Dont Forget The Cover Letter
One of the biggest mistakes Ive seen jobseekers make over and over again is ditching the cover letter.
Despite what some people might tell you, cover letters are not dead. Theyre still very much alive and they can prove incredibly valuable in presenting yourself to potential employers as a well-rounded candidate.
Hiring managers expect a cover letter in your application even if they dont explicitly ask for one. In other words, forgoing the cover letter entirely can do you more harm than good. Indeed, youll risk coming across as lazy and not at all interested in the job youre applying for, which is highly unlikely to be appreciated by a company.
The only time you shouldnt send a cover letter is when youre specifically asked not to do. Otherwise, you should always accompany your CV with a well-written letter, which should be targeted to the specific employer and job youre applying for, about a page long, straight to the point and which complements not regurgitates your CV.
Choose The Best Type Of Resume
Consider a Functional or Combination Resume. If youre currently using a chronological resume, which lists your experience in date order, it may be time to switch to a different format that doesnt focus on the years.
Consider using a functional resume, which focuses on your skills and experience and lists your accomplishments at the top of your resume. Alternatively, you could use a combination resume, which features both skills and your work history .
Make Sure You Fill The Page
With barely any job experience, filling up the entire page may seem challenging at first. However, you can add in your academic achievements, certifications, extracurricular activities, involvement in clubs, or even your hobbies and interests.
For example, you can include any honors or awards received in the education section of your resume. Academic achievements can be a good reflection of your work ethic.
Include Your Name And Contact Information
Your resume should begin with your name and contact information including your email address and phone number. You have a choice about whether or not to include your mailing address. Your name should be highly visible at the top of your resume with a bolded or larger font than the rest of the document, but no more than a 14 point size. You might also include a link to your online portfolio if you are applying to creative positions, for example.
Profile/skills Summary/highlights Of Qualifications
- The purpose of this section is to highlight your top three to five qualifications to the employer.
- If you include this section, use a bullet format and highlight only the skills and/or qualifications that are relevant to the position you are applying for and substantiate with brief explanation of the experience that helped you build that skill or quality.
- Please review the accomplishment-based statements worksheet for tips on how to write this section.
- Include dates attended, program, area of study, institution.
- Include relevant courses if related to job posting.
- Include GPA if it sets you apart from other applicants or if the employer has specifically stated that you need to. You should also include the scale .
- Include high school if you are in first- or second- year note if you graduated with honours or awards include high school if it is unique, such as the International Baccalaureate.
- If you dont include high school but wish to include awards/honours from high school, put them in a separate ‘awards’ section.
- Add any academic projects that demonstrate key skills/qualifications
- Include Project Name, Name of Course and Calendar Year
- Use the same formatting that you use in the experience section
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Consider Including Volunteer Work Or Other Experience
Anything youve done thats not work experienceyour side gig, volunteer work, special projectscan be hosted under clearly-labeled sections . Depending on how robust your work experience is, these things may be worth including, particularly if theyve helped you level up your skill set or better align you with your dream job. Plus, they make you look that much more well-rounded, passionate, and hardworking.
If youre a recent grad, you might also build out a section for on-campus activities, such as clubs, organizations, or leadership experience. This can be a great supplement if youre lacking in the jobs department. You can frame these just as you would professional jobsincluding your title, the organizations name, and bullets describing what your role was and what you accomplished.
The Best Summary For A First Job Resume
Any employer will expect the first few words of a resume summaryfor a first job resume to be full of your unique personality. You might not have many work-related achievements to boast about and the ink on your college exams might not have quite dried, but the summary in your first resume is not about where you have been. Make your resume about who you are and where you want to go.
The summary for a first job CV is like a mission statement. This is me, and here is why I believe that we can get there together. Make the resume clear about how you get things done and showcase your attitude. Choose adjectives with care and keep the summary brief but powerful.
Actively looking for your first job or internship is the first step to success! So, be proud rather than embarrassed. Consider internships as an example of a scenario where its completely OK to not have work experience when you make your resume:
A 2017 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that college graduates who had completed an internship received more job offers than those who had not. Remember that nobody expects job experience from an intern!
