If you are a recent college or high school graduate – first off, congrats! While the excitement of graduating is fresh on your mind, the next step of beginning your career search post school may feel daunting. You may especially feel confused and a little unsure as to what to list on your resume if you don’t have much experience to speak of. In today’s blog we’ll provide some tips on what to have on your resume when you don’t have any professional experience so you can land that first professional role and begin your career!
List your name and contact information
At the top of every resume you should state your name, email and phone number. When listing your email make sure you have something professional. If you don’t already have a professional sounding email then create something new. Our suggestion is to keep it simple and stick to something around your name. You’ll also want to list your phone number so make sure to set up your voicemail message to something professional as well in case potential hiring managers call. On the same note, make sure your mailbox isn’t full so they are able to leave a message.
For those with no job history, it can be helpful to list a few sentences about yourself and your career goals. When writing your resume summary think of how you’d answer the question, “How would you describe your experience in one or two sentences?” and then use that answer for your resume summary. This is also a place to highlight things such as your organization or public speaking skills.
You’ll want to list what schools you graduated from, any certifications earned, and even classes you took that would be relevant to the job you are applying for. If you received any honors or awards while in school, this is the place to highlight those as well.
This is where things for those new to the job market can get tricky. Hiring managers will understand that, so for this area of your resume think outside the box. Perhaps it was working as a waiter during summer break, starting a small lawn mowing business in high school, or any volunteer work you did. It can be helpful to separate the information by categories as well: so volunteer experience in one section and any jobs you have held in another. If you don’t have any volunteering or part time jobs to list on your resume, think of school projects you’ve had that you’ve exceled at or any teams or clubs you belonged to and list those.
After writing your resume our top tips are to take the time to edit, proofread, and have someone else check review for errors. Make sure the formatting and font is consistent and your experience is written in chronological order. Having a second set of eyes on your resume, either by a friend or family member, is always a good idea.
Beginning your professional career is an exciting time and writing your resume for the first time doesn’t need to be something you dread. With the above tips you’ll be well on your way to getting that first role!