As a recent graduate, breaking into your desired job field can be a daunting task. Whether or not your resume effectively illustrates your experience and skills could make or break your job search. Here are 10 entry-level resume tips to help you get one step closer to landing your dream first job.
1. Include relevant school projects to the industry.
Hiring managers want to know your abilities. Explaining projects that have allowed you to attain these required industry skills can help you land that interview, instead of being passed up for a lack of knowledge.
2. Don’t include a list of every course you took.
Some courses might be relevant to your job search, but showing that you took a playwriting class as an accounting major doesn’t demonstrate the skills required to be a financial analyst.
3. Keep it to one full page, around 400 words.
Even if you have a few years of experience out of school, most entry-level resumes shouldn’t go past a page. Try to build out one full page with professional or academic accomplishments to give your resume a professional appearance. Including a professional summary and a skills section can help with getting to that full page, plus those sections highlight your key industry skills.
4. References aren’t for resumes.
References are an important part of the interview process, but they take up too much space on the resume that could be used to show more relevant information.
5. Yes or no to honors and GPA?
If you graduated top in your class or with honors, don’t be afraid to include that on a resume. However, if you’re GPA isn’t the best, better to leave it off.
6. Maintain a professional and consistent appearance.
Effectively use white space within you resume, maintain consistent formatting, and don’t have sentences with hanging words. Resumes that look too jumbled or too sparse don’t appeal to hiring managers.
7. Don’t include graduation years.
Leaving off years helps prevent ageism and allows hiring managers to focus on your experience and achievements, instead of your age.
8. Be concise.
Don’t write a novel. Bullet academic project descriptions and professional accomplishments and try not to go past two or three lines per bullet.
9. Make contact information easy to find.
Include a header with your name, address, phone number, and email so that interested hiring managers don’t have to dig for your contact info.
10. Only include relevant job positions.
Working at the local ice cream shop in high school isn’t as relevant as having an internship within your field. Don’t include all of your job history.