What Information Should I Include on an Entry-Level Job Resume?

College seniors, high school seniors and the recently graduated are often uncertain about what information to include on an entry-level job resume. Without related work experience, you may think you have little to include on a resume. This article points out the other information you can include on an entry-level job resume.

Overview of Entry-Level Job Resumes

Entry-level job applicants seldom have a significant work history related to the job they're pursuing. Hiring managers advise those applicants to emphasize their skills, academic records and experiences rather than their work histories. Additionally, you can leave a great impression by keeping your resume succinct and professional, and by creating your resume with the following guidelines in mind.

Important Facts About Resume Creation

Objectives To market your skills to an employer and increase your chances of getting a job interview.
Formatting Considerations Standard, consistent formatting and readable fonts (10 - 12pt size); consider bullet points for listed information.
Writing Considerations Keep it action-oriented and focused on achievements. Check carefully for mistakes; if possible, ask another person to help with proofreading.
Additional Sections Elaborate specific employment goals with Objective section; Summary of Qualifications can easily display any relevant credentials or experiences.
Helpful Resources For helpful hints www.careeronestop.org; For hired help, the National Resume Writer's Association (www.thenrwa.com) has a list of certified writers specializing in many career fields.

For entry-level jobs, recruiters are not expecting to see reams of professional accomplishments or experiences, so don't worry if your resume seems short. In fact, some companies prefer this and may ask that you limit the document to just one or two pages. In any case, recruiters are still looking for specific information about every applicant. Here are some suggestions about the things you should include on an entry-level resume, and how to arrange these items with tact.

Contact Information

You'll need to start off with your full name, address, telephone numbers and email address. Be sure to proofread this section of your entry-level job resume because transposing numbers is a common mistake.

Academic Record

Entry-level applicants may place this section higher on the resume than is recommended for applicants with extensive work experience. Be sure to highlight any courses you took that are relevant to the job you want. If you're a college graduate, include your degree, major and minor.

Experience

If you have significant work experience, move this section higher on your resume. List all the jobs you've held, including summer jobs, part-time jobs and internships. Include employment dates, positions you held and job responsibilities. Mention any job-related accomplishments.

Skills and Personal Qualities

This is a section of your resume in which you can compensate for your lack of work experience by telling prospective employers about you as a person. If you're bilingual, a computer whiz or good with numbers, say so. If you're hard-working, punctual and conscientious, mention that also.

This section of your resume may differ depending on the job you're applying for. For example, if you have a degree in communications, you might be considering careers in market research or public relations, which are two fields where your communications degree could be useful. Since these two job titles have different responsibilities, the skills section of your resume should be tailored to highlight your skills for each title. You might emphasize your writing and interpersonal skills on your public relations resume, while your market research resume might highlight your research and analysis abilities.

Awards and Honors

List any academic or other awards you may have won, such as election to an honor society, winning a National Merit Scholarship or attaining Eagle Scout ranking. Include any honors or special designations you may have received as a result of volunteer work. If you have awards or honors that helped you build skills needed for the job you're seeking, you might consider placing them first on the list.

Interests and Activities

List organizations or clubs you belong to and any leadership positions you've held. Include sports and other extracurricular activities. Knowing that you're a well-rounded individual is important to many hiring managers. Again, this can be a place to note activities or interests that relate to the job you're seeking.

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