Basic Guidelines for Creating Your First Resume [In 2023]

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You have one task at hand, which is to write your very first job resume, and you are currently seated in front of a computer, staring blankly at a Word document for several hours.

Where do you even start

And most importantly, how do you fill those one to two pages when you have no previous work experience?

We understand the challenges you face, and we are here to assist you.

In this piece, we are going to walk you through the beginning to the end of the process of developing a first resume for a job that you are applying for.

Let's get right down to business, shall we?

  1. Choose the best available template for your resume.
  2. Put in writing (and make sure it's correct) your contact information.
  3. Include a resume objective
  4. List your education (in detail)
  5. Instead of focusing on work experience, you should...
  6. Highlight your skills
  7. Include a note about the optional sections.
  8. Maintain a maximum of one page in length.
  9. Obtain motivation from a sample resume for a first job.

Don't worry, all of the aforementioned topics are going to be covered in great depth.

Beginning with the very first action:

There are three primary formats for resumes from which to choose. Every one of them draws attention to a different section of your resume.

  • Your professional experiences and educational background are listed on your resume in reverse chronological order if you use the reverse-chronological format.  
  • The functional resume format places less emphasis on work experience and more on the candidate's skills and accomplishments.
  • This type of resume, also known as a hybrid or combination resume, places equal emphasis on the applicant's work history and skill set.

We advise people looking for jobs to use the chronological order of their experience on their resumes 99 percent of the time.

Even though a functional resume might be helpful for job seekers who are switching careers or who have recently graduated, the reverse chronological format is by far the most common type of resume.

Additionally, because recruiters all over the world are familiar with the reverse-chronological format, choosing this option is a safer bet.

The following is an example of a resume organized in reverse chronological order:

reverse chronological format for first job

After you have decided on the format, the next step is to make any necessary adjustments to the layout, such as changing the font or adjusting the margins. This is what we suggest you do in that situation:

  • Employ a Format with Two Columns You are able to include a significant amount of additional information on your resume if it is formatted using two columns.
  • Choose a Font That's Used Often. We advise that you use either Ubuntu, Overpass, or Roboto.
  • You can describe your experiences by using bullet points.
  • Don't Go Over One Page We strongly advise you to adhere to the one-page resume limit, unless you are a seasoned professional with at least ten years of relevant work experience.

Do you wish to avoid all the trouble of formatting the layout of your resume? If you wanted to create a good-looking resume from scratch, it would take you hours before you could even begin filling it in. We don't blame you for that - if you wanted to do that, we don't blame you either.

To our relief, there is a more straightforward solution available in the form of using a resume builder.

When using Novoresume, all you need to do is select a template and customize the information that it contains. That's how easy it is.

Additionally, resumes created with Novorésumé are compatible with applicant tracking systems. That is to say, an applicant tracking system won't throw away your resume simply because it can't read it if it's not formatted correctly.

Do you need some help getting started with Novorésumé? Browse through our available resume templates.

first job resume examples

It is essential that the recruiter have at least two methods at their disposal for getting in touch with you.

That is to say, it is imperative that your contact information be included in your resume at all times. That encompasses the following:

  • Initials and finals of a name
  • Email
  • The number to call
  • Location

In addition to these essentials, you may also provide the following:

  • You should include your LinkedIn URL on your resume because it is a good way to complement it. Additionally, it makes the recruiter's job simpler because they are going to check your LinkedIn profile regardless. However, you should check that all of the information is up to date and that it is consistent with your resume.
  • Include in your resume any social media accounts that are pertinent to the position you are applying for, such as Quora or StackOverflow. Your resume should include any social media accounts that present you in a favorable light. Generally speaking: It could be projects that you have on GitHub if you are a developer. Writer Personal blog
  • Website or blog - Once more, this should be something connected to the position you're applying for. It demonstrates both your interest in the industry and your commitment to it, as well as how you spend some of your free time.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your contact information is to make sure everything is written correctly. Verify that you have used the correct spelling for both your name and your email address, check to see if the phone number you have provided is active, and ensure that any accounts you have linked are current.  

When it comes to the location, another thing you should be aware of is the appropriate level of specificity to provide.  

The reason why recruiters are interested in learning your location is so that they can determine whether or not you are located in close proximity to the company (and whether or not you will be required to relocate for work).  

This indicates that the city and country in which you reside will be sufficient to meet your needs. There is no need to give your complete residential address.  

Before deciding whether or not to give a candidate's application further consideration, recruiters spend an average of seven seconds reading through each resume.  

That means your resume has about seven seconds to make a great first impression on the recruiter and convince them that you are the person they are looking for in the position.

That is taken care of for you by a strong objective on your resume.  

A resume objective is a short statement (two to three sentences) that summarizes your skills, accomplishments, and career goals. Its purpose is to communicate your interest in working in this particular position as well as your motivation for entering this particular field.  

