The importance of your resume cannot be understated. It is the one thing that will get you an interview, and that interview is the one thing that will get you a job. Today, however, we will not be looking at just any resumes. We will be focusing on resumes intended for entry level positions. This means that if you are just starting out in life or are looking for a career change, this list is for you.
The problem for many entry level positions is that you typically don’t have any experience. So how do you go about approaching this in a world where experience is everything? Well, that is where we come in. Today we are going to take a closer look at things you can do to make your resume stand out. There will be do’s and don’ts. There will be tips and hints. But if you follow all of this advice, it just might give you the edge that you need in order to beat out all of your job competition! These are 25 Entry Level Resume Tips To Help You Land That Job!
Use correct punctuation
Since you don’t have much (any) work experience, employers are going to have to filter you somehow. This is one of those ways.
Don't use cute email addresses
If your email has the word “princess” in it, you can expect to have a hard time finding jobs. Get a professional sounding email address.
Use logical formatting
This is a bit of an art form, but as we have already established, you need to make yourself appealing in ways that don’t include job experience. There are templates you can find online for examples; you can also enlist the help of a friend, family member, or teacher.
Keep it short
You’re just one resume out of many. The simpler it is, the more likely it’s going to get read. Besides, what are you going to put on there anyway?
Note: This applies mainly to the US. Filler content is not looked upon favorably. It may sound harsh, but nobody cares that you were the president of the horse riding club in high school.
Spell things correctly
Something like spelling might seem like a silly thing to worry about, but it does matter. Remember that you are one applicant among many. Any edge big or small can help you.
Make use of volunteer experience
Whether it’s sports teams or church groups, put down whatever you have. Things like scouts are usually a good thing because they show life skills, discipline, and character.
These should be people who aren’t related to you (pastor, teacher, etc).
Note: This is especially relevant when you don’t have work experience.
If they request for the resume to be submitted by email, make sure to do that. If they ask you to send a hard copy by carrier pigeon, do that as well.
Convert it to PDF
You can never be sure what sort of document editor the HR department is using. Your resume might look perfect on your computer, but when the company you’re applying for opens it, you have no idea what kind of a mess it might look like. There’s no way for them to know if it’s a computer issue or if you just don’t know what your doing. Converting your resume to a PDF will ensure that your resume looks just a beautiful to them as it does to you.
One of the single most important factors for entry level positions is availability. The more available you are, the more likely you are to get the job.
Be cautious with extracurricular activities
If you are still in high school, you may be tempted to list that you are the captain of the basketball team, but keep in mind that this may reflect poorly on what we just mentioned – availability. Employers know that you’re going to have after school practices during the season.
Looking for more ways to improve your resume? Take a look at 25 Words That You Should Not Use On Your Resume.
Keep your parents out of it
Absolutely, under no circumstances, should your parents submit your resume or contact the company. If you’re not responsible enough or capable of submitting your own resume, why should they expect you to be responsible and capable enough to do the job they want you to do?
Never, ever, ever, ever use texting acronyms. Staying away from slang terms is also a great idea.
Tailor your resume
Don’t just shoot out the same thing to a hundred companies; at least change up the cover letter and personalize it a bit. This will show that you’re paying attention and are interested in their specific company.
Don’t try to pad your resume. Employers can usually tell when you’re making stuff up. They read hundreds of these.
Be presentable on social media
Although this is a bit tangential to your resume, keep in mind that employers will be searching for your profiles. As usual, keep it professional.
Write a cover letter
We’ve already briefly mentioned this, but you’re going to need to set yourself apart somehow. Use this as an opportunity to personalize your resume. Be humble and honest, but outline your strengths and why you want the job.
Many applications these days are filtered by software. If you don’t have the right keywords, it will be thrown out. Read through the application and try to emulate its language.
Don't apply to multiple jobs at the same company
It shows that you’re not really interested in a specific job, and you’re more interested in just any job. Depending on what you put in your resume, it could also make you seem dishonest.
Note: This is especially relevant when you have work experience. The chances of you being eligible to apply for every open position is slim, and HR will probably filter you out.
Don't rely on gimmicks
Although this may work one time in a thousand, most entry level jobs are not filled because the applicant was clever with his application.
Never talk badly about previous jobs
Even if you hated your boss, don’t say anything negative about him/her. Always put a positive spin on things.
If you’re in your twenties, and you haven’t graduated from high school, get a GED. This is important because employers want to know that you have follow through and can complete a necessary task. Showing that you have at least a basic education doesn’t hurt either.
Do not lie
Keep in mind that not mentioning things is different, like the fact that you despised your former employer. If you lie about something concrete, however, you could get fired.
Keep things professional
From the time that you ask for an application (if you’re not doing it online) to your interview, be professional in the way you present yourself. Most jobs don’t require full suit and tie, but most jobs also frown upon shorts and sandals.
Finally, while a resume is necessary, don’t rely on it to get an entry level job (or any job for that matter). It’s who you know not what you know. Hustle to meet people (meetups, conferences, etc), and you’ll be surprised what can happen before you even turn your resume in.
If you’re still searching for that job, you can laugh a little and be glad you don’t have these jobs. 25 Worst Jobs Ever You Might Not Want On Your Resume.