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.
Use Keywords From The Job Description
Including keywords from the job description in your resume increases your chances of getting past the Applicant Tracking System . This is an automated system that scores and ranks your resume based on how closely it matches the job description. Many Canadian companies, large and small, use ATS to filter applications so that only resumes that are a good fit for the role reach the recruiter or hiring manager.
|NoteNot sure your resume will pass ATS? and use the Prepped Resume Scanner to check how well your resume matches the job youâre applying for.
Promote Your Work Ethic
In addition to detailing your skills and education, you can impress a potential employer by noting your work ethic in your resume. Mention achievements like perfect school attendance, making the deans list, leadership positions, extracurricular activities, a high GPA and any duties that superiors may have entrusted you with.
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Pick The Right First Job Resume Format And Template
There are 3 main resume formats you can pick from. Each of them highlights a different part of your resume.
- Reverse-Chronological Resume – In this format, your work experiences and education are listed in reverse-chronological order.
- Functional Resume– Instead of work experience, this format focuses on your skills and achievements.
- Combination Resume – This format focuses on both your skills and work experience.
For 99% of job-seekers, we recommend sticking with the reverse-chronological format.
While a functional resume can sometimes help for career changers or recent graduates, its still nowhere near as common as the reverse chronological one.
Plus, recruiters world-wide are familiar with the reverse-chronological format, making it a safer bet.
A reverse-chronological resume looks as follows:
Once youve picked the format, the next step is to perfect your layout, font, and the like. Heres what we recommend for that:
- Use a Two-Column Layout. A two-column resume layout allows you to fit a lot more content into your resume.
- Pick a Common Font. We recommend Ubuntu, Overpass, or Roboto.
- Use Bullets to Describe Your Experiences.
- Dont Go Over One Page. Unless youre a professional with a decade of work experience, we recommend sticking to the one-page resume limit.
Want to avoid all the hassle of formatting your resume layout? We dont blame you – if you wanted to build a good-looking resume from scratch, it would take you hours before you could even start filling it in.
How To Write A Resume For Your First Job
Applying for jobs for the first time can be exciting, but also intimidating if you’ve never created a resume before. The good news is that even if you have little to no work experience, you can still write a resume that impresses prospective employers. Knowing what to include in your resume and how to highlight the skills and education you have can help set you apart from other candidates. In this article, we explain how to write a resume for your first job and give you an example to help inspire you.
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How To Write A Resume As An International Student With No Canadian Experience
As you prepare to enter the Canadian job market, your Canadian counterparts will likely have an advantage over you in the job search process. Some of them may have worked in part-time or summer jobs since high school and, having grown up here, may already have valuable industry connections. You may need to catch up with them in certain crucial areas in order to be on equal footing when you start looking for jobs.
So how can you, as an international student, make your resume stand out? The prep work for your resume starts well before you put pen to paper, even as early as the beginning of your study program. Here are some key aspects to focus on:
Take Stock Of Your Achievements And Activities
Make a list of absolutely everything you’ve done that might be useful on a resume. From this list, you’ll then need to narrow down what to actually include on your resume. Different things might be relevant to different jobs you apply for, so keep a full list and pick the most relevant things from it to include on your resume when you send it out.
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What Are The Tips To Writing A Killer Part
We will give you parttime job resume samples well-formatted with the structure above way down this post. Before then, lets take a look at some tips you can inculcate to make your resume irresistible as a college student:
- Use action verbs
- Use a resume example
Use Action Verbs
Basically, action verbs help show your responsibility. Action words are used while describing your achievements. Words like led,researched,accomplished,designed, initiated, and supervised, and created to portray your experiences in an energetic way.
Quantify When Possible
If possible, include numbers to show your accomplishments. For example, you could say that you worked at the cash register in a store that managed $10,000 a day, or that you helped 50 to 100 customers in your retail job every day.
Showcase The Skills That Qualify You For The job
Generally, some skills are in high demand by employers hiring college graduates. Also, there are other skills that relate specifically to the job you are applying for. Be sure to include the most relevant of each category in your job resume.
Carefully Edit and Proofread
Do well to proofread your resume carefully before submitting it. A clean and error-free resume will make you look professional. Ask a friend or family member to read the resume for you too.
