So how do you land your first job?
That’s a multifaceted question. Previously, we shared some tips on getting the first first job after college graduation, but what about your first job ever? This might be your first job as a high school graduate, or a job you pursue as an adult after staying home to raise a family. In any case, the following advice assumes that you are entirely new to the workforce and that you are starting from scratch.
Where exactly do you begin? Check out the resume tips we have below. These are tailored to the completely inexperienced job seekers. Then, take a look at the resume example for first job that we’ve created. It shows how someone with a lack of experience can still show how they can be valuable to an organization.
Tip 1: Choose a Functional Resume
A functional resume emphasizes your skills first, rather than starting with your work experience. This is the best choice for inexperienced workers. After all, you can pick up marketable skills through your schooling, hobbies, and just life experience in general. Create a list of hard and soft skills that you have that would be valuable in the entry-level position you’re after.
Hard skills might include:
- Internet Research
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Typing And Data Entry
- Cash Handling
Soft skills are:
- Customer Service
Tip 2: Make a List of Your Accomplishments
Create a master list of the notable things that you’ve done over the years. You won’t include the entire list on your resume, but you can mine the list for items to add depending on the job for which you are applying. Think about organizations you’ve been part of, hobbies that you’ve pursued to the point of expertise, volunteer work, etc. List any awards and accolades as well. Most importantly, list the skills you’ve developed along the way.
Tip 3: Avoid Unprofessional or ‘Cutesy’ Additions
Professionalism is going to be key. Anyone looking at your resume will need to believe that you can enter any work situation, and understand the basics of business ethics and conduct yourself appropriately in a work environment. Your resume shouldn’t contain any cringe-worthy elements, including:
- An unprofessional email address. The best choice is an email address using your college or university, Gmail, or some other widely accepted domain. Use a combination of your first name/first initial and last name.
- Rambling ‘explanations’ for your lack of work experience. It’s perfectly acceptable to have spent your time pursuing an education, or focusing on other things.
- Using cutesy terms such as ‘momtrepreneur’ or ‘CEO of my home and family’.
- Hobbies or interests that don’t contribute to your fitness for the position you are after.
Tip 4: Add a Great Cover Letter
A good cover letter can really fill in a lot of gaps. You can use it to show your passion for a particular job, to explain your lack of employment history, and go into detail about why you would be a great fit.
Tip 5: Use an Objective Statement
Since you don’t have work experience, a personal statement or professional summary won’t work. Instead, write an objective statement, but focus on what you can do for your employer. Avoid language that focuses on what you want the employer to provide for you.
Tip 6: Add All of Your Education
Take advantage of any educational experience that you have. This includes formal education, but also other forms of schooling. Have you taken online classes, finished self-study courses, or attended seminars or bootcamps? Add those to your resume!
Resume Sample For Entry-Level (Word version)
Resume Example For a First Job (text version)
11 St. Pine St.
St. Louis, MO 63333
Objective: Seeking a job opportunity that will allow me to use my computer skills, personality, and organizational skills in an entry-level position as an assistant, clerk, or receptionist in an office or retail environment.
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Typing And Data Entry
- Fluent in Both English And Spanish
- Direct Sales Experience
- Team Building
Intern: Direct Sales Representative
June 2016 – April 2017
Sold kitchen related accessories and supplies direct to consumers. Organized and hosted sales parties both online and in customer’s homes. Recruited other sales representatives. Delivered items to customers, kept track of inventory and order sheets.
Girl Scouts of America
April 2017 – Present
Maintained membership roles, recruited parent volunteers, attended leadership training seminars, planned activities, and mentored troop members. Led activities, and conducted troop leadership training. Coordinated fundraising efforts. Partnered with other troop leaders to plan events and activities.
West Side University
Business Management BA
Don’t be shy to include any paid or unpaid, an internship or volunteer work as your experience, just like our candidate did here. Even if it was a few years ago, go ahead and add it to your resume as this still can show the skills you have developed. Also, you can make your resume “pop” by using a creative resume template. We have a wide array of those listed on our website for free!