How To Make A Resume For First Job After A Long Career Gap
If you sit down to make your resume after a long gap of 7+ years , it can somehow feel that you are actually making the resume for your first job. None of your long-forgotten experience seems relevant any more and you might even have forgotten how it feels like to work with other people. That is incredibly daunting.
Luckily, as you search your memories for relevant stories, making your “first job” resume will not be as tricky as you think. Just start by being honest with yourself. You have to acknowledge that things will have moved on since you last put on a suit in anger, and you should definitely not try to shoe-horn experience into your story for the sake of it.
Making the resume relevant is about making links between past and present. The activities may not have been identical, but if you acknowledge what has changed and highlight the commonalities, that is a great start of a potentially profitable conversation.
Focus On Your Education And Skills
In lieu of a work experience section, it’s best to expand and focus on an education section on your resume to highlight the skills you’ve developed. What can you do well that this job requires? What will be useful to the hiring company? What have you done in school and what have you studied that has prepared you for assuming this job? This is generally a little easier if you’re a college graduate with specialized education, but even a high school graduate can talk about their electives and relevant coursework, why they wanted to take them, and what they learned from the class.
What Not To Include On A Resume: Mistakes To Avoid
Now weve looked at what should be included in a resume and how to write those sections to grab attention.
Were not done yet though there are a few things that you should leave off of your resume if you want to get interviews and you may not have been warned about these. So lets cover that next
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Who Looks At My Resume
There are two main review systems used by employers. These are recruiter reviews and automated reviews . In some instances, an organization may run your resume through an automated system that scans for keywords and key details. After that initial screening, a recruiter will further analyze the details on your resume.
As it is possible that your resume will pass through an automated service, it is important to use readable fonts and a format that makes sense.
Key Skills Youve Learned In School And Other Experiences
After your professional summary, list your skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for. To get a good idea of the skills required for a job, simply browse job descriptions for that specific job title. Typically, within the requirements or qualifications section, there will be many skills listed that you can copy.
Dont be afraid to list skills that you havent used in a professional setting. If you have learned about them in school or if you have practiced these skills during an extracurricular activity, list them! Just make sure you are honest during an interview about your level of competency.
Example of how to list less than 10 key skills in a resume:
- Time Management
Example of how to list more than 10 key skills in a resume:
- Leadership: Team Management, Resource Planning, Budgeting
- Math: Data Entry, Data Analytics, Statistics
- Professionalism: Active Listening, Office Etiquette, Professional Communication, Time Management
- Languages: English , Spanish
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Capitalize On Valuable Real Estate
The top third of your resume is what the recruiter will see first, so you want to make sure the content on this part of the page makes them want to keep reading.
The very top should include your name and contact information. If youre including a summary, that comes next. Then, you have a choice: You could lead with your education, your skills, or your most recent or most applicable experience. When deciding, think about what will best demonstrate how youre a great fit for the role youre applying to: Is your coursework the thing most aligned with the job? Or is it that volunteer work youve been doing? Or maybe its a combination of skills youve picked up in different ways.
Showcase Your Work Experience
You may be worried about your lack of work experience or not having work experience. However, that is not true. Whether it was a summer job or a part-time job, it can help you present your skills in such a manner that makes you look good. You can add your academic and non-working achievements on work experience section to present your abilities to employers.
Image Courtesy: Pixabay
It is not sufficient just mentioning the place of work and the job. You need to frame your experience so that it draws attention to your skills, ones that can prove to be beneficial in any work environment.
Remember, this is an entry-level position. Hence, no one expects you to have a lot of experience. Let your work experience highlight your responsibilities, such as dealing with customers, training new employees, and ability to work under pressure. Phrase each sentence with care, so that it emphasizes your skills and abilities.
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Insert Keywords Into Your Resume
The easiest way to make your resume stand out from other candidates is by incorporating keywords used by the employer in the original job description. Since many applications are posted online, recruiters often use Applicant Tracking Systems to filter the most relevant resumes. The ATS primarily selects resumes based on whether the keywords align with the job descriptions. You can carefully analyse the job description for words or phrases that relate to you. Sections titled key qualifications, minimum requirements, or job responsibilities are great places to look.
Once you’ve selected skills and abilities that appeal to you, aim to incorporate them into the main body of your resume seamlessly. You may use them to describe a previous experience, include them in your summary or list them as skills. For example, if you are applying for a role as a customer assistant at a retail store, the job description may consist of desired traits such as:
Can confidently communicate vital customer service
Work collaboratively with other team members
Is self-motivated and driven by results
They may also look for someone to undertake tasks such as:
Greet customers as they enter the store
Assist with visual merchandising for promotional sales and seasonal changes
Maintain organisation in the stock room
Skills and Experiences
Happy Aid Charity Shop, Volunteer, January 2016-March 2017
Minimize Your College References
Shuffling the education part of your resume down, just above your references, shouldnt be the only action that youll take against all college-related on your resume. Purge it of some of the unnecessary educational references in your resume such as your organizational or club commitments, what your GPA is , or any stuff about high school that you included when padding your mostly empty resume.
You dont need those references anymore now that you have work experience, of which you can further maximize on with a Technical Skills section.
Below is a resume sample for professionals who already had a first job.
TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE
Riddle Manor, Little Hangleton, Yorkshire, England | +1666-6666 |
Passionate and talented sales apprentice working at a magical antique shop for almost two years now handling priceless and often cursed family heirlooms and artifacts. Aiming to use my excellent repertoire of warding and cursebreaking skills, offensive and defensive magic, charms and hexes, and ancient soul magic and rituals to match the qualifications youre looking for in a Professor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts.
