12 Tips for Your First Resume

As you get ready to graduate from college you’re going to need to focus on creating your first grown-up resume. This is the document that is going to help you get your foot in the door and into the job market. Although you may not feel that you have much to put on your resume, you want to make sure that you do it right. These twelve tips will help you create a resume that pops:

  1. Read a lot of sample resumes.
  2. The more you review other people’s resume samples, especially those specific to the field you are entering, the better you’ll get at figuring out how yours should look.

  3. Double-check your contact information.
  4. This means more than just making sure that your phone number is correct. It means that you list a professional email address. It also means that if you’ve got a social networking site listed on your resume then you look at that site and make sure it’s set up to impress potential employers, not shock them!

  5. Include an objective.
  6. Many people that offer top resume tips today will tell you that the objective is outdated. This is true. However if you don’t have a long work history then you may have to use an objective or a summary statement to let the employer know what skills you have that make you a good candidate for the job.

  7. List all relevant experience.
  8. Many first time resume writers feel like they have no work experience. However, if you dig deep, you’ll find some. The project that you did for a class, the summer you spent volunteering and the two weeks you shadowed someone in your field are all things that can go on your resume.

  9. Emphasize all academic success.
  10. School has been your job for the past few years so show off how good you’ve done that job. Highlight any awards or outstanding grades.

  11. Include a short, bulleted list of your best traits.
  12. Select traits that are relevant to the job.

  13. If you speak a foreign language, include that on the resume.
  14. Add any entrepreneurial experience that you have.
  15. Many college students today have created a web app or drawn up plans for a business. List this experience on your resume.

  16. Review job postings for your field.
  17. If certain requirements, keywords or preferences are frequently listed then include your relevant experience with them on your resume.

  18. Supplement your resume with letters of reference.
  19. You can note in the resume a point where it would be appropriate to read such a letter. For example, if you receive a letter of reference citing your great leadership skills then note those skills on your resume and include a note to see the letter of reference.

  20. Get a counselor to review your resume for you.
  21. It is worth it to get someone at the school to assist you in making sure that your resume is right for the field that you’re entering. If you have a career center on campus then check there; otherwise go to your standard school counselor for assistance.

  22. Ask employers that reject you for feedback on your resume.
  23. Most will be happy to offer a short critique that can help you with your next job application.

Your first resume will be the toughest one that you ever do. These tips can help make it easier to get started. When you’re ready to go to the next level, take a look at these 5 things that hiring managers are looking for on a resume or even how to create a video resume.

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