Entering the workforce can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t have any prior experience to show off. What’s more, there aren’t as many opportunities for newcomers as for experienced jobseekers, so you’ve got to make your applications count.
For most people’s first job, the make-or-break factor often lies with the resume. Creating an exceptional one is your greatest strength when trying to land a position, and there are a few ways you can maximize your potential with it.
If you need some help making a great resume for a first job in 2023, follow these crucial tips, and you’ll increase your odds of landing your dream career tenfold.
Table Of Contents
Should You Make a Resume if You Have No Experience?
Yes, you should make a resume even if you have no experience.
First of all, most entry-level jobs require a resume regardless of the position. This is how you professionally introduce yourself to businesses you’re interested in working for and give them vital insights about yourself.
Whether or not a company wants to proceed with an interview and the time they take to respond lie mainly on the resume you submit.
Why Write a Resume for a First Job?
A resume with no experience can still be a valuable asset to your jobseeker journey, contrary to what some may think. While any experience you have is essential to showcase on your resume, there are other things to convey equally as important.
In totality, a resume should do the following:
- Show Your Professionalism
- Display Your Skills
- Display Your Education
- Display Any Relevant Experience or Training
Show Your Professionalism
The utmost impression your resume should give is that you mean business. Showing professionalism through an expertly crafted overview helps add credibility to your name and lets employers know you’re worth their time.
Even an applicant with tons of experience can seem weak through a poorly made resume, which is why making yourself present as professional is one of the most significant yet overlooked aspects of job hunting.
Display Your Skills
Employers want to know if you’re a good fit for a position. They want to see that your skill set matches their quota, even if it’s based on your own claims. Your qualities will become more apparent during the interview, so it’s vital to highlight them beforehand.
Resumes are also an excellent way to convey skills that may not be mentioned in the job description but still hold value in an employer’s consideration. For example, if you’re versed in WordPress or Excel, you may have an advantage over others when competing for a job that benefits from that software.
Display Your Education
When getting a job with no experience, emphasize your education. Sure, academics aren’t everything, but academic accolades and achievements look pretty good on a resume.
Furthermore, your studies are indicative of what you can offer despite a lack of experience and are essential for entry-level job hunters. Some say a degree is just a piece of paper, but that’s only partially correct. That piece of paper represents everything you’ve worked for and all the talent you’ve accumulated over the years to become specialized in a variety of subjects.
Display Any Relevant Experience or Training
Lastly, you shouldn’t omit any relevant experience or training you have. That includes internships, jobs you did while in college, projects, or anything else that may constitute experience or training.
Experience might be a limited resource for someone looking for a first job, but any bit you might have under your belt helps.
What Should a Resume for a First Job Look Like?
Figuring out what to put on a resume for a first job is tough, and there’s nothing wrong with looking to expert examples for help.
If you’re not sure what a resume should look like or how to structure one, take a look at these excellently crafted instances for inspiration:
Resume for First Job Teenager
What makes this resume exceptional is how proactive and motivated the student is portrayed. Despite the applicant having limited work experience, they can fill the category with associated school positions that pertain to the job at hand and showcase the accolades they’ve attained as a result.
Additionally, they’re able to capitalize on valuable skills many high schoolers are introduced to but take for granted, such as secondary languages, social media, and Microsoft Office. Combined with a professional tone that elevates their first impression, this is a fantastic first resume for a teenager.
[Resume example 2] (Example #1 used)
This resume cleverly uses volunteering experience in place of missing work experience to emulate someone familiar with the workforce.
Using volunteer time as a cornerstone to their resume, they enhance their appeal with extracurriculars, relevant key skills, and academic accolades. The result is an excellently crafted resume that lets employers know they’re driven and fully prepared for the job, despite their youth.
Resume for First Job No Experience
Similar to the first job for teenagers examples, this resume focuses primarily on volunteer work and education. This is because volunteer work is easy to partake in but offers valuable skills that translate well to full-time jobs.
This resume also shows a wide array of skills and academic achievements that make up for the lack of experience and exemplify the applicant’s strong points. This is a more realistic model than the previous two since it’s more attuned to the average inexperienced worker.
When you’re working with limited resources, it’s essential to draw upon everything you have and present yourself as a professional regardless of where you stand.
Experience doesn’t just pertain to volunteer work, schooling, and on-job experience. Previous experiences that you usually wouldn’t include on a resume, such as part-time jobs, can be translated to entry-level jobs if you know how to relate them.
This example uses the applicant’s time as a camp counselor and a nanny (fairly common high-school jobs) to exemplify their skills as an elementary school teacher despite having no official experience. This is a great way to maximize your resources to create a strong, adaptable resume.
How Do You Write a Resume for Your First Job?
Writing a resume for your first job isn’t a horrifying task once you break it down to its core components.
If you’ve got a nasty case of writer’s block or aren’t sure where to start, just follow this fundamental guideline:
1. Find a Template
It all starts with the template. There’s no need to start from scratch when there are millions of resume templates online.
Click here to find some proven resume templates tailored to your professional needs.
2. Start With a Statement About Your Goals
The first thing every resume starts with is a well-written introductory statement that includes your career goals and aspirations for the future. It lets employers know what motivates you and helps you create a desirable first impression.
3. Include All of Your Relevant Education and Experiences
Education and experience are what employers look for foremost in an applicant. Such is why it’s crucial to include all your academics and experiences on a resume.
4. Include Skills, Awards, and Certifications
Next up is to back your education and experiences with all the skills, awards, and certificates you’ve earned as a result. These accolades are powerful indicators that you didn’t waste any time during your schooling and maximized your efforts to the fullest extent.
5. Highlight Volunteer Experiences
Volunteer work is the next best thing to actual experience. They’re something anyone can do, yet the experiences they provide are valuable assets to any employer and should always be highlighted.
How to Make a Student Resume for the First Job
The student’s resume should be centered around academic achievements, extracurriculars, and volunteer experience. Even though most students don’t have real expertise in their respective fields, they should still have enough exposure to compete with applicants who do have experience in the field.
One thing to note is that students have the advantage in the up-to-date skills they gain from their schools and peers. This includes experience with social media platforms, new software, foreign languages, keeping up with trends, and knowledge older applicants may be unfamiliar with.
These skills should be included and highlighted on every student’s resume.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions around the web:
What is the 30-second rule for a resume?
The 30-second resume rule states that your resume should appeal to an employer and get you on their interview list in the first 30 seconds of reading it. Resumes that fail to make an impression in the first 30 seconds are often disregarded or rejected.
What skills should I put on my resume with no experience?
Valuable skills to put on a resume with no experience are time management, Microsoft Office, problem-solving, email management, customer service, and organization. They’re skills many people have and pertain to many jobs.
If you’re looking for a first job, but have no prior experience, don’t worry! You can still construct a stellar resume that lands you an interview with the right know-how.
Just focus on what you have – education, volunteer experience, accolades, etc. – and highlight them to the fullest extent. After all, getting a job is highly contingent on how you present yourself, and there’s no reason to submit a lackluster resume when you’ve got so much to offer.
Do you have any questions or comments about making a resume for a first job? Leave them down below!