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Tips Preparing Your First Resume
- Don’t lie. No matter how tempting it might be to stretch the truth, lying on your resume is always a bad idea. You might make it through this round of interviews and even get the job, but you won’t be able to deliver on the promises your resume offered. Plus, you’ll probably be caughtand fired.
- Don’t pad. You don’t need to include the line “references upon request,” or personal information beyond your contact information, or a bunch of unrelated hobbies. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t need to put on your resume, even when it’s your first one.
- Proofread. Nothing is less persuasive than a resume full of typos and inconsistencies. Have a trusted friend or family member proofread your resume before you submit it.
Talk To Professionals In The Field
If youre having a difficult time determining what skills an employer may want to see, consider contacting a professional already working in the industry or position similar to the one youre applying for. Find out what skills they consider most important, and identify which align with your own.
When creating a list of skills for your resume, only include those you know to be your strengths. If theres something youre still learning, dont feel pressured to include it because it appears in the job posting. If the employer mentions a skill you didnt include during the interview process, you can discuss how youre working to learn or improve for the role.
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What To Put On A Job Resume For First Job
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So if youre looking for a job in food service highlight any previous experience or skills which would convey why you would be great in such a role. On a resume for your first job the education section may be of more importance to the employer than other experience.
Resume Sample First Job Sample Resumes Job Resume Examples Job Resume Template Job Resume Format
Use The Job Description As A Guide
Remember when you first read the ad for the job youre applying to and thought Im going to apply for that!? Well, your CV is meant to have a similar effect on employers and make them think I want to hire this candidate!.
So, how can you make that happen? By copying the language used in the job description, of course.
Now, I dont mean that you should reproduce the job description in your CV word for word but rather that you carefully re-read the ad to identify keywords and phrases that you can weave into your CV. For example, if the ad requires that the ideal candidate is an excellent communicator, find a way to brag about your communication skills.
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Resume Contact Information Tips:
- Include a personal phone number, never a work number.
- You dont need to include your full address but do add your city, state, and zip code. Recruiters often search for local candidates first.
- Use a professional sounding email address. Consider creating a free Gmail account for your job search if you currently use a more outdated email service like Hotmail or AOL.
- Create a strong LinkedIn profile and be sure to include the URL on your resume.
Craft A Tailored Cover Letter
While not always required, a cover letter can be a helpful context for employers when applying for your first job. A thoughtful cover letter can demonstrate that youve put significant effort into preparing your application and gives you extra space to describe your qualifications for the role.
Your cover letter should include:
- Who you are
- Relevant skills and experiences to the job
- Your interest in the position
- Knowledge of what the job entails and how you effectively fill the role
Proof that youve researched the company and understand their mission
Use your cover letter to elaborate on how your experiences have developed the soft and technical skills the employer is looking for. The cover letter should focus less on self-promotion and more on what you can bring to the company in a way that aligns with their missions and objectives.
Your cover letter should fit on one page and contain around 300 words.
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How To Write A Resume
Do you need to write a resume? While it’s only a page or two in length, a resume is one of the most important parts of a job application. Your resume is your most powerful tool to tell the story of your professional work history to potential employers.
A well-written resume that highlights your most relevant qualifications for the job will help you get selected for an interview. Often, interviewers will consult your resume during the interview, too. Above all, your resume needs to be consistent, concise, and easy to read. If it’s not, your resume and cover letter won’t get a second glance from any hiring manager.
In many cases, your resume is the first document a hiring manager will look at when reviewing your application, and therefore is a true first impression. Accordingly, its important to put time and effort into developing and maintaining an updated, accurate resume.
Here is information on how to write a resume that will get noticed and help you get invited for an interview.
Template For A Teen Resume
When you’re writing your resume, you can use this template to help you organize your personal details, experience and qualifications into a format that is easy to read:
Awards and achievements
Hobbies and interests
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
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Grammar Tips For Listing Job History On A Resume
Do you write sentences? Phrases? Declarations? Writing resumes for first job? Here are some nitty-gritty grammar rules for writing your work experience bullet points.