- Excellent Magical Language Skills
- In-depth knowledge of offensive hexes and defensive charms
- Familiarity with ancient and recent wizarding lore
- Efficient in magical warding and cursebreaking
- Adept with curses and counter-curses
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Spelling Or Grammar Mistakes
Proofread and spellcheck everything.
You are very unlikely to get called for an interview if you have a spelling or grammar mistake on your resume and nobodys going to tell you either.
So you need to find it yourself, or have a friend proofread it carefully for you!
Heres a little trick if you proofread it yourself: temporarily change your resume to an unusual font before proofreading. It will help you spot errors .
Now youve hopefully gotten answers to your questions about what should a resume include, and youve seen the top things to leave off as well.
Theres one final step, though, thats going to get you far more interviews from all of this
Choose A Functional Format
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
- 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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Never Include These Certain Elements
While there are many elements you should consider adding to your resume, there are a few things you should never include on your resume because they waste space, don’t tell the employer anything relevant, or could damage your personal brand. This list includes, but is not limited to great employment references, writing samples, and photos of yourself. Do not add this information to your resume unless an employer or recruiter asks you to provide them. In addition, make sure you’re not using an unprofessional email address. Kegmaster2017@email.com may have sounded great when you were younger, but it’s not the right message to send to prospective employers. It’s easy to create a free, professional-looking email address for your job-search activities with platforms like Gmail.
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.
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First Resume For A Teenager
As young students reach an age where they start to look for first jobs or summer work, they come up against the first challenge in the job hunt: resume writing!
And although resume writing for teenagers can be tough at times, nothing is impossible!
Read on for tips on how to write a teenagers first resume.
Whether youre looking to go straight into work from school or need a first resume for an internship or college application or an entry-level position in a business where youd then like to work your way up the ladder, a general rule to follow is use your unique knowledge and individuality to stand out so that the potential employer gets a feel for what kind of worker you will be.
Remove Anything That Is Not Relevant From Your Resume
It can be easy to get caught up in accomplishments when you are trying to make your resume stand out, but if any of the information is irrelevant to the job posting, remove it. For example, if you are applying for a job in the IT field, an award for football is hardly relevant and may seem distracting.
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Accomplishments You’ve Achieved In Your Career
Conversely, the experts stressed that candidates should definitely include the accomplishments they’ve made in each of their positions and companies they’ve worked for.
“It’s not bad , but we’re mainly interested in achievements, to see what value that person brings in each position,” explained Paniagua.
Avoid Describing Duties If The Resume Is For A Headhunter
If you’re preparing your resume for a headhunter, there’s one major difference you need to keep in mind.
“Having a duty isn’t the same as being responsible for something,” said Bieger.
Duties describe what you do in your job, something Paniagua said that, most of the time, “they don’t know.”
However, information about the company, your accomplishments, and work teams could boost your chances.
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How To Write A Great Resume Objective
Consider your resume objective the introduction to your resume. Your resume objective may be the first thing your potential future employer ever reads about you, so you want to make sure its both powerful and to-the-point.
Keep these items in mind when writing a resume objective statement:
1. Keep it concise. In most cases, a recruiter or hiring manager is sifting through several resumes at a time to determine which applicants have the skills and experience necessary to move on to the next step in the hiring process. By making your resume objective short and strong, you will be more successful in holding their attention. Try removing filler words, such as a, the and like, to help keep the reader focused on the most important parts of your resume.
2. Tailor it to the position. Instead of writing a general objective statement, adapt it specifically to the job youre applying for. Start by reading the job description and highlighting skills or requirements that align with your strongest attributes or experiences. When you include an objective thats specific to the job role, the recruiter is more likely to dig deeper and learn more details about your professional experience.
3. Lead with your strongest attributes. Consider strengths that are not only relevant to the job role, but also attributes youre proud to share. For example, Organized and driven, Dedicated and experienced, Motivated team player or Accomplished leader.
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Showcase Your Education Background
When writing a resume for your first job, dont neglect your resume education section. There are three major things you can highlight from school in a first job resume:
- academic accomplishments
- additional projects
Even if youre writing a resume as a college freshman, any class youve taken that gives you relevant knowledge will catch the hiring managers attention and can be listed as an accomplishment on your resume. For example, you should mention a computer science course if youre applying for a job in IT.
Add any awards and honors you have to show youre ambitious, active, and a quick learner.
You can also consider whether to list your GPA on your resume. A strong GPA is noteworthy. And if an employer asks for it, then follow their directions.
If your grades arent great, then leave your GPA off.
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How To Create A Resume Skills Section
When youwrite a resume, its important to organize the content so its succinct and easy to read. A three-column, three-row highlights section near the top of your resume, just above your professional experience, is a helpful way to list the nine soft and technical skills that speak directly to the postings required qualifications. Its also a good place to add keywords youve identified.
You dont need more than a couple words here to show what you bring to the table. This should be a bulleted list a reader can quickly scan. Complete sentences will come in your work history.
Here are some examples of what professionals from different industries could list in this section:
What To Include On A Resume For Your First Job
Finding your first job can be a challenge, especially in a tough economy when you must compete with experienced applicants just to get an interview. To get your foot in the door, look for employers that offer entry-level positions and welcome applications by inexperienced applicants. If you are a high school or college student, craft your resume on your own and then seek feedback from a trusted teacher or career counselor to polish it up.
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