Tips For Writing Your Entry
Due to the general nature of entry-level candidates having little to no work experience, the content and layout of these types of resumes is key to attracting potential employers.
Check out the following guide to find some tips and tricks of the trade for writing entry-level resumes:
The hardest thing about writing an entry-level resume is deciding what the goal is which direction the applicant wants to go in. Once that is clear, the rest will practically write itself.
If you need help figuring this out, try answering the following questions to get a clearer idea of the target audience for your resume:
- What work or projects have I done in the past that motivate me?
- In which field or profession can I see myself in 10 years?
- What skills do I have that can be applied to an occupation?
With the objective in mind, the candidate can start by choosing which format is best for an entry-level resume and specifically the ideal resume structure for each position or company they apply to.
TOP TIP: Use the job description as a guide to find the best keywords for each vacancy
Remember, if youre not sure of how to write an entry-level resume from scratch, you can either choose from a selection of entry-level resume templates to help or even use an online resume builder as a guide.
How To Include Education On A Resume With No Experience
When youre creating your first resume, its important to highlight your education. This will show employers youre able to overcome challenges, stick to your commitments and learn new things. You can also take this opportunity to share coursework youve completed that are relevant to the job.
For example, if youre applying to a retail associate position, heres how you might highlight your high school experience:
And here is how you might highlight your college experience if youre applying for a role as a receptionist at a spa:
New York UniversityMajor: Pre-Med with a Concentration in Holistic HealthExpected Graduation Date: May 20XXGPA: 3.7Relevant coursework: Customer Discovery & Development, Introduction to Interpersonal CommunicationAwards and Honors: Deans List Fall 20XX through Spring 20XXClubs: Women in Business, Center for Holistic Healing
Include Relevant Clubs & Organizations
Sometimes the extracurriculars you are involved in can be a big help to you when building a resume.
If you were an editor for your school paper, for instance, it will be great to have clips for a portfolio and relevant experience if you are trying to get work as a junior editor or copywriter.
Being the president of a club also shows a great deal of initiative, organization, and drive, which are all valued in the workplace. Really take some time to think through the activities youve been involved in and how they are relevant to the position you are applying for.
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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.
How To Format Your Resume
A resume format is the layout of your resume.
The ideal resume format usually depends on how much work experience you have.
But what happens when you have none?
For a no-experience resume, we recommend that you use the reverse-chronological format.
Its the most popular format amongst applicants and a recruiter favorite.
The sections in your reverse-chronological resume will be:
In this article, well walk you through each of these sections, and explain how to write them in a way that you stand out from the crowd.
Your resume header includes your contact information and your resume statement.
Below, well show you how to write both of these elements and how to include them in your header section.
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Education Section Of Resume
In a resume for first job, you should put the education section above experiences. Even if itâs only high school, put it first and align with the job responsibilities.
Now, letâs see a few first time resume with no experience samples of this section.
Completed a BA degree in management.
Additional Tips on Work Experience Resume
Here are some more tips for shaping your experience resume sections:
- use past experiences to highlight key job skills
- emphasize soft and transferable skills
- include roles you performed at school or college
- use keywords in your resume no experience to pass ATS
- highlight your experiences of working in a team.
How To Highlight Skills On A Resume With No Work Experience
The goal of a first job resume is to demonstrate your value as an employee and show employers why hiring you would benefit their company. The first thing you need to do is carefully review the job description and note any specific skills you have or requirements you can fulfill.
Keep in mind employers are looking for a combination of soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are abilities you can apply to almost any position, such as team leadership, verbal communication or self-management. Hard skills are typically things you learn through specialized education or on-the-job training like proficiency in industry-related software or fluency in a foreign language.
When hiring for entry-level jobs, most employers value soft skills over hard skills because soft skills are harder to teach. It’s acceptable if you havent yet cultivated all the hard skills you need for a positionby sharing youre capable of building new skills and learning new processes, employers will see your value as a potential new employee.
Make sure you include only the information most relevant to the job. For example, if youre applying for a job as an administrative assistant, you dont need to discuss how your role as a babysitter helped improve your childcare skills, but you could share how the experience helped you cultivate time management skills and the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once.
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Personal Or Academic Projects Relevant To The Job
You can also list personal or academic projects relevant to the job you are applying for, such as a group project at school or a neighborhood summer bake sale. You just need to relate your projects with how you are a good fit for a companys position. Before writing a project down, think about how you will explain its relevance during an interview.
Always Include Your Contact Information
If an employer likes your entry-level resume so much that they want to call you in for an interview, theyre going to need to know how to get in contact with you. And if you forget to put this information on your resume, well, youre out of luck.
Always include your name, email, phone number, and the city you live in on your resume. To keep everything looking neat and tidy, you can compile all of these things together at the top of the page.
Pro Tip: Make sure you provide a professional-sounding email. Also, never put your contact information in the header of your resume. Some applicant tracking systems cant read this information, and your resume may be discarded before it even reaches a human reader.
Then again, theres one more thing you can do.
Make a new resume and get more interviews.
Plus, a great resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our resume builder here. Heres what it may look like:
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Use The Job Description
Pay attention to the exact phrase from the job description: managing budgets and budget management seem like theyâre the same, but a computer might be looking for an exact match. Use the exact wording from the job description whenever it makes sense!
These simple tricks will help you pass the Applicant Tracking System test. More than 90% of employers use this type of software to process all the resumes they receive, and more than 75% of resumes get rejected by the ATS before a human ever reads them. This means you have to write your resume for a computer first and a human second. At the end of this article, weâll tell you about a free tool to check if your resume will pass the ATS test.