Use Resume Samples
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Skill Types For Graduates And High School Students
Your resume may include skills that you have acquired in school, in extracurricular activities, in sports and volunteering. For example, if you played soccer, basketball, or other sports, you have teamwork skills. You were captain? You have leadership qualities.
Did you attend a computer class or learn programs? You have computer skills. Almost everyone has some level of communication skills. If you can keep up the conversation, speak in front of the class, or defend an essay at school, you have written/verbal communication skills.
When you successfully maneuver between personal demands and study, you are flexible. Have you worked on a group project? You have collaboration skills. Did you look after small children? You are reliable.
Top High School Skills
The following are examples of skills that almost every high school student has and almost all employers are looking for:
Communication skills Reliability / ResponsibilityTechnical Skills: Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop
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Create Additional Resume Sections
Although space is precious on a resume, additional sections can go a long way to differentiate you from other candidates. As mentioned above, considering that as a high school student you may not have much work experience, adding more information can be an excellent way to show your potential.
Below are some of the most successful optional sections you can add to your resume:
- Hobbies and interests are a great way to show who you are as a person. They make you seem like a well-rounded applicant who is motivated and passionate. Pastimes with skills that are transferable to the job youre applying to are especially valuable to include. For example, being part of a sports team may indicate that you have strong teamwork abilities, communication skills, and a competitive mindset.
- Awards can help sell yourself to employers. Regardless of the achievement, any successes you may have picked up during your high school career can help you stand out from the crowd.
- Volunteering experiences are always a good addition to any resume. These show that you are a proactive individual who cares about other people or your community. People like to work with individuals who are generous and helpful, so make sure to list any volunteering projects or experiences youve undertaken.
Craft A Tailored Cover Letter
While submitting a resume is a great way to get a hiring manager’s attention, so is crafting a tailored cover letter. Even if a job application doesn’t require a cover letter, submitting one can help you make a good first impression on prospective employers. It shows them that you put significant effort into preparing your application and gives you the opportunity to go into more detail about your skills and qualifications.
Your cover letter should include:
who you are
the skills and experience you have
your interest in the position
knowledge of what the job entails and how you can effectively fill the role
proof that you’ve researched the company and understand their mission
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How To Write An Employment History For Your First Job Resume
Describing your experience in a first job resume should be seen in the broader context of how your activities thus far have contributed to make you a high-potential hire. You may have had limited work experience, so you need to write a resume work experience section that shows relevant skills and qualities from any of your other life activities.
Paid work experience. Any paid work should feature prominently on your resume. You may feel that your voluntary work has more relevant experience, but nothing beats sharing evidence of having the responsibility to deliver on a job and get remunerated for it. Most first job resume employment histories are filled with examples of basic college jobs that bring in some money for socialising , and these roles are far from worthless.
Casual jobs. We have all had casual jobs through our school and university years, and while it might not seem exciting to let a future employer know that you worked on the tills in a shop for a summer, a tourist guide for a season or an au pair working abroad, including casual jobs will portray you as hardworking and dedicated. Make your first job resume casual job section brief if it is not central to your future activity, but you never know what you might bond over during an interview.
Example Of A Resume For A First
Here’s an example of a resume you can refer to as a guide when writing your own:
Proficient electrical engineering student with over six months of experience as an intern. Highly motivated professional who works diligently to complete job duties within the schedule, budget and scope of each project. Uses internal and external resources to achieve project goals, is passionate about solving problems and improving the environment and works well with others on a multi-discipline engineering team.
Electrical engineer intern, October 2021âcurrentOsco Industries, Sydney, NSW
collaborate with senior electrical engineers to design electrical parts for power plants
follow all safety precautions and customer requirements to complete high-quality projects
perform calculations on the construction and maintenance of electrical stations, achieving specific standards as set by the assigned engineer
maintain all electrical equipment to ensure the safety of crew members and improve workflows
assist with the forecast and planning of electrical supply to substations
Research assistant, May 2020âOctober 2021Maxwell School of Engineering, Sydney, NSW
conducted research on emerging engineering techniques and documented notes for other team members to reference
analysed blueprints to assess safety protocols and provide suggestions for improvement
collaborated with senior members of the research team to create project development plans
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Common Resume Errors To Avoid
Since this may be your first resume, make sure you edit and proofread carefully. Ask a parent, teacher, or friend to check, too. A second set of eyes never hurts and almost always helps. Here are some sample errors to check for:
- Missing or incorrect words
- If you are currently doing something, use the present tense
- If you did something in the past, use the past tense.
