I know you want to get your first job. I’ve been there myself, and it’s not easy. But if you want to land the position, you’ll need a good resume. If you’re like most people when they start their search for employment, however, making that resume may feel like a daunting task. You might find yourself intimidated by all of the “rules” about what makes a good resume and how long it should be.
Start With a Template
- Use a resume template.
- A good job applicant will have multiple versions of their resume on hand, ready to be tweaked at the drop of a hat. If you don’t have the time or resources to create one yourself, there are plenty of professional templates available online for free. Try searching for “resume templates” in your favorite search engine and play around with some different options until you find one that suits your needs best!
- Make sure everything is in order before importing it into word processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. When entering information into this document, remember:
Distinguish Yourself From Other CandidatesIt’s important to distinguish yourself from other candidates. To do this, you can use a resume template that is relevant to the job you are applying for and include a cover letter. Use a resume format that is relevant to the job you are applying for and include a personal statement that highlights your skills and experience. Include keywords from the job description in your resume
List Your Contact InformationIt’s important to include your contact information clearly and prominently, so that hiring managers can easily find you. Include your phone number and email address on your resume, as well as any social media accounts that may be relevant to the position. Make sure that all of these are easy-to-read and understandable; if they aren’t, it will make it harder for employers to reach out to you (and thus make them less likely). Also make sure that when you say you’re available during certain times of day or evening, you really are—it isn’t fair for employers who take time out of their busy schedules just to call someone who doesn’t answer!
Include Your Education and Work HistoryYou need to list your education and work history. These can be by far the most time-consuming parts of your resume, but it’s important to include them so that employers know what you have accomplished in school and/or at work. You should list any honors or awards you’ve received, certifications or licenses you’ve earned, any internships you’ve had, and any volunteer work that shows a commitment to community service or helping others. Remember: don’t lie! If an employer asks for copies of documents like diplomas and transcripts, they may call your college directly to verify this information (and if they find out later that it was false). It’s better not to tempt fate when you’re trying to land your first job because once trust is broken with an employer who hired someone else over you due only partially because he/she was more trustworthy… well… there isn’t much worse than having been rejected after being caught lying on a resume!
Answer the Question, “Why Should We Hire You?”There’s a good chance your potential employer will be asking this question of you. A great answer to “Why should we hire you?” is one that explains what you can do for the company and its customers. Think about how your skills and experience make your ideal job easier to do, or how they improve their bottom line in some way.
Refine Your Resume FormattingOnce you have a clean, professional resume template ready to go, it’s time to refine the formatting. Here are some tips for making sure your resume is easy for hiring managers and recruiters to read:
- Choose a simple font. Think Arial or Times New Roman—you want something that’s readable but not too distracting. Don’t use fonts like Comic Sans or Papyrus (unless you’re applying for a job as an artist).
- Use large enough font sizes so that your work experience is easy to read at first glance. Some experts recommend no smaller than 10 points; others say 11-12 points is ideal in general and 14-16 points if you’re younger than 40 years old. But whatever you choose, make sure that the font size on each item remains consistent throughout your resume—and never use more than two different sizes within one section!
- Avoid bolding words unless they’re titles (e.g., “Customer Service Representative II”). If there aren’t any titles and only one word needs emphasis on its own line, consider italicizing it instead of using bolding or underlining—the latter two techniques should be used sparingly anyway since they draw attention away from key information and can look dated/cluttered when overused in modern resumes.
If you want to get your first job, you need an effective resume that shows you off in the best possible light.Your resume should highlight all of the skills and experience that make you a good fit for the job. But it can also be helpful to include some “soft” skills that show employers how well-rounded you are as a person.
Soft skills are characteristics that can’t be easily measured or quantified. They’re things like teamwork, problem solving and communication. A resume with these kinds of skills is a real asset to have when you’re applying for jobs.
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