Resume skills example:
Tom is applying for an entry-level business administrative position. Tom can pull many keywords from the job description and plug them into his skills section and his education section.
Proven problem solving and issue resolution skills
Exceptional attention to detail
Most of the skills listed here were pulled from a job description. Tom can claim to have these skills because he used them in his classes or had exposure to them during his internship . Problem solving, issue resolution and attention to detail are personal attributes that will benefit him in professional work environments he may have gained these skills as a student, a team captain, or a club leader.
How To Write A Resume If You Have No Relevant Experience For The Job
Whether youre a recent college graduate or a career changer, writing a resume with no relevant work experience can be challenging and discouraging. You might feel your chances of getting an interview are slim to none. However, many people have been in a similar situation and landed their dream jobs. So rather than think the odds are against you, here are tips for writing a resume if you have no relevant work experience.
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Academic Project Relevant To A Job
Including an academic project in a resume is straightforward. Include where the project took place, what class it was a part of, the title of the project, the date it was completed and a short summary of its purpose.
Example of how to list an academic project in a resume:Coral Springs University, Coral Springs, Florida Intro to Hospitality Course McDonalds Restaurant Analysis Group ProjectWorked within a team of 4 to analyze data on the revenue, size, and customer base of a popular fast-food chain in Florida. Created and presented findings during a course presentation. Was personally responsible for collecting data on McDonalds revenue and creating a PowerPoint presentation.
Start With A Resume Summary
Your resume summary is an introduction to employers that highlights your qualifications and relevant background for a specific job. Thankfully, even without experience, you can still write one.
If you picked up relevant skills during school or studied something related to the job, for instance, you can include it in your summary. Heres an example of a computer science majors resume summary note how they only include skills honed in school, and dont mention work experience:
Resume Summary Example
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Leverage Your Transferable Skills
91 percent of employers prefer their candidates to have work experience, but only 65 percent of them prefer candidates to have relevant work experience. This is because most recruiters understand that whilst candidates might not have the exact experience they are looking for, most candidates will have transferable skills. These are skills that you may have learnt in another job or industry that can be utilised and are relevant across the board. The key for a candidate with little to no relevant work experience is to recognise these transferable skills and highlight them in their CV. Some examples of transferable skills are customer service, management experience and data analysis.
Highlight Education If You Have No Employment Experience
The education section of a CV with no experience should ideally feature towards the top of the document as it will likely be the most tangible indication of your capacity for learning and development something important in the early years of any career.
Make sure that you do not spare the detail when making this resume section, especially if you are in the upper percentiles of academic achievers. Ideally include: name of degree, institution, years attended, location, GPA , and any honors received. Include research interests and any published works if they are relevant to the role.
Your education will be compared with your peers and it is one of the few common aspects of every resume with no experience. Make sure that it demonstrates how great you are at learning.
A successful education can showcase many skills that employers value and it is worth writing a couple of lines to outline your growth. It doesnt matter that you have no employment experience. Whether the job requires attention to detail, comprehensive research, effective communication or attentive team work, the rigours of higher education demand excellence in all these areas and many more.
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Summary Of Your Experience
A resume summary informs the employers of your educational background and previous work experience, along with the time durations. Even if you do not have an experience in any field, it is not a problem, and you can still do without it.
If you have been a part of a volunteering program or anything relevant, you can mention it in your resume. You can also mention internship programs that you did during your summer/winter break. This gives the employer an idea of your interests and let them know your potential ability.
Don’t Wait For Your References To Be Called
Every time we suggest that you include written references with a resume or job application, someone cringes — and in their defense, it is not typical job seeker behavior.
But for military spouses constantly on the move, juggling the demands of military life, and in many cases starting their careers afresh at a new duty station, those references are absolutely critical. If you lack professional experience, you can play up extracurricular experience that your references can actually support. Instead of just saying yourself that you are a good leader, you prove that someone else thinks you are a good leader, too, by including letters of reference.
But without a strong job history, who can you turn to for those references? Look to former academic advisers, teachers or club supervisors. If you have strong volunteer experience, ask the people in charge to write letters on your behalf that support the skills you claim to have. Each reference should be able to speak to a different skill set you have mastered or volunteer experience that lends itself to job readiness.
While that seems easy enough in theory, these references can be difficult to ask for in real life. Be straightforward with people: The people you might ask to be references are people who also believe in you and your potential.
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Dont Lie On Your Resume
You should never lie on your resume. No matter how tempting it might be to fluff your resume up with a few little white lies, its always a bad idea.
Even if you make it through the interviews and land the job, you wont be able to deliver on the skills you promised in your resume. Plus, if you get caught, youll probably get fired. Just dont do it.
Trainings Courses And Certificates
The ideal option is when you have higher education and want to work in your specialty. But life makes its own adjustments, and such ideal scenarios are far from real life. You may have realized that you are not interested in that profession, and you want to do something completely different
There are professions in which it is impossible to work without higher education for example, doctors or chemical engineers. But for the rest there are online courses, distance learning, which may be quite reasonable and teach very specific skills. You can learn from the best professionals in the field at EdX, Udemy, or Coursera. Pass at least one course in the desired profession, get a certificate and indicate it on your resume.
Include the courses you completed at the University, if they are relevant to the position you are applying for. It is enough to indicate the name of the course, as well as add a brief description of what you have learned, and what skills you have acquired. Add a start and end date for the course.
Write about attending seminars, conferences, master classes only if they are related to the work you want to get.
An example of how to write about a course in a resume:
Hospitality Basics Course: Introducing the hospitality industry, including various career paths. In-depth lessons on food and drink, including categories of restaurants and various types of catering.
An example of how to list a certificate:
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