Because of this, it is an excellent choice for the resume of someone who is applying for their first job or for someone who is switching careers. Essentially, any resume that does not include previous work experience  

Your resume objective should be crafted specifically for the job for which you are applying and highlight your capabilities in a way that will assist the company in accomplishing its mission. To back up any claims or accomplishments you make, provide as many examples, statistics, and numbers as you can.  

  • Recent college grad with a creative and motivated mind and a B A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Marketing After gaining valuable experience during internships with two of the most prominent media organizations, I am looking for full-time work in the field of marketing. I am interested in further developing my skills in market analysis and contributing to the future development of marketing strategy at XY Company.
  • I am interested in putting my knowledge of marketing to use by starting out my career in the marketing department of a reputable company and eventually working my way up to a position of executive responsibility.

First things first, you need to be able to correctly list your educational accomplishments using the following format:

  • Program Name e g : B A within the realm of Information Systems
  • The Name of the University g : The University of Chicago; UChicago
  • Years Spent in School e g : 07/2013 - 05/2017
  • GPA (but only if it's exceptionally high)
  • A list of honors (if appropriate) e g Cum Laude

Program for Exchanging Goods (If Applicable) e g Exchange program in Berlin, Germany

Your education, in addition to your skills, is the most important selling point on the resume you submit for your first job. This is not the time or place to act modest or downplay the impact of your accomplishments.

You should emphasize your honors, highlight your GPA (if it's something impressive), and most importantly, highlight your academic achievements by describing them in detail. Write down your GPA (if it's something impressive), and emphasize your honors.   

In addition to this, you can make a list of specific classes that you have completed in the past that are related to the job that you are applying for.  

The following is an illustration of how an entry on the education section should look:

B A (Cum Laude) in the field of English Literature

The University of Boston

07/2014 - 05/2018

  • GPA: 3 9
  • Shakespeare's Works is one of the Advanced Topics in Literature classes that students can take.
  • The Drama Club at Boston University is one of the clubs.
  • The London, United Kingdom-based exchange program

The recruiter understands that you do not have any previous work experience because you have only recently graduated, and that is fine. If you are applying for a position that is considered to be junior or entry-level, then the experience is not something that is expected from you.

Instead, the recruiter will be looking for additional experiences that make your profile more interesting, such as the following:

  • Internships
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Projects

Format your discussion of these experiences exactly the same way you'd format your discussion of your professional experiences.  

Internship in Business Analysis (BA)

AAA Company

Milan, Italy

05/2019 - 12/2019

  • Analyses on a variety of business aspects were carried out on a weekly and monthly basis.
  • Developed insightful reports based on the analysis to present to the managers as well as the teams.
  • Strategic key performance indicators have been defined in order to monitor the effectiveness of commercial operations.

If at all possible, you should try to concentrate on listing your accomplishments rather than your responsibilities. This will help you stand out from the other applicants more than ever before.

Have not participated in any internships. Include extracurricular activities

A candidate who has extracurricular activities and a GPA that is average will impress the recruiter much more frequently than a candidate who has a grade point average of 4. student with a 0.0 GPA who has nothing else to show for their efforts. When you are describing your extracurricular activities, each entry in your list should follow this format:

Member of the Moot Court Club

The University of Boston

2017 - 2019

  • Has taken part in the Philip C. Jessup Memorial Golf Tournament for the past two Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, advancing all the way to the championship round in 2019
  • Conducted research and drafted written pleadings, known as memorials, addressing current issues of public international law
  • Participated in the instruction of new club members on various aspects of international law

You can, if you have any, also list any independent projects that you've been working on. Consider a little something you did in your spare time just for you. This could be a side gig, a personal project, a small business, or even a blog.

Blog maintained by Amy's Book Club

2018 - Present

  • I've put together a website for my very own book club, where we can talk about and review the newest titles.
  • I have curated a monthly book calendar for my followers to follow, which combines popular, contemporary, and canonical works of literature.
  • Developed more than forty articles that were book reviews.
  • The blog saw a monthly average of 2,000 unique visitors during this period.

Hard skills and soft skills are the two categories of capabilities that you are free to list on your resume.

The ability to adapt to new work environments, collaborate effectively with others, and use one's hard skills in an effective manner are examples of soft skills. They are connected to aspects of yourself such as your personality, social skills, communication, attitude, etc.

Hard skills are defined as technical know-how as well as particular tools. These are abilities that can be acquired through training and then put to use on the job. The following are some examples of hard skills:

  • Financial accounting
  • C
  • Adobe Illustrator

We recommend that you focus on your hard skills when writing your first resume for employment, despite the fact that employers are placing an increasing emphasis on soft skills.  

It's true that skills like "critical thinking" and "teamwork" are highly valued by virtually every employer out there.  

