How to Write Your First Resume

How to Write Your First Resume

Writing your first resume can be a daunting task. You might still be a student, and chances are you don’t have too much professional experience under your belt just yet. But don’t worry—everyone else was in the same boat when they first started out. Here’s how to write your first resume from scratch.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Before you even get started typing anything up, take a moment to jot down the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Unfortunately, you can’t just create one resume and send it off to a dozen companies—not if you want a fighting chance at getting interviews. Take the time to study each job posting and think about how you can show that you’re the one—the ideal candidate—they’re looking for. Remember, this is the way you’re introducing yourself to a potential employer; make them think, “this person is perfect for the job!”

Especially when you’re just starting out, your resume doesn’t have to only include past employment. Think about experiences in which you’ve taken on leadership roles, demonstrated initiative, or learned a specific skill. You’ll want employers to know about those. This list could include awards, skills with certain computer programs, volunteer projects, leadership roles in the community, university organizations, or classes you’ve taken that are relevant to the job. 

Always keep the employer and job description in mind: how can you show them that your experience and skills make you perfect for this position? Keep whatever you list on your resume relevant and tailored to the position.

Step 2: Putting It All Together

Now it’s time to get writing. There are tons of resume examples on the web that you can use for reference and inspiration. Use a professional format, and make sure your resume is simple, clean, and easy to get information from. For a first resume, you’ll probably only need one page.

 Start your resume with a summary statement that discusses your career goals and personal strengths. If a hiring manager were to only read your summary statement and nothing else on your resume, they should know exactly what you’ve done in your career and what you want to do moving forward. So try your hardest to relate your past experience (even if it’s school) to the target job.

Generally, resumes from students and recent grads highlight their education. List colleges that you’ve attended (or high schools, if you haven’t gone to college yet), along with your graduation or expected graduation date and type of degree. Most career experts agree that you should leave off your GPA unless it’s particularly impressive (say, 3.5 or higher, maybe a little lower if your course of study was particularly challenging).

Next, you’ll have an experience section. This is where you put past jobs and internships. Include specific information about what your job duties were—usually this information is bulleted. Try to write job descriptions that show that you took initiative or accomplished a specific goal (use numbers if you can).

After that, it gets a little more personal. Depending on your specific background and the position you’re applying to, there are lots of other sections you might add: volunteer experience, relevant coursework, extracurricular activities and community involvement, computer or language skills, or professional certifications.

Don’t stress these sections too much! Remember that the goal is to communicate your experience to a hiring manager in a clear and concise manner, not to wow them with your resume design.

Step 3: Proofread!

You may have heard that if your resume has even one typo, it’ll be thrown in the trash. While this isn’t always true, you certainly won’t look conscientious or detail oriented if your resume is littered with errors.

Don’t rely on your word processing program to catch errors—print out your resume and proofread it. Then find a friend and ask them to proofread it. Run it past your grandma. Better yet, use an online resume check that will scan your resume for any and all mistakes.

Step 4: Use the Web

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder will help you write an eye-catching, professional resume from scratch. You can choose a stylish design, insert pre-written resume examples for any job you want, and properly highlight your skills—all in a few minutes. Don’t try to write a resume alone! Let the career experts help you out. 


More Articles about How to Write Your First Resume

3 Critical Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Ever Resume

You spent your high school and college days creating a background that you are proud of, and now you’re ready to create your first-ever resume. Not sure where to begin?

Resume Examples

Resume Builder from LiveCareer was used to create these professional resumes. View the examples then build your own.

Tips On Creating A Resume For A New Career

Resume Builder is there for you, whether you’re moving up or moving out. Here’s some tips on writing a resume if you’re changing careers.

Resume Keywords

Resume Builder: Before you begin, make a list of keywords. They can make or break your resume. LiveCareer explains how to use them effectively.

How to Write a Resume When You Have No Work Experience

Hiring managers believe that viewing an applicant’s work history is one of the best ways to predict future job performance. So how do you present a resume without significant experience?

Resume Samples

Resume Builder from LiveCareer allows you to build your resume with expert-written samples specific to your career field.

How Long Should My Resume Be?

Resume Builder at LiveCareer is designed to optimize a resume of any length. As for what’s appropriate, we believe that depends on your age and experience level.

Resume Templates

Resume Builder from LiveCareer contains hundreds of resume templates and professional designs for all jobs and industries.

Get Hired In 30 Seconds: Resume Summary Tips

If you want to make a memorable first impression, then you MUST include this section in your resume. Read on to find out more.

Get Your Resume In Front of the Right People: Four Tips

Make sure your resume lands in front of the person, or people, who can influence the hiring decision for your target position.

How to Write a Customized Resume

Sometimes changing just a few details or highlighting a particular strength is all it takes to get your resume to the top of the list.

Create a Resume That Stops Traffic

Simple moves like these can take your resume to the next level and open the door to the position you’ve been looking for.

How to Write a Resume that Lands More Job Offers

LiveCareer’s Resume Review service is another great option for a section-by-section critique.

Resume Writing Dos & Don’ts

Naturally, online resumes have a different set of resume dos and don’ts than traditional paper resumes.


Resume Tips
Read more

The Worst Resume Grammar Mistakes


Need A Job-Search Game Plan? Our FREE ebook Can Help.

Resume Tips
Read more

What to Put in Your Resume
800-652-8430 Mon- Fri 8am - 8pm CST
Sat 8am - 5pm CST, Sun 10am - 6pm CST