As you embark on a career path of your choice, you should set the standard with a great first resume. Piquing the interest of your reader and getting an interview set up is the primary goal. As you complete and format your first resume, ask yourself how you’ll add value to the company to which you are applying.
Initial Formatting Basics
Use a combination, or hybrid, form to properly format your first resume. This format is best for a recent graduate with little or no work experience and combines the elements of a chronological resume and a functional resume format. Start the resume by providing your contact information. The recruiter should be able to get in touch with you whether it’s for a first interview or for a follow-up interview. This section should include your full name, the city and state you live in, a single email address, a single phone number and a website address if you have a professional webpage you’d like to share. Be sure to use a professional email address that does not depict you in a sophomoric way.
Next, write a four- to six-line summary statement that offers an overview of your experience, two or three major skill sets and valuable personality traits. This summary should be in paragraph form and should be the first section after your contact information. Think of your summary statement as a 30-second elevator pitch to sell yourself to a potential employer. Emphasize your skills, experience and personal attributes as concisely yet engagingly as possible in this section.
Education, Skills and Accomplishments
If you have any relevant accomplishments or awards, list them. This section should have a minimum of three bullet points; if you have fewer, add accomplishments and awards to your experience section. When it comes to your first resume, the education section is clearly an element of major significance. Starting with the most recent entry, list your educational background, going backwards. If you are still in progress with your degree, write “in progress” or “anticipated graduation 20YY.” Include your GPA only if you are a recent graduate. Feel free to list honors such as magna cum laude or summa cum laude, and make sure you include relevant campus organizations or coursework, especially if the education is very recent or in progress. Including high school information is only recommended if high school is the extent of your formal education.
List any professional memberships and affiliations if they are relevant to the job you’re applying to. For example, if you’re looking into project management, it would help to highlight your membership in the Project Management Institute (PMI). Include any licenses and certifications you hold that are related to the industry, and write out any special credentials along with along with their acronyms.
Make sure your resume reads well, is attractive and is free of errors. Double and triple check to make sure you have proper spelling and grammar and that you’ve hit all the key points. Run it past another set of eyes. The attention to detail will impart your first resume with the professional quality a recruiter or employer will desire to see.
There are always more tips and guides to help you format your first resume. Make the most of what you have to offer when you format your first resume, and stand out among the competition.
By using LiveCareer, you’ll come across more resources that will help you format your first resume.