While entry-level jobs by definition do not have significant work experience requirements, they can still be quite competitive to get. Good formatting is an essential component of any entry-level resume, so this article will cover some of the most common resume format questions for entry-level positions. With this information, you can dispel some misconceptions you may have about the resume writing process and increase your chances of getting that entry-level job.
How Is Formatting an Entry-level Resume Different?
Entry-level resumes are different from most resumes because entry-level candidates do not have as much experience. Formatting an entry-level resume requires diminishing the work history section of your resume. Instead, emphasize your education and your other valuable experiences. Entry-level resumes are typically formatted with the summary statement and education sections first, drawing the reader’s attention to your primary qualifications, such as degrees and volunteer, internship and training experiences.
Can Formatting Help Entry-level Workers Compete with Workers Who Are More Experienced?
A resume that is formatted specifically to help entry-level workers highlight their skills can help entry-level applicants compete with more experienced candidates. Entry-level resumes often use a functional or chronological-functional hybrid format in order to emphasize a blend of non-traditional employment experiences, education and soft skills in lieu of a standard chronological work history section. By prioritizing skills and attributes over job experience, entry-level workers can highlight their unique qualifications. Consider using a table to present your saleable skills.
What Should Come First on an Entry-level Resume?
This is one of the most important resume format questions as the order of your resume determines the first information the reader looks at. All entry-level candidates need a summary statement section on their resumes. A summary statement is a great place to add context to the information presented in your resume and frame it in such a way that your potential employer can see why you are a great fit for the job. In addition, take the opportunity to mention how any academic or non-traditional work experience you may have would transfer well to the duties of the position for which you are applying.
After your summary statement, prioritize your education. This is especially true if you attended a prestigious university or if the degree you obtained is particularly relevant to your desired job. Employers understand that entry-level employees do not have the same experience as more seasoned candidates, but those who highlight their experiences in a meaningful way are more likely to demonstrate that they are qualified for the position. Equally important are volunteer experiences, certifications, internships and student employment positions you may have had.
What Mistakes Should Entry-level Candidates Avoid?
As with the answers to most resume format questions, the answer depends on the specific type of entry-level position for which you are applying. Spelling and grammar errors are some of the most important mistakes to avoid for all entry-level positions. Another mistake to avoid is using an objective statement as opposed to the more modern summary statement. Use a summary 4-6 lines summary statement to sell yourself instead of simply stating what you want out of a company.
Considering these resume format questions and answers can help you develop a resume that highlights the skills and qualifications you have that would make you a great candidate for your chosen job. Entry-level candidates often have more skills and valuable experiences than they realize, and the right resume formatting can help bring them to the surface.
You may find the tips and answers to other resume format questions on LiveCareer to be an asset as you begin the process of creating your entry-level resume.