Writing an Entry Level Resume
High school students, college students, recent graduates or those with very little work experience, all need an entry level resume when applying for a job position. In this stage of entering the workforce, a person has to sell themselves on promises rather than work experience and skills. No one is going to expect to see an entry level resume that states years of on-the-job experience and training, or a substantial list of skills. However, entry level resumes should focus on academic accomplishments, volunteer work and intern experience and any association with clubs/organizations.
Correct Format of an Entry Level Resume
There are three basic formats for resumes: chronological, which highlights prior work experience; functional, which focuses on knowledge and skills learned over time; and combination, which starts out as a functional format and ends a chronological one. For those that are new to the work force or changing careers, the functional format is recommended. Start with name and address at the top of the page followed by a summary and then education. List special classes taken in high school, degrees earned in college and any other education that is relevant. Next list any certificates, licenses or honors held. Last, but not least, list any additional skills and knowledge that have been acquired, such as languages or computer software.
Writing an Entry Level Resume Summary
A summary for an entry level resume should include the most important qualifications that the employee possesses. This is the first impression for the potential employer. The summary needs to be unique, short and to the point. Avoid using statements such as “detail oriented.” Everyone else will be using it or similar phrases. Find some fresh, new and unique verbs that will catch the employer’s eye, but do not lie. Find creative words to use instead of using the old standbys that have been used for years on resumes and applications; however, in the same respect don´t get too carried away with a thesaurus.
Highlighting Previous Responsibilities
An employee’s responsibilities are an extension of job duties and can be considered either as work ethic, or as physical tasks required from an individual. When it comes to listing previous responsibilities through volunteer, part time work, or internships; try to write them in a way that is directly relevant to the position being applied for. For example, if you are applying for an office administrative task, be sure to include any details that show that you are organized and having computer aptitude.
Concentrating on Education, Skills and Qualifications
Since each entry level resume is for those with little-to-no work experience, the employee must focus on their education and qualifications that they learn and acquire throughout their studies. Depending on how dedicated a person is to their college education, they could have an impressive list of education skills. The qualifications will go hand-in-hand with education skills, especially if any of the classes taken had assignments based on real work environment scenarios. Be sure to list all degrees, certificates and special courses or assignments.
Final Entry Level Resume Considerations
Keep in mind that the content for an entry level resume, and how it is arranged, is just as important as the format chosen. Make sure the top third of the resume has the most impressive information. The employee only has about 20 seconds to impress the potential employer. Be certain the resume has a point of focus and not just filled with useless, unorganized information. Write concise statements of past job responsibilities and use creative words to make the resume more fresh and up-to-date. It is recommended to use an entry level sample resume for guidance which can be easily found online.