Writing Your First Resume

Writing Your First Resume

The most difficult resume anyone will ever write is their first one. Unless one is fortunate enough to have been welcomed into a family business or offered a job without having to apply, that first resume will have very little on it. Having no work experience makes creating an impressive resume rather tricky – but it can be done with a little effort and creativity.


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First and foremost, you must define your skills and strengths, and highlight those above all else. Decide what you want employers to see when they look at your resume. What impression are you hoping to give, and what do you have to offer them? Are you really good with technology? Social media savvy? An excellent cook? Whatever skills, strengths, and passions you have should be the main focus of your resume.

A list of skills is not enough to build an effective resume, however. Even if you have no actual work experience, employers want to know that you are in some way qualified for the position. Be sure to include any volunteer work you’ve done, school or personal projects that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, and any certificates you have earned that would benefit the company. If you have ever taken a first aid course, a babysitter’s course, a food safety course, a second-language class, or an advanced computer course, you are already more qualified for certain jobs than most others that will apply.
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Beyond naming your strengths and experience, you’ll want to ensure your resume is well saturated with keywords. More and more, employers use a computer program to vet resumes, so if yours does not contain the appropriate keywords, it’s possible a human will never even glance at it. What those keywords are differs slightly from position to position, so you’ll want to read the job listing carefully, and pick them out yourself. If the ad emphasizes needing a sales-oriented employee, for example, you’ll want to have the words “sales” and “selling”, and similar terms, sprinkled throughout your resume.

Finally, never underestimate the power of appearance. Even if your resume is lacking in experience or training, a well put together, appealing resume is sure to catch someone’s eye. Check that everything is spelled correctly, that your grammar and punctuation are accurate, and the font is simple, clean, and easy to read. Last, but not least, use a smart-looking template. There are numerous free choices online, and all will give your resume that final, professional touch.

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