How to Write Your First Resume

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Table of Contents



1. A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your First Resume
2. Want Some Extra Help?

Whether you’re a new college or high school graduate or someone still in school looking for part-time work, jumping into the job search market for the first time is tough and overwhelming. Today, it’s easier than ever to find jobs online and apply. However, that means there are also many more applicants who may be vying for the same position. To get attention, you need to create a strong resume that shows why you should get the job. Here is how you can write your first resume.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Your First Resume


Choose an Appropriate Format and Layout


To start with, focus on what your resume will look like. Some studies say recruiters only spend about six seconds on average reading resumes. One way you can give your resume more staying power is to spend time optimizing the format and layout.

 

Therefore, the overall look of your resume should convey organization and simplicity with a touch of personal branding.

Therefore, the overall look of your resume should convey organization and simplicity with a touch of personal branding. Choose a simple layout that includes plenty of white space. Pick a font that is universal in most computer programs or screens, such as Helvetica. Avoid flashy-looking formats with heavy graphics, fancy fonts, or unusual styles.

Grab the Employer’s Attention


Your first resume should convince hiring managers to read more about you and your qualifications, even though you don’t have much experience. To do this, consider writing an engaging professional summary that pitches you as the top contender for the job. If you do well, the hiring manager will read on to find out about your experience and education.

To do this, write two or three short sentences showing how you can bring value to the employer. Use quantifiable details that demonstrate how much you’ve made an impact on your previous experiences. Use the job description to determine and speak to the employer’s needs.

Show Your Worth in Your Work History


Your first resume should also have a strong work experience section. If you don’t have much of a work history, then play up transferrable skills that you obtained from previous jobs — even babysitting. List all of your relevant job experience. (When you have more work experience, then you’ll only discuss the past decade.) Then start each bullet point of your previous jobs with strong action words to engage hiring managers.

Pull in specific examples of your past successes. If you won an award, share that. Even stating issues that you resolved will help your case.

Instead of droning on about your duties, demonstrate your worth. Do this by showing how you bring value to a company. Pull in specific examples of your past successes. If you won an award, share that. Even stating issues that you resolved will help your case.

Focus on Your Achievements in Your Education Section


The last section of your first resume is your academic history. Just like the other sections, you should focus on pointing out your best moments when you were in school. Check the job ad to see if your education meets the basic needs of the position. Then, list all of your credentials, including schools attended, starting with the most recent or highest degree.

Include noteworthy credentials, such as academic honors, awards, specialized training, certifications, and licenses. This way, you can prove to the hiring manager that you’ve got what it takes to perform at a high level.

Since you’re new to the job world, share your GPA if it was above 3.5. Once you’ve worked for a few years, you should remove this accomplishment.

Customize Your Resume for the Job


After completing the draft, you need to tailor your first resume for the specific job in mind. Some first-time jobseekers make the mistake of submitting a one-size-fits-all resume for a variety of different jobs. This isn’t a great idea if you want to stand out and make yourself seem like the perfect fit for the posted job. Hiring managers want to see a match between your skills and the particular demands of the position.

Hiring managers want to see a match between your skills and the particular demands of the position.

While it’s smart to make a unique resume for each position you apply to, that doesn’t mean you have to rewrite the entire thing from scratch each time. Instead, create one general version of your resume and revise it in a few places for each job that catches your eye. You can do this by studying the job description and adding words and phrases from it into your resume.

Conquer the ATS


Your resume also needs to get past the dreaded applicant tracking system (ATS). This is a computer program that reviews your resume for specific words and phrases from the job posting. Employers use it to scan hundreds of resumes quickly and narrow the applicant pool.

There are some simple ways to get past this review step and have a real person read your resume. You need to peruse the job posting and pick important words and phrases from the ad. Sprinkle these terms throughout your resume to give it more power to beat the ATS. Make sure the words you choose make sense. Don’t just place them in random spots. Avoid using acronyms from your industry; instead, write the whole phrase.

Don’t Forget to Give Your Resume a Detailed, Final Review


The last important step to writing your first resume is the review stage. Remember, your resume is the first thing hiring managers use to see if you qualify for the job. Don’t earn an instant rejection by forgetting to proofread. Before you send your resume out, carefully read it over several times for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, or awkward wording. Then, have a trusted friend, colleague, or family member review your resume too. Having another set of eyes look it over can help spot any careless mistakes.

Want Some Extra Help?



If you want to make your first resume perfect for that coveted job, it’s always wise to get some extra help. MyPerfectResume has a customizable resume builder that’s easy to use and can simplify all of these resume writing steps. You can create multiple different versions of your document to fit each job application. This way, your resume will be the one that gets attention and compels a hiring manager to schedule you for an interview.

how you can write your first resume