Whether you're looking for a part-time job, a summer internship, or full-time employment after graduation, a good resume is an advantage you'll want at your fingertips. Especially if you're looking for your first job, writing a resume can help you choose a job as well as help you land an interview.
Start writing your resume with one goal in mind - to generate interest and job interviews. Your resume doesn't need to be an autobiography. It simply has to tell an employer that you're the right candidate for the job he/she has to offer!
The easiest way to start writing a resume is to collect information about yourself. Get out some paper and start listing your job qualifications.
- What kind of person are you? Are you organized? Analytical? Do you work better alone or with others? Are you outgoing or shy?
- Do you belong to any clubs or other groups? Church groups, social groups, DECA, Chess club
- Have you done any volunteer work? Envelope stuffing or canvassing for a church or charity, cleaning animal cages at the humane society ? volunteer work shows an employer you are willing to work.
- Do you have any special awards or achievements? Did you sell more candy, cookies, or magazine subscriptions than anyone else in your group? Did you win a scholarship?
What courses have you taken? Have you taken any courses which relate to the area which you are applying for?
- What can you do? Computer skills are also often an advantage, especially if you are proficient in popular programs like Excel, Word, Adobe Photo Shop or web programming languages.
- What have you done? Have you organized or helped with a fundraiser or a garage sale? Tutored a friend? Done child care? Chaired a committee? Participated in school activities like sports or band?
When you've finished your lists, you'll probably be surprised at how many job qualifications you have!
Once you see what you can do and decide on what you want to do, you'll tailor your resume to exactly fit the job you want. Use your best and most relevant qualities to show prospective employers your strengths and what benefits you will bring to their businesses. If you can do that, you will create interest and land job interviews.
Plugging Into Your Job
Before you can write a tailored resume, you need to know where you will send it.
Research job postings and advertisements, matching those that look interesting to qualifications from your lists.
If you have limited work experience, the best resume format to use is probably the skills resume format. In this format, you list education first, qualifications next, and employment last.
If you're a college student, it's a good idea to include both your current and permanent address, phone, etc. Center your name at the top of your resume (See resume samples) and put your contact information in block form with one block on either side of your resume.
Tailor your objective to match the job for which you are applying. For instance, "A summer internship to apply landscape design and gardening skills."
Only show high school training and achievements if you have no training beyond high school. List your school, city, state, dates attended and degree (if any) or course of study. If you are a college student who has attended more than one school, list the schools in order of attendance, beginning with your current school. Use bulleted lists to reference any special awards or achievements that relate to your target job. If you have a high GPA this is a good place to put it as well.
School 1, City, State, Dates of attendance(optional)
Degree/Course of Study
School 2, City, State, Dates of attendance(optional)
Degree/Course of Study
Use this area to include any information from your lists that is neither school nor work related and applies to your ability to do the job. Include licenses, certifications, activities, accomplishments, and skills putting your qualifications under appropriate headings.
The final section of your resume is where you list experience. List your job title (i.e. waiter, sales clerk), then your employer, location (city, state), and your duties. Then, again use bulleted lists to list any special achievements or contributions you made in relation to the job that might impress a potential employer.
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