You’re looking for your first job in a new industry. So, where should you begin? Here are top resume tips for entry-level workers.
Tips for Writing an Entry-Level Resume
Brainstorm ALL Your Qualifications
As an entry-level applicant, you may think you don’t have much or any related experience. However, this simply isn’t true. To debunk your theory, pull out a blank sheet of paper. Create headings for Education, Jobs, Volunteer Work, and Skills. Then, write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t worry if something doesn’t seem applicable. Many soft skills (that you can learn in almost any position) easily transfer to entry-level roles. Once you’ve finished this task, use this sheet as a resource to craft a working copy of your resume.
Emphasize Your Education
In many cases, being a recent graduate works to your advantage. After all, you’ve just learned the most up-to-date information in your field. Therefore, it’s fine to emphasize your education section more than a veteran employee would. In addition to your school, degree, and major/minor, consider including relevant clubs, projects, experiences, and awards. Finally, don’t forget about training programs, certifications, and online classes you may have completed outside of your regular education. These can all make you more marketable.
Highlight Related Experience
Just because you’ve never held a paying job in your chosen field doesn’t mean you don’t have experience. Look at your list of summer and seasonal jobs, volunteer roles, and side gigs. Although you shouldn’t include everything you’ve ever done, look for meaningful connections. For example, a fast-food job could have taught you transferable skills such as teamwork, flexibility, and problem-solving. Similarly, if you’re applying to be a nurse and you regularly volunteered at community blood drives. This would be a good selling point too.
Showcase Your Skills
It’s tempting to simply list your skills, but for the best results, be more specific. For instance, saying you are “compassionate” doesn’t mean much. Instead, try to show HOW you were compassionate. Let’s say you volunteered at a nursing home and assisted with a piece of music for Alzheimer’s program. Under this volunteer heading, you could write, “Coordinated a fundraising drive to purchase headphones for Alzheimer’s patients.” Now, you detailed a real-life situation where you were compassionate as well as motivated, innovative, and organized.
Customize Your Resume for Each Position
Creating a one-size-fits-all resume is a common newbie mistake. Today, most organizations use computerized applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort applications. And usually, these systems are scanning for keywords and key phrases pulled directly from the job description. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you must write a completely new resume every time you apply for a job. Nevertheless, you should plan to tweak your application so it matches the position requirements as closely as possible.
Are You Looking for More Job-Hunting Tips?
Anodyne Staffing publishes weekly posts on topics ranging from transferable skills to interview advice. And if you’re searching for a healthcare job, we can help with that too. Our recruiters place caregivers, HHAs, CNAs and more throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Search our available openings and discover your rewarding entry-level job today!