The problem is that the human resources representative reading your resume can't really tell if you actually have critical thinking skills or if you just listed it there to fill space.

On the other hand, it is relatively simple to evaluate hard skills.

You are applying for your first job but you aren't sure which skills to include in your resume.

Checking the job advertisement is the quickest and easiest way to locate the necessary ones.

The recruiter has already provided a list of the skills they are looking for, so the only thing left for you to do is include them on your resume (provided that you already possess them, of course).

Suppose you are interested in working as a graphic designer for a company that seeks candidates with the following experience and credentials:

  • Proficient use of the Adobe Creative Suite, particularly InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat; knowledge of XD, Animate, and/or After Effects is a plus.
  • A familiarity with creating and delivering presentations using Canva, PowerPoint, or Keynote is required.
  • Capability to work effectively under time constraints, manage a high volume of work, a variety of projects simultaneously, and strict deadlines.
  • Attentive to detail and exceptionally well organized

In light of this, the following ought to be included in the skills section of your resume:

  • Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop
  • After Effects and Cinema4D are two examples.
  • Canva and Keynote respectively
  • Time management
  • Detail-oriented

You can also check out this list of the 101 skills that will be most in demand in the job market in 2023 if the job advertisement isn't very descriptive.  

Have you filled up all of the available space on your resume?

That is not a negative aspect at all. You have the opportunity to put this space to good use by including some additional helpful sections.

Here are some concepts to consider:

  1. Donating your time and effort to a cause that is important to you is something that should be highlighted on your first resume. A section like this demonstrates commitment, dedication, and a sense of purpose, all of which are qualities that most recruiters will admire.
  2. Languages: Given the increasingly global nature of businesses, the ability to communicate in a variety of tongues is almost always a valuable asset.
  3. You can demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in the business or the field by naming a few hobbies or interests that are relevant to it.
  4. Awards and Certifications: Whether it's a prize you won in an essay contest while you were in college or a certificate you earned for completing an online course, you should add anything that will make your profile look better.

At this point, the question "How long should a resume be?" appears to be an eternal conundrum.  

In most cases, the answer is going to be "it depends."  

Since this is your first time putting together a resume for work, the answer is: one page only.  

There is no need to go over that limit unless you have a very extensive employment history that wouldn't fit on one page. In that case, you should just stick to the limit.  

It is highly unlikely that the potential employer will want to look at two pages of a candidate's hobbies and extracurricular activities.  

Are you looking for some ideas to put on your resume? Examine the illustrative resumes that are provided down below.

resume for first job

Do you still have some questions about the best way to write your first resume for a job?

We'll respond to them in this section.

Q — 

1. What should I put on my resume if I don't have any experience?

You don't need to list your work experience on your resume because there are plenty of other things you can include there. To begin, it is recommended that you:

  • Pay attention to your studies and make sure that the entries are presented in the appropriate format.
  • Choose the appropriate abilities that correspond to what the employer is looking for.
  • Discuss opportunities such as internships, personal projects, and extracurricular activities. Describe your achievements in detail

If you still have some space available, you could put it to good use by adding additional sections about the things you do for free time, such as volunteer work, languages, awards and certificates, or hobbies.

Q — 

2. Is it required to have a resume when applying for your first job?

It varies from region to region, but a cover letter, resume, or CV is always required for submitting a job application, whether it is the first or the 20th.  

The recruiters need to have a better understanding of you and your abilities before they can decide whether or not to call you in for an interview.

Q — 

3. To get my first job, do I need to have previous work experience?

A quick response: No, you do not.  

It is a given that you will not have any previous work experience if you are a recent college graduate. For an entry-level or junior position, the vast majority of employers do not in fact expect years of previous work experience.  

Instead, they will be focusing on the various other types of experiences you have had (such as internships, extracurricular activities, and so on). ) to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the position

Q — 

4. When applying for your first job, how should you format your resume?

The procedure is very similar to the one for writing a conventional resume; however, there are some key differences.

The following is a rundown of each step that must be taken in order to create a first resume:

  1. Choose the best available template for your resume.
  2. Put your contact information in writing, and make sure it's accurate.
  3. Include a resume objective
  4. List your education (in detail)
  5. Focus on extracurricular activities, internships, projects, and other similar endeavors rather than work experience.
  6. Highlight your skills
  7. Include a note about the optional sections.
  8. Maintain a maximum of one page in length.

It is not necessary for your first attempt at writing a resume to be stressful.

You just need to keep the following advice in mind, and you'll be fine:

  • If you want to avoid the hassle of formatting your resume, choose the appropriate format and template. Make sure to select a resume format that is compatible with ATS.
  • Create a resume objective that is clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. Demonstrate to the recruiter that you are qualified for the position and that they should continue reading your resume by highlighting your relevant experience.
  • Include information on your internships, projects, and extracurricular activities rather than your work experience.
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