- Write in phrases, often beginning with a strong verb. No need to write I to start off the sentence that is implied and work experience in a CV is often conveyed in the third person as this is more professional.
- Tense: If you are still at your current position completing the work described, use present tense. For past positions or completed projects, choose past tense.
- Dont be afraid to break out the thesaurus especially for synonyms of lead, managed and trained but stick to words youd use yourself. No need to ace the SAT verbal section.
List Your Personal Interests
- This section shows you’re a well-rounded person who people would want to know and work with.
- Employers often use this section at the start of an interview to break the ice.
- Casual interests are better not to list . This is really about highlighting hobbies that have helped you grow as a person.
- This résumé step is considered optional. If you’re having trouble coming up with interests, or feel your résumé is already too long, feel free to leave it off.
Ceramics, camping, reading, soccer, automotive repair, carpentry
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How To Create A Resume For Your First Job
If youve just graduated from university, its time to start thinking about the potential career opportunities that interest you. But, as many can attest, landing your first job straight after studying is no easy feat. Youre likely applying for a job to start gaining experience in your chosen career but the job description requires you to already have acquired some of that experience. Professionally, youre between a rock and a hard place. While it may feel as though academic qualifications arent enough alone to get you across the line, some strategic and clever crafting of your CV can prove to potential employers that youre an asset too good to pass up.
As with any job application, there are specific characteristics that recruiters look foreven in recent graduates. Since your professional experience is limited, its time to think outside the box and highlight your educational accomplishments, relevant industry experience, leadership qualities, and transferable skills. Here are a few ways you can guarantee incorporating these skills into your resume.
What Is A Resume
A resume is a summary of your career, whether yours is just getting started or has been going on for years. Coming in at around one page in length , it showcases the jobs youve held and currently hold, the responsibilities youve taken on, the skills youve developed, and the qualities you bring to the table as an employee. Together, those things make it super easy for any hiring manager to see your qualifications and fit for a role.
For all the work you may put into writing one, hiring managers actually spend very little timemere seconds in many caseslooking at your resume. But despite this sad fact, its safe to say that creating a great resume still matters.
If you miss the mark, your resume may never be read. Even worse, you might be removed from the applicant pool by a computer before a human even knows you exist, says Muse career coach Heather Yurovsky, founder of Shatter & Shine. So you want to get it right because, as she explains, isnt the goal to spend less time looking for a job and more time in a role you love?
And although LinkedIn has plenty of benefits, a resume has one clear advantage: While your LinkedIn is usually a broader picture of your career trajectory, your resume gives you the opportunity to tailor your career story to a specific role or company .
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How To Edit Your Resume
Youve written your resume, and read it twice, but thats not enough. A good editing job will take a little longer and some specific tactics meant to catch resume errors.
First, dont attempt to edit your resume until its done. Yes, it can be difficult to leave a glaring error while you move on to write your skills section, but force yourself to finish your resume before you edit it. Why? Youll save yourself time, and letting go of errors now could help you write a better first draft because youre focusing on the writing itself. Youll be glad you decided to go back and make all the edits at once.
Next, never try to edit your resume right after youve written it. In fact, you should give yourself a 24-hour break before editing your resume. With time away, youll see your resume with fresh eyes and for what it really isnot what you meant it to be.
When you give your resume a read, try reading your resume backward. It sounds odd and its not always easy but reading backward forces you to focus on each word, and helps you better catch both spelling and grammatical errors in the text.
Ask a friend or family member to read your resume, too. They may spot errors that you missed, or have suggestions for how to show yourself in an even better light.
And lastly, be sure to look for common resume pitfalls before you press send.
Can I Use Any Of These Examples To Help Write My Own Resume
Yes, we have plenty of examples you can use. Select any resume example from the list on this page, and youll find the following:
- A professional template with job-specific bullet points and information
- Sections to present your skills, experience, education, and professional accomplishments
- A free download in Microsoft Word format for you to personalize
- All resume information provided in text format ready for you to copy and paste
- Writing tips for creating a resume in that particular industry
We also have guides on how to write your own resume introduction, how to use resume action verbs, and articles outlining every other part of resume writing and formatting imagineable. Theyre all accessible on our resume help blog.
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