How do you write a resume when you’ve got no experience to put in it? Is it worth putting down that you babysat your cousin’s kids or joined the Fencing Club for a hot minute? Is it bad that there’s not enough to fill up the page? Here are 6 guidelines for writing your first resume:
Your Contact Information.
First up, you’ve got to make sure whoever is reading your resume can contact you. Include your permanent address, phone number, and email address. If you’ve got a funny nickname in your email, you may want to consider opening up an account with a professional sounding name. It’s hard to take firstname.lastname@example.org seriously.
This is an easy one. If you’re in high school, all you need is your school, anticipated graduation date, and if you’ve got a good GPA or class rank, never hurts to throw that in as well.
If you have some work experience, maybe some odd jobs, be honest and be positive. Don’t make things up to pad your resume. Just concentrate on the specific skills, job details, or qualifications that show how awesome you were at the job.
No work experience? That’s ok, too. Use your volunteer, community service, or extracurricular activities, especially if you’ve taken a leadership role. There’s no need to list every single activity you’ve done. Pick the activities where you’ve made a real contribution or demonstrated growth. We want quality, not quantity.
Skills and Interests.
When you don’t have a lot of experience yet, the “Skills and Interests” section can really help boost your resume. If you’re proficient in another language, got some mad computer skills, sing opera in your free time – these kinds of details will make your resume stand out from the rest.
Key words here are simple and professional! Don’t use big font sizes or funny fonts to fill up space; colored or scented paper does not give your resume something extra. You’re better off having a short, professional looking resume than a long, fancy one that’s obviously compensating for a lack of experience.
Lastly, Don’t Sweat It.
No one expects you to have a fully packed resume with tons of impressive experience… yet. You will one day, but for now, just keep it honest and simple.
by Tiffany Chen, Admissionado Senior Consultant