé if you’re applying for multiple jobs.

    • Chronological is the most traditional format and lists experiences according to the order in which they took place. These résumés generally appeal to older readers and may be best suited for a conservative field.
    • Functional is a type of résumé that lists your experiences according to skill. This is the format to use if you’re changing career direction . Because it displays your skills first, your work experience, or lack thereof, is not the main focus.
    • Combination combines the best aspects of the chronological and functional styles. Be careful with length for this format the résumé can quickly get long.

    Resume Summary Objective And About Me

    Resumes & Job Applications : Filling Out a Job Application With No Work Experience

    Some resumes might benefit from having an opening statement like the one below:

    Use this space to describe yourself and your objectives, your job and years of experience, one or two top achievements that youre proud of and your desired goals, for example. Make this section your own! Since its at the top of the page, this information will definitely get noticed. Avoid using I am in this section.

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    Write A Matching Cover Letter

    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 :

    What Is A Resume Actually

    Weve said it before and well say it again: writing a resume is not easy. If youre constantly asking yourself how do I write a resume? chances are you need to approach the matter from a different perspective. Did you ever ask yourself what a resume actually is?

    Simply put, the resume is a preview, a trailer if you will, of the movie that is your entire working career. Now, you wouldnt stuff a trailer with everything that went into the production of that movie, right? You only need to feature the highlights! Thats how you catch the attention of the movie goererr, recruiter! Remember, you only have one chance at a great first impression.

    So, to make this even easier to grasp, this is what your resume should not be:

    • Your entire job history mashed together.
    • The summary of all your skills.
    • The be-all and end-all that will get you the interview and then the job.

    Remember, youre just hooking the would-be interviewer at this point, not selling him the whole package. Recruiters hardly ever spend more than a couple of minutes looking at your resume. You have to make yours stand out.

    One final touch: the resume is not the CV. The curriculum vitae is a complete look at your career which covers all aspects of your education, work and experience and has no length restrictions. A resume is just what the name entails: a summary of all that. Ok, thats good but how do you write a resume I hear you ask? Read on for the details.

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    Resume Summary Or Objective

    Its not a secret for anyone that first impressions matter, whether theyre in your personal life, or your career.

    If you leave a bad first impression, chances are, its there to stay. After all, its very hard to change someones opinion of you.

    The same applies to your job search – the HR manager spends around 6 seconds scanning each resume. Yep, your carefully-worded, hand-crafted resume only gets 6 seconds of attention. Unless, of course, you manage to leave an amazing first impression.

    The way you accomplish this is through either a good resume summary or objective. Both are placed at the top of your resume, right around the contact information section:

    So, heres what you need to know about the two:

    Choose A Functional Format

    Blank Resume Forms

    Although a chronological resume is the most common resume type, consider using the functional resume format when writing your first resume. Whereas chronological resumes focus on your work experience, functional resumes highlight your core resume skills:

    Specifically, the skills section of a functional resume replaces the work history section of a chronological resume. To fill this section pick at least three skills relevant to the position, and then add two or three bullet points that showcase those skills in action:

    Skills on a Resume for a First Job

    Editing skills

    • Edited average of 47 newspaper articles a day as chief copy editor of The Brown Daily Herald
    • Reduced incidence of typos in The Brown Daily Herald by 17% compared with previous year

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