Writing Your First Job Resume: De-Emphasizing Lack of Work Experience
Putting Together Your First Resume
Writing your first job resume can seem like one of the hardest things to do. Your general lack of job experience and your particular lack of experience in resume writing will often make it seem like you will never manage to write one.
Have no fear! Writing your first job resume and making it sell you is not an impossible task. You just need to leverage what you do have and make that work for you. There are 4 essential things to keep in mind for your first job resume.
1. Make it look good. The first thing a recruiter will notice when they look at your resume is its overall appearance. It is this appearance that will give them a first impression about the candidate and if they have career potential.
This is why you want you resume looking very good. Use a clean font type; organize the data in the resume, use bold to highlight important information and space the information so it is easy to read. Also, make sure there are absolutely no spelling mistakes in your resume.
2. Emphasize extracurricular activities. You may not have had a previous job to put on your resume, but you probably do have some valuable experiences outside of school. Maybe you did volunteer work, you participated in certain projects or campaigns, you had an internship or you organized certain events.
The trick is not to assume that you have no experience, just because you didn’t get paid for what you did. Search in your past and will often find valuable experiences which you can insert in your resume to prove certain skills.
3. Communicate a clear objective. When you have no work experience, the best thing you can do is show that at least you know yourself, you understand the job market and despite not having any previous jobs, you know what you want. The part of a resume which allows you to prove this is your professional objective.
Make sure you write a very clear and specific objective, which clearly states the professional field you’re interested in and the direction you want to give your career. Under no circumstance do not write a vague objective such as: “To have a successful career”. Everybody wants to have that!
4. Don’t try to overcompensate. Some persons feel their first job resume is too small and they’re afraid this will make it get rejected. So they put everything they can in the resume, to plump it up: every class they took in College, every hobby they ever had, etc.
Unfortunately, this usually has the exact opposite effect: it shows the recruiter you’re insecure about your worth and it increases the chances for you resume to get rejected. Do emphasize valuable education, experiences and results, but only stick to those.
Finally, keep in mind that there is more to getting a good first job than a good resume. It is also very important how you deliver it, what recommendations you have and how well you sell yourself at an interview. A good first job resume means putting your best foot forward, but the rest of the steps matter just as much.
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