When applying for a job, you will definitely need a resume–even for jobs that don’t require any prior experience. How to write a resume and where to start can be a daunting task though. In this article, we’ll provide tips and advice for putting together a professional resume. We’ll help you craft a great resume with all the necessary information.
How do you write a resume for the first time?
If you have never put a professional resume together, you might not know how to begin. Consider using a resume template or resume builder website. Using a template for your resume can be a great way to get started. Resume templates can make sure you include all the necessary sections. They provide a clean resume format that you can simply plug your details into.
What to include
Here is a list of each section to include. Be sure to cover these points in your resume.
- Work history and work experience
- Education section
- Hard skills
- Soft skills
- Awards and accolades
- Contact information
How to layout your information on a resume
First, look at resume templates. You can also use a resume builder to help draft your resume. Look for sample resumes from your industry. Pay attention to the content people include.
Use your cover letter to add more color to your resume. With many different formats, you will be sure to find one that fits your style. Once you pick a resume template, start filling in the details of your work history, contact information, work experience, and skills.
One of the best practices for your resume is using bullet points. They create white space and keep your resume clean and neat. Although some employers will simply use Microsoft Word to read your resume, others will use an internet-based program. You can also save your resume file as a pdf from the Adobe Suite.
Choose fonts that are universal across software programs. You can also save your resume as a pdf from the Adobe Suite. A few examples of safe font choices are:
- Times New Roman
You can use a couple of different fonts but keep it clean. Consider doing your name and heading in one font and the body in another. You can play around with text sizes to minimize or maximize white space.
Candidates with minimal experience or applying for entry-level jobs should keep their personal resume to one page. Try different fonts and font sizes to maximize spacing if necessary. You do not need to include everything you ever did on your resume. You can include additional details about your work experience in your cover letter and during your job interviews.
Below we will discuss the different sections job seekers should include on their professional resume. Regardless of experience, employers will look for these sections on a resume. Many employers now use applicant tracking systems, so you will want to include keywords throughout your resume.
In this section, you will want to include your first name, last name, email address, home address, and phone number. A hiring manager will want to easily be able to reach you, so phone number and email address are key.
Candidates can include a short paragraph that introduces themselves to employers. This statement should focus on your strongest skills and career highlights.
You should include the university or college you attended and the degree you received, if any. If you are applying for a job while in college, include your high school and current college information. If you graduated with honors or have an outstanding GPA you can note that as well.
Entry-level candidates will have a longer education section on their resume since they have less professional experience. You can include participation in clubs or groups that would appeal to professionals. Experiences such as study abroad or extra coursework can make an impression on a hiring manager.
Work experience and work history section
Job seekers should list each job they have had and the job description. Use bullet points to explain the responsibilities and tasks you handled. Hiring managers want to be able tounderstand your job history at a glance. As you list out your employment history, make sure you include your employment dates (start and end). Be prepared to answer questions about employment gaps.
While most of your resume will stay the same for each job you apply to, your work experience section might change. Job seekers should study the job description before applying. Use the bullet points within your professional experience section to highlight relevant work experience.
You will want to highlight both hard skills and soft skills throughout your resume. Use a skills section to emphasize your experience and proficiency in relevant programs or skills. This is where your strengths come across to potential employers. Soft skills include creativity, communication, and teamwork. Hard skills focus on software knowledge, program abilities, and expertise.
Resume mistakes to avoid
- Your Linkedin profile should match your professional resume
- Avoid using colors or images
- Do not have a picture or background
- Triple check for typos or spelling errors
- Do not use formatting that makes your resume hard to read
- Do not use a unique resume font
- Use bullet points rather than paragraphs
How to make a resume with no job experience
Focus your first professional resume on your skills section and education. A hiring manager for an entry-level job will expect a shorter resume. Job seekers should use the space to discuss activities, skill sets, and career objectives.
Use action verbs to make your background stronger. Mention part-time positions you held even in high school or college. Discuss qualities such as leadership and communication skills that match the job description. Even if you are going to mention it during your job interview, include accomplishments, degrees, attributes, awards, or certifications on your resume.
Final thoughts on how to make a resume
Your resume can make or break landing you the job. Think about your career goals and how to best portray them in your resume. Pay attention to your resume format. Employers want to be able to easily digest your experience and skills. Make sure you proofread and have a friend or mentor take a look before sending your resume out.