Posts Tagged ‘awards’

10 Tips for Writing an Entry-Level Resume

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Unfortunately, many career centers have misinformed new graduates regarding what a resume should look and sound like. As a result, entry-level resumes tend to be plagued by bland resume formats and poorly-written, outdated objective statements.

Instead, as a young professional, your resume should communicate how you can assist the employer with meeting their needs; it must help the employer see your value by telling them exactly how the company will benefit from hiring you.

How can you do that? Here are ten tips to get you started:

1. Include a Fact-and-Figure-Based Introduction

Fight the temptation to include generic and broad-based objective statements that can apply to a multitude of job seekers. Instead, in five to eight bullets, use facts, figures, metrics, and examples from your work experience to show your value and potential.

2. Maximize Your Experience.

It’s effortless and looks streamlined, but listing only your previous employers and job titles on your entry-level resume can leave potential employers not only unimpressed, but also wondering what exactly you did.

Add two or three bullet points for each position on your entry-level resume, detailing a few of your primary (and most impressive) responsibilities in the order that they apply to the position you’re seeking. You can also include volunteer work on your resume if it shows necessary skills. You’ll expand your credentials while also tailoring your experience to fit the job. However…

3. Do NOT Just List Your Responsibilities

Yes, it’s good to give the employer an idea of what your general duties and responsibilities were, but it’s also very effective to show them what you accomplished and what you can bring to the table. How did you go above and beyond expectations? Quantify whenever possible.

4. Use Their Language.

Incorporating words or phrases from a job listing into your entry-level resume is a great way to catch prospective employers’ eyes. If they’re looking for a “hard-working team player,” you might mention in your resume that you thrive in “team” environments and throw yourself into “hard work.” You’ll leave your employers musing that they couldn’t have said it better themselves.

5. Show Your Range.

“Past experiences” on your entry-level resume can include more than just previous jobs.

Detailing your proficiency in other areas, like specific computer programs or foreign languages, can add a lot of value to your entry-level resume. Even highlighting unrelated but important extracurricular activities on your resume can reflect your commitment to a goal – plus, you never know when an employer might bond with you over a shared love of water-skiing!

6. Add Testimonials

Another great way to give your resume veteran appeal is to include testimonials. This is still a relatively new concept and is something hiring managers may be pleasantly surprised to see. So take this opportunity to add about two or three very short quotes from an old boss, former professors, or other influential people in your field. This approach not only works as a great resume filler but helps make you that much more desirable as a candidate.

7. Incorporate Awards And Recognitions

If you’ve received awards or recognition in your short career span, don’t be shy about listing them. It’s great to be recognized for your accomplishments—and even better when an employer looks upon them favorably and even considers hiring you as a result.

Just because you’re getting your foot in the door at the entry-level doesn’t mean you’re not highly qualified for the job you want. So take time to really think about your accomplishments to date and how they make you an amazingly appealing candidate.

8. Avoid Common Mistakes

No matter how many times it’s repeated, 80% of all resumes are submitted with glaring typos. So, let’s say it again:

  • Proofread the resume
  • Get a second or third opinion
  • Don’t use the personal pronoun “I”
  • Don’t refer to yourself in the third person

9. Put Some Thought Into Your Brand

Consider how you want to brand your resume visually and verbally. Think about how each one of these should reflect you as a candidate, and be strategic about your resume choices. Choose a format that presents you as a professional—not unqualified and unprofessional. Just because you are an entry-level candidate does not mean your resume has to look basic and boring.

10. Sell Yourself!

When writing an entry-level resume, you might not have the experience that other positions require, but you don’t have to apologize or sell yourself short. Even if you can list only a couple of past accomplishments on your entry-level resume, you can describe the skills you’ll bring to future positions.

Remember these tips and strategies when writing your resume, and you’ll have a much better success rate winning interviews!