Do not pump up the font size or expand the page margins to make your resume look fuller than it is. If the content seems sparse, try looking for a different layout. Or enhance what each section conveys about your desirability as a candidate by digging deeper into you skills.Extracurricular activities: a hidden strength
Put Academic Accomplishments And Leadership
What did you study? Did you just graduate with a degree? Mention that.
If you took a leadership role in your class projects, or clubs/groups at your school, you can mention that too.
Leadership doesnt need to be in a job to get the hiring managers attention! Taking a leadership role in a sports environment is impressive as well.
Youre not going to mention specific accomplishments in your resume summary usually , but you can say things like proven leadership or natural leader, etc.
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How To Write An Entry
If building your first post-college resume has you feeling under qualified, here’s what you need to know.
It’s the classic post-college dilemma: You apply for an entry-level job that could start you on the path to the career you really want. However, during your interview you are told that you do not have enough experience for the position.
So, you need experience to get an entry-level job, but without the job, you can’t gain experience. That makes sense, right?
The key is to broaden your scope a little when it comes to the term experience. You went to college, you got your degree, and you did things that have helped you grow and learn it’s not like you’ve been hiding under a rock. You are a graduate who is full of potential. As you think about your resume, focus on that word potential. It’s the key to building a great recent-graduate resume.
Here’s how you put that to work for you on your entry-level resume.
The Dos Of Resume Writing
Keep It Short
The most effective CV is informative and concise. Get straight to the most relevant points, and dont use more than two pages.
Tailor Your Resume to the Job
Recruiters are experienced and can identify a generic CV immediately. Instead of trying to fill your CV with achievements, skills, and strengths, focus more on the relevant set of skills, experience, and accomplishments that fit perfectly with the role you are interested in. This way, you can expound more on these attributes and demonstrate to the hiring manager why you will be an excellent addition to the company.
Also, hiring managers love resumes with numbers. For example, I increased Apple Sale by 300%. So, ensure you use them whenever possible.
Use the Proper Format and Structure
Before writing your student CV, determine the correct structure and format. Ensure your CV is readable and has a professional look. Although you can be creative with color and heading, dont go overboard. Use simple and clear font to make your CV easy to read.
Optimize for Applicant Tracking Systems
Today most organizations use applicant tracking systems to discard unqualified applicants. The system scans a CV for keywords and phrases and mathematically scores them for relevance. It then sends out the most qualified applications to recruiters.
To ensure you pass the ATS and secure a chance for an interview, keep your CV format simple and include the right keywords.
Edit and Proofread
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Emphasize Teamwork And Leadership
Good teamwork skills are necessary for most entry-level jobs, and so its wise to provide examples of how youve participated in school, church, club, or scouting roles requiring teamwork. Its even better to describe any leadership roles youve held, since this demonstrates to your employer that you can hold responsibility, take personal initiative, and organize and support others.
The chances are high that you havent had a lot of paid work experience since you’re a high school student. While you should describe any actual real jobs youve held, its also a good idea to describe volunteer experience, accompanied by dates, your responsibilities, and your contributions in these roles.
Volunteer experience is important for high school students because it provides experience and shows that you’re trying to find out what you might be interested in.
At the end of your resume, include a statement of selected interests. Employers like candidates who are well-rounded and involved in their communities.
Theyll get a better idea of your personality if you mention a few sports that you play or interests like theater, music, or environmentalism. Be careful, however, not to mention interests that are too political or might distract you from your job .
How To Make A Resume With No Experience
No experience no good resume? Wrong!
Even if you are fresh to the workforce, you still have some important qualities and even qualifications to offer a prospective employer. Be it traditional education, alternative online learning certifications, strong soft skills, or even informal work experience such as volunteering, freelance, or even home-based work. What you have to do though is communicate the above in a marketable way.
Here are step-by-step instructions for writing a resume with no experience:
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