How To Build a Resume for Your First Job

young woman showing her resume on job interview

Resumes can be tricky especially if you're applying for your first job. To put this into perspective, each corporate job position receives 250 applications. Only 4-6 of those resumes will get called for interviews and then only 1 will get the position.

Those numbers may sound scary. However, with the right details your resume can stand out and you could be that 1. If you're interested in landing a job, keep reading to learn how to build a resume the right way!

Research Keywords to Target

Each position you apply for will have specific skills and requirements they are looking for. You'll need to do your research on the position to get an idea of who they would like to hire.

Pick out keywords listed in the description and tailor your resume to fit their needs and type of job. Of course, make sure you possess those qualities. You'll want to tweak your resume for each position you apply for to optimize your odds.

Each type of job may be different. For example, a video production resume will look a little different than an accountant's resume. 

Highlight Your Education

Since you are just graduating, your biggest asset will probably be your education. If you're lacking in the experience department, you can beef up this section with your experience in school. Listing your GPA could be a great advantage if you've done well in school, 3.5 or higher.

Also, you may have taken very job-specific courses. If that is that case, list the courses and the grade you earned if you did well.

Boast About Awards

If you have earned any awards, you'll want to list those. This is a wonderful way to show that you have gone above and beyond in the past and that you have the potential to do so again.

Claim Certifications

Any certifications that you earn are an important area to highlight as well. You may have earned these during your education experience but these can be achieved on your own time too.

List Volunteer Work and Extracurriculars

List any volunteer work that you've done. This can reflect what type of person you are and what extra experience you have.

In addition, you should add any extracurriculars you have been involved with. These can show that you are a team player or even have leadership experience.

Use Business Format but Don't Be Boring

Always use professional language and make sure you are organized. This is the first piece of work your employer will see. However, you want to stand out so do add some personality to the style.

There are lots of templates you can use to optimize your format. Remember the best resume length is one page for a first-time employee.

Craft a Cover Letter

As mentioned before, you want to tailor your application to each position you apply for. Including a cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself. This will go a little further into you personally and professionally.

Explain Work Experience

If you have managed to get some great, relevant work experience you'll want to include information about employment history. This is a wonderful way to show that you are prepared to jump into the workplace.

Have Someone Check Your Work

After you completed your resume and cover letter, you should have someone check your work for errors. A fresh set of eyes will notice things you did not.

Build the Best Resume, Land the Job

Now that you know how to build a resume, you're ready to start the journey to earning your first job. Remember that this takes work too and good luck!

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