A work experience in any given field is not something we are born with, unfortunately. And many, if not all of us either have come across or are yet to come across a dilemma – how to make our resume look good when applying for a first job? What to put in a resume if I haven't got so much work experience to boast about?
Lack of working experience is no reason to give in to despair: Everybody has to start from something. You need to always remember that while substantial expertise in the field is definitely a plus, it is not the only thing that the employer looks at when deciding upon whether to recruit a candidate or not. Having little or no working experience does not automatically make you a nobody in the eyes of the recruiter. There are things that are just as important (if not more): your skills, your enthusiasm and zest, your personal traits.
So, if you are desperately looking for your first job, below are a few tips on what you can write into your resume to make it look presentable in the eyes of your future employer.
1. Put your skills in the front
For some unclear reason, many people tend to put their skills at the bottom of their resumes. But nobody ever said that it is wrong to put them on the top. The set of skills that you write in your resume are the reasons why you think that you are qualified for this job, why you can be good at it, and why you should have it. Why not let your employer know about them straight ahead?
Various examples of skill-based resumes can be found online.
2. Use the terminology
If you are applying for a certain position, then surely you know a thing or two about your future profession. Surely you have at least done some research on this job. Most jobs use a quite specific professional terminology, and this is a very important point.
You can demonstrate your competence for the position by showing your good command of the professional language in your resume. It is guaranteed to be noticed and appreciated by your future employer.
3. List all your relevant experience
Having a previous similar position in a different company is not the only thing that can be regarded as relevant experience. Surely you have done something relatable in your life. This may include but is not limited to your school projects (including written papers or involvement in activities of some sort), community work, volunteering, personal projects, or even a basic online research on certain topics. Clearly, you haven't been sitting around doing nothing all your previous life.
It can be a good idea to list all such experiences under the “Projects” section of your resume.
4. Demonstrate your irresistible personality
Even if you really are highly motivated and enthusiastic, it is insufficient to just describe yourself in such words. Anybody can write that. What you need to do is give evidence, illustrate the personality traits of yours that you want to focus on with examples from your life.
For example, if you have come up with some inventive ways to cut your use of electricity and shared those with your community (even if this limits to a few of your next door buddies) in an organized manner (by having them at one table while you were explaining your ideas), then write about it in a way that the positive traits are highlighted. You can even go into details by stating how much electricity and money your undertaking helped you to save.
This particular example can illustrate your determination, your ability to get along with people, and your ability to be listened to. These qualities are quite valuable in many jobs.
Moreover, the very ability to present oneself is in itself valuable to many employers.
5. Watch over the formatting
Avoid long and complex sentences. The information should be given in a clear form and to the point. You can go for numbering or bullets to make the text easier for the reader to apprehend.
Aside from that, you should remember that formatting rules in a resume are not set in stone. You can experiment with the layout until you personally find that your resume looks perfect. For example, you can group your relevant school projects and other undertakings closer to the top, and the rest can be placed lower.
6. State what you are aiming for
It is assumed that you do not want the job only for the money. Even if you are, it is not something to mention upfront. Nobody likes a money grabber.
It is always a good idea to write about how you see your future in the company – both in terms of how you can help the business develop, and in terms of how you expect the company to help you to grow professionally and personally. This will demonstrate that this particular job well done is equally valuable to you, as it is to the company. All companies appreciate that.
This section should not be overly expanded, so stay laconic. Optimally, it will be no longer than 3 sentences.
Naturally, this section needs to be customized for every company where you send your resume. The position specifications will vary from one company to another, so by sending sample texts, you will show yourself as a lazy person.
On the other hand, if you customize your resume for each company, you will demonstrate that you have put effort into getting this particular position at such an early stage already.
Starting a career from scratch is always a challenge. Especially today, when many employers demand several years of working experience. But don't let it get to you before you even start, this obstacle is by far not impregnable.
The little tricks mentioned in this article should help you to break this wall, successfully bring your candidacy to the attention of the hiring manager and get your dream job.
Christine Allen is young writer and blogger. She believes that you can get everything that you want. You just need to be sure in what you really want and be patient. You can follow her on Facebook and Google+.