If you’re writing a resume for the first time, it can be intimidating to figure out what's really needed and what's not. One thing beginners often don't know is they can put more than just jobs on an application. That’s why it’s important to be involved in extracurricular activities in high school before finding a job. Unless you “know a guy” or work for your mom or pop's company as your first job, most likely you won’t have much to place on a resume. Perhaps that is why most employers don’t start people off turning in resumes until they are in upper management, and rarely do people begin their first job in management. If they do, they have grand skills in the art of communication and resume writing that I want to learn – or they “know a guy.” Most employers know when someone is fresh out of high school, but that doesn't rule the student out from getting the job he or she wants. By law, it can't. Depending on what that lovely piece of paper you've provided tells them, they may or may not slip it into the trash pile.
If it's your first time writing a resume, and you don't have a lot of work experience, you may be stumped on what to place on a resume if an employer asks for one. Here are a few good rules of thumb to help guide your resume in the right direction:
Things First-Timers Need to Know
Sell, Sell, Sell! - Sell yourself to the employer. Play on your strengths and twist your weaknesses to where they can become strengths. For example, maybe one of your weaknesses is you are a slow learner. But, slow learners, once the information is grasped, know it to a "T." And, it shows you are doing your best to effectively learn the material you need to learn. Take the negative and make it a positive, especially if you are asked this in an interview.
Make Everything Count – If you've never worked a job in your life, it's tough to find things to put under your previous work experience. This is where working community service for school, sports, band, student congress, church work and more come in handy. Write everything you've ever been involved in down, then go back and ask yourself, What tasks did I perform while involved here, and how will these tasks help me get the job I want? List them underneath each thing you've been involved in.
Be Organized – One of the most important ways employers can tell how your brain works is how well you present your resume. Make sure you are aware of how you group things, and make sure it can be clear to anyone what you did. You can organize it by grouping categories together, or perhaps you'd rather list things based on importance. It's your choice, as long as the employer understands it. Organization is a big key to an effective resume, because it is designed to guide the reader through the paper.
There are many ways to effectively write and present a resume. If you follow these few basic guidelines, you are one step closer to claiming that job you want to jump-start your career.
FROM THE WRITER
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