With no or little work experience and very less market exposure, writing a resume for an entry level position can be really intricate! But the undeniable fact is that it is your foremost exposure to the corporate world and even the golden tool to showcase your skills, strengths, abilities and qualities to the corporate arena of your choice.
It is therefore essential that when you are writing your resume for an entry level job you succinctly summarize your experience, education, and skills, with an ultimate aim of convincing employers to call you to an interview. There is no rocket-science behind writing a resume, but make sure that you deliver high quality content and provide information that is clear and error free.
So, if now you have understood that why writing an extraordinary resume is vital, even when you are applying for an entry level job, then let’s read on for some valuable tips
1. Selecting the resume style:
Since, you are applying for an entry level position, then either you might be a recent college grad, or one with very less experience, or may have a diverse background experience. So, in all such situations, a functional resume style will meet your needs in the best way. This type of resume style focuses first on your skills, qualities and then on your experience and employment status.
2. Format it precisely:
It is correct to place bullets, boldface and indents in a hard copy resume. But when it comes to an online resume, particularly, one that goes into the database then the formatting get stripped. It is therefore wise, if you generate two different versions of your resume – an e-copy and a print copy.
When it comes to selecting the font size and style, then remember, you are not writing a fairy book, or you don’t have to make it look boring and unreadable. So, use a font style that is readable and also visually impressive. A 10-12 point font size is recommended for all styles of resume.
Avoiding the rare exceptions, when you are applying for an entry level position, then it is best to keep your resume to one page. A resume of more than one page is suitable when you possess lots of work experience or you have plenty of valuable information to showcase.
Don’t forget to format the margins, if you want your resume to look visually attractive. You can use standard margin settings, of .5inch to 1.5inches for your resume. Also, allow some white space within your resume to make it appear neat and readable.
6. Keep it consistent:
Don’t play with the consistency of your resume, keep it the same throughout. For instance, if you wish to bold one title, then you should bold all titles in the resume to avoid disturbing the consistency. If there are bullet points, dates, section headers to include, then line them up in a neat way.
7. Focus on accuracy:
Accuracy of your resume is of utmost importance. It should be 100% accurate. So, check for grammar, punctuation marks and spelling errors on your own or with the help of an online software. No matter which way you go, be sure that it is absolutely accurate and error free.
8. Deliver quality content:
Content quality of your resume is as much crucial as its accuracy. Make sure that you provide only qualitative, relevant information. You can even take aid of external resume writing sources, in case you want a complete professional and precise look for your entry level job resume.
9. Stay oriented towards your accomplishments:
Since, this might be your first job, as a professional, so employers will be willing to hire you on the basis of your abilities and skills. They need to read about situations, when you have successfully employed your skills. So, instead of listing your duties, describe about your skills, technical and job-specific proficiencies as well as transferable skills.
10. Employ necessary keywords:
These days, employer make use of resume screening software to evaluate job candidates. This form of software scan resumes for certain keywords related to job roles or duties. You can optimize your resume with the use of such keywords, without compromising on its readability and consistency.
11. Bring action verbs to use:
You can strengthen your included information and points with the use of action verbs in the beginning of each sentence. This screens the skills to be illustrated in the accomplishments. So, with the use of such verbs, it becomes very easy for the employer to scan your resume for his requirements.
12. Keep it clear and succinct:
Be clear about what you are writing in your resume. Also, try to avoid using too much of the pronoun ‘I’, as it is assumed. You can also avoid using wind up phrases. Try writing the resume in a way, so that the employer is engaged reading it till the end.
13. Improve visibility with help of target job title:
You need to use a target job title on your resume, which appears, right at the top, to make your resume more discoverable online. The target job title, is the headline for entire resume and you can also provide information that is relevant to the target job.
14. Highlight career objective or performance summary:
It is better to write the career objective or a performance summary right after the target job title. You can include career objective, particularly, if you are applying for a specific kind of entry level position. In case, there is no specific job issue, then you can even avoid writing the objective and leave space for showcasing other important things.
Create a skill section, where you can jot down your technical skills, transferable skills as well as vital strengths and abilities, related to a specific field or software. Make sure that you list down only actual skills, so as to avoid the occurrence of any future trouble.
Mainly, the biggest accomplishment for entry level job seekers, is there graduation degree. But, may be you have some more highlights of your education field. So, list all shining elements of your education background, particularly when you have very less or zero experience to show.
If you possess a decent amount of experience related to internships or volunteer in and out classroom experience, then sequence it all in an attractive manner. You can even customize your descriptions, related to specific job requirements. Also, maximum employers are looking for communication skills, problem solving abilities, leadership, technical and initiative skills. So, try to highlight experiences from your past that allowed you to demonstrate or learn these traits.
18. Display your range:
If there are more qualities in you to list down, then don’t hide them, just write them down. You can write about any foreign language you know, or specific computer program that you have certified. All this can add great value to your resume.
19. Include a summary:
Including a summary can help employers know what all you have to tell. This is of great help when you have a very diversified track record, or when the employer has very less time to read the entire resume. In case, you have very few skills to list and small sections of education and experience to outline, then in such case it is better to avoid writing the summary.
20. Provide references:
Providing references, especially when you are applying for an entry level position can be really supportive and impressive. References attest to your drive and dedication, even when you don’t have enough experience to list or showcase your abilities. You can include two to three references listed at the end section of your resume.
21. Don’t include complex language:
The hiring manager understands that yours is an entry level job resume and even he is looking for quality and not quantity. So, avoid using complex or invaluable information in your resume, just to increase its length. List down your accomplishments and skills, even if its length seems small. There is no need to include any sort of fake or irrelevant listings, as it will deteriorate the quality of entire resume.
22. Jot down your extra-curricular activities:
Employers also get interested by outside classroom experience that you possess, especially when you are applying for an entry level job. So, write about all extracurricular activities that you have participated in, as this will showcase how active state of mind you possess.
23. Customize it depending on job position and company:
Before finally submitting the resume, definitely take a look at the company’s mission as well as a job description. Depending on this, you can customize your resume, so that it appears best fit to the job requirement. Depending on your experience, you can outline skills that are related to the job opening. This may impress the employer and may also increase your chance of getting hired for the job.
24. Proof read it:
Finally, make sure that you proof read your resume 2 to 3 times, as you never know which error you may have skipped.
Your entry level position resume, is your first step to your career ladder ahead. So, follow these tips and make sure you prepare it with utmost focus and accuracy so that you can easily knock in the corporate world in just one go.