Article Summary

You’ve just graduated and are looking for an “entry-level job”. That should be easy to do, right? In fact, when you start looking at job descriptions and see all the different skills and qualifications employers are looking for, it can be a little overwhelming.

5 Tips For Writing An Entry-Level Resume

You’ve just graduated and are looking for an “entry-level job”. That should be easy to do, right?

In fact, when you start looking at job descriptions and see all the different skills and qualifications employers are looking for, it can be a little overwhelming. 

Maybe you know that you have the right mindset and skills to start a job right away, but how do you convince other people to let you jump right in? 

In today's article, we share tips to improve your entry-level resume in order to get you called to interviews for jobs that you are interested in.


1. Your contact information should be top and center

Your name, email, LinkedIn URL, and phone number information should always be at the top of your resume. Make sure that the email address you are giving is a professional one, (not something like Billythekid@hotmail.com). 

If applicable for the job you are interested in, you can also add a link to your personal website or online portfolio.


2. Use a professional summary

Although optional, we suggest that you use a summary paragraph, rather than an objective statement. A well written summary consists of a few short sentences highlighting your qualities, skills and/or experience that are directly related to the opportunity you are interested in. 

For people who have volunteered in the field, this is a good place to talk about past roles or accomplishments. Use this very valuable piece of “resume real estate” to grab the attention of  recruiters and potential employers.


3. Showcase your education.

If you ever had the chance to look at the resume of someone who has several years of experience under their belt, you will notice that their “education” section is located at or near the end of their document. 

For an entry-level resume, this is not the case. When you place your “education” right below your contact information it’s a clear sign for the reader that you are in the early stage of your career. This helps to set expectations on how much experience you bring with your talent.


4.  Even if this is your first job, you come with experience

The “experience” section of most resumes focuses on current and past paid jobs. However, for someone who is an entry-level candidate, experience can come from many other places.

  • Internships, apprenticeships, or co-ops
  • Volunteer work
  • Entrepreneurial projects
  • Participation at industry-related organizations (memberships/affiliations)
  • Unrelated part-time or full time work
  • Leisure activities

Experience - even if it is not related to the requirement of the  job you are applying for - is important to highlight because it gives the reader an opportunity to discover the transferable skills that you have. This section also confirms that you have a history of showing up, completing tasks, and working well with others.


5. Include relevant keywords

As you are preparing your resume, it is important that you take a look at the job description and pay attention to the language they are using. You want to match your language to theirs.

A good practice is to take a highlighter and work your way through the job posting. Highlight all of the “action verbs” that you see. Try to use as many of them in your bullet statements as possible. Similarly, go through a second time and highlight all of the “adjectives” they use to describe the type of candidate they are looking for. Fit those into your resume (and cover letter) as well.

Keep in mind that a resume is a document meant to showcase your fit and potential to employers and provide reasons for them to want to meet and then hire you. 

First impressions count for a lot. Make sure that you don’t waste yours!

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