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How to Write Your First Resume

First ResumeSo you finally graduated college. You’re ready to start your career. Unless you have a parent, relative or family friend ready to hire you, you probably have to go job hunting. And that means assembling a resume.

There are plenty of websites that show you the modern resume format and have advice on basic components like contact information, education, skillset, etc. That’s the easy stuff. When you’re young and just out of school, the real challenge is selling your work experience when you have no work experience.

Don’t panic. First, every captain of industry started exactly where you are today. No one starts out with experience. Second, you probably will be competing for entry-level jobs, meaning the people doing the hiring aren’t looking for Donald Trump. In fact, if you had a knock-your-socks-off resume, you’d likely be considered “over-qualified” (and too expensive) for the job being filled. Finally, if you’ve made it through high school and a college program, you probably have more marketable experience than you might think. The key is to identify your marketable assets and present them in a way that makes you look like a great candidate.

Here are some “experience” items to consider for a first resume:

  • Paid work experience. This is the easy one. If you ever held a paid part-time summer, evening or weekend job, you definitely want to include it. Be sure to describe your duties, your responsibilities (e.g. “Handled more than $5,000 in cash daily”) and any special challenges you overcame or problems you solved.
  • Volunteer work. Many schools today not only encourage students to do volunteer work, but they require it. Such work not only helps build character and improves the community, it also looks great on a resume. Again, be specific about your duties, responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Student activities and organizations. You may wish to include memberships in student clubs and organizations, especially if you held any kind of leadership position (e.g. president, secretary, treasurer, etc.) and particularly if that office required you to organize, manage, execute and/or handle money. Having a high position in student government — especially a position that involved managing a budget — is again worthy of inclusion.
  • Personal enterprises. Many activities that young people do as hobbies or part-time income producers can be framed as resume-worthy enterprises. For example, baby sitting can become “evening childcare.” Creating a website for yourself (or a friend) can be listed as “website development.” In fact, many of the computer-related skills today’s kids learn by the time they’re 10 can be valuable assets to potential employers. Don’t be shy about advertising your tech skills.

Many of these references are likely to fall off your resume as your career advances. What you did as a teenager becomes less and less relevant as you acquire more high-profile professional accomplishments. But when you’re just starting out, having part-time work experience, being a student leader and having demonstrated a sense of enterprise and responsibility are just the kinds of attributes many employers are looking for. Present them in a compelling fashion and you may have a resume that can land you that first, all-important post-college job.

Everest University Online Helps with Resume Preparation

Dedicated to helping young people launch their careers, Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, helps graduates prepare their resumes as part of it education services. The school has a Career Services department that’s devoted solely to helping student transition from college to the working world. In addition to resume preparation, Everest’s Career Service specialists help students practice effective interviewing techniques, select appropriate wardrobes and help them identify and contact potential employers in their area.

About Everest University Online
Everest University Online offers a variety of diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs in the fields of business, accounting, criminal justice, information technology and health care. Because programs are online, students can pursue their degree on their own schedules and at their own pace. For more information about how you can earn your degree online, contact Everest University Online today.

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