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A starter resume is good if you are just entering the work force and feel there isn’t enough education or work experience content to put in your resume. With the starter resume template for Word and the steps below, you’ll see how to fill your document with important information that makes a recruiter take notice. There are also tips for making all the necessary sections professional and easy to read. The guide includes helpful advice for your summary statement and skills, work history and education sections.
Writing Your Summary Statement
After your contact information, your summary statement is the first thing on your resume. It is important to grab the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager immediately to encourage him or her to continue reading. Looking at examples and using best-practice tips are the best ways to make a great resume, so follow these tips and the accompanying starter resume template for Word.
• Do not write in third person
• Do keep your summary short
• Do not use personal pronouns
Even with a starter resume, you still have skills you can highlight in your summary statement. Whether you have little or no work experience, your summary can still be attractive to recruiters. These three examples for common occupations should also give you a good idea how to start.
Maintenance technician with experience working on school campuses. Skilled with HVAC repair and minor structural fixes. Able to communicate and work together to complete complex jobs.
Hard-working assistant with experience in finance and compliance. Able to prioritize multiple tasks and complete them in a timely manner. Skilled with all major office suites.
• Dedicated sales representative with experience in challenging environments
• Proficient with customer databases and sales programs
• Can quickly learn and explain details of hardware and software packages to inform clients
Writing Your Skills Section
Use your skills section to show how qualified you are for a job. A recruiter will be looking for specific abilities that are useful in this job opening, so look closely at the job description for keywords. Pick your best skills and leave off anything that is too common or isn’t useful. Here are some best practices to use while writing this section.
• Only list skills relevant to the position, as indicated in the job listing
• Focus on your top 6-8 skills
• Do not use periods at the end of your bullet points
In the accompanying starter resume template for Word, you can see these practices in action. You can find more examples below.
• Great oral communicator
• Skilled with Microsoft and Mac OS
• Social perceptiveness
Writing Your Work History Section
Professional abilities are important, but your career experience provides specific examples of accomplishments and work activities. It can seem difficult to flesh out your professional experience in a starter resume, so include volunteer activities and any work-study programs in which you were employed. Using the tips below to write your experience section will make even the lightest work load seem professional and important.
• Make your experience unique by including personal accomplishments and metrics
• Use a thesaurus to keep from overusing words and include keywords from the job description
• Start each phrase with a strong action word
These tips help your work experience stand out, even if you do not have a lot. Included in this guide is a starter resume template for Word to help you write your work experience section. You can also find some example work activities below for three different job titles.
• Oversaw team of five accountants who each handled their own clients
• Created training schedule to get new employees up to speed quickly
• Managed 10 phone lines and an email bank to record messages daily
• Scheduled appointments and handled communications for five company executives
• Directed visitors and new employees to their proper destinations
• Maintained a clean and organized work environment
Writing Your Education Section
If your work experience section is light on jobs, your education section becomes more important. This is common for a starter resume since you might be applying for your first real job. Use the tips below and read through the starter resume template for Word included to get inspiration for your own education section.
• Start with your most recent education and go backward
• If you have a college degree, do not include your high school information
• Add any special certifications to this section
Here is an example of an education section for a financial analyst.
Bachelor of Science in International Finance – 2017
Purdue University – Lafayette, IN
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting – 2015
Kansas City Community College – Kansas City, KS
Using Action Verbs in Your Starter Resume
Show off your work experience in a dynamic way by using action verbs in your resume. A few examples of action verbs include “managed,” “organized” and “produced.” The starter resume template for Word included in this guide will show you how to use action verbs in your resume. You can also refer to the examples below for more inspiration.
• Monitored international financial activity
• Maintained current knowledge of technology advances in office equipment
• Communicated with team leaders in other departments to coordinate activities
• Oversaw installation efforts in multi-office software update
• Created new data analysis system that improved forecast accuracy by 20 percent
• Prepared compliance reviews of all new employees after their first year
Adding Metrics to Your Starter Resume
Metrics in your resume give a recruiter a quantifiable idea of how qualified you are for the job. Saying you “managed a team” is less impactful and memorable than saying you “managed a team of four accountants and one intern.” The included starter resume template for Word provides some examples of using metrics in your work experience, so look at them closely and think about how to use them in your own resume. You can also use the below examples to see how to add metrics to your work experience section.
WITHOUT METRIC: Handled customer service issues in a satisfactory manner
WITH METRIC: Handled over a dozen customer service issues every day while maintaining a 95-percent customer-satisfaction rating
WITHOUT METRIC: Proposed changes that improved efficiency
WITH METRIC: Proposed changes that improved efficiency by 40 percent
WITHOUT METRIC: Analyzed output and quality reviews of production lines
WITH METRIC: Analyzed output and quality reviews of seven production lines