Are you worried about writing your first resume? It is normal to be concerned. Also, it is understandable that you have no or less to nothing significant work experience. The first thing to understand is that your first resume is not about work experience. This is the reason why you’re applying for “fresher roles” and “entry-level jobs”.
Things to Know Before Writing Your First Resume
So drop the worries of no experience and start writing an impressive first resume. Here some points are given to guide you on ‘How to Write Your First Resume?’.
1. Keyword Research
Before you start writing your first resume, note down relevant keywords that you see on relevant job posts. These keywords include skills that frequently appear in the job posting. Join some online job portals. Search for entry-level jobs in your industry and thoroughly read the job description.
You must carefully read the skills and job roles posted by the employer on the job ad. This will give you a great idea of skills and particular words that employers are targeting in your industry. Not down all such words. Out of all the keywords you’ve listed, choose one that matches the best with your qualifications as well as job requirements.
2. Stick to a Standard Format
Writing your first resume is an exhilarating task. Students tend to be over-creative at times and make a mess of their resumes. Other students seem immensely uncreative and come up with a dull resume. Both of those resumes are going to be thrown into the dustbin at first glance.
You must stick to a standard format and experiment with it. Here is what your resume must not look like:
- Not a wedding invitation card: Do not use fancy fonts and colours. Your resume needs to look professional and not like one designed by a 10-year-old.
- Not a banner ad: Your resume should not be too long. However, it does not mean that you come up with a resume that looks like a banner ad. Your resume can’t say “Hey, sup? Marketing graduate here, hire me NOW!”
A standard resume contains your name and basic info on the top. It is followed by an objective. Just below the objective, you list down your skills. This is followed by work experience (if any). Below that, you need to include your education history. Wrap up the resume with your notable accolades and achievements.
3. Include an Objective
You must write a few lines under the objective section. An objective defines what you’re looking for. This is a summary of you and your professional aspirations. You must write a unique career objective that displays your career goals. It should not be longer than three sentences.
Believe us, a lot of students copy objectives from the internet and end up having a similar one. Guess what happens to their resumes? Yes, they are all thrown into the garbage. Your objective should capture the essence of your goals as a professional. Therefore, keep it unique and write it yourself.
4. Highlight Your Skills
Right below the objective, you must list your skills. While writing the skills, take the help of keywords that you’ve researched. This is the most important part of your first resume. You must list all the relevant and necessary skills. Before writing the skills, read about the job that you’re applying for.
Highlight all those skills on your resume that are required by the employer. Many employers just tally your skillset to the skills required for the role and do not bother to read more. Having a set of skills that matches the requirements greatly enhances the chances of landing an interview.
5. Keep It Relevant
When you’re writing your first resume, the chances are good that you do not have any relevant work experience to list. Do not worry about that as most of the students do not have an experience like you. Avoid mentioning any experience that is not relevant to the job that you’re applying for.
For instance, if you’re applying for the role of a sales executive, the employer will not be impressed with your internship gig as a web developer. The same rule applies when you’re writing about the achievements and hobbies on your resume. You should list accolades and interests that are relevant.
6. Highlight Your Education
As a student who is looking for his first job, you must emphasize your education history. This is the biggest asset on your resume. Start with your highest degree, followed by lower degrees.
You must include the name of your alma mater and the grades that you’ve scored. Do not be shy to include any academic achievements that you might have had. It is okay to brag about your academic excellence on the resume.
7. Keep It Neat and Short
You might not have too much to put on your first resume. However, you must not include irrelevant stuff. The resume should be one page long. It should be easy on the eye. You want the resume to look neat with appropriate fonts and leave adequate blank space.
8. Be Honest
This is very important. You must not lie about your education, skills or any achievement under any circumstances. Especially when it comes to your education history, be honest. Believe us; your truth is going to come out eventually. Therefore, you must never lie on the resume, and it might cost you the job.
9. No Mistakes
This goes without saying that your resume should be free from any errors. You must proofread the resume several times before sending it out. There should not be any punctuation, spelling or grammatical mistakes.
You can use the editing tools on the internet or ask a teacher for help if needed. Alternatively, you can request a career counsellor to help you out. A single mistake on the resume can leave a bad impression on the employer.
10. Experienced Ones to the Aid
Once you have prepared the final draft of the resume, take a few prints and ask your elders to read it. This includes your parents, older siblings, neighbours or any friend who’s a working professional. They all have been there and can guide you with anything that needs improvement on your resume.
I hope you find this article helpful.