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Via The Balance : First Resume Example with No Work Experience

Writing your first-ever professional resume is a challenge. How do you sell yourself to an employer, when you don’t have any experience in your targeted field? When writing your first resume with no work experience, it’s appropriate to include casual jobs like babysitting, pet sitting, lawn mowing, and shoveling snow. All experience counts – and the way you present yourself, your skills, and your assets to a hiring manager begins with a strong resume.

Writing a First Resume

To get started, review information on the different parts of a resume and what is included in each element. It’s a good idea to review high school resume examples, to give you an idea of what is appropriate. Even if you’ve never held a formal job, you still have life experience that’s applicable to the job search. Don’t forget to look at volunteer work, civic groups, and youth organizations (for example, the Scouts or 4-H). The skills you have developed doing these things have given you valuable experience that will impress employers.

Writing your first resume can seem intimidating, but if you take it step by step, you will be able to put together a document that will highlight your abilities and show the hiring manager that you’re worth calling for an interview. The bottom line is that you actually have a lot more experience than you think you have.

How to Get Your Resume Noticed Even When You Haven’t Done Much Yet

Start by mining your life experience and academic achievements to show that you’ll be an asset to the company, despite the fact that you don’t have any related job titles to show off at this stage in your career.

Take the skills you have, and show how they translate into success where you choose to apply them. Include volunteer experience, school achievements, sports, and clubs and organizations you belong to.

Scan the job descriptions for the positions to which you’re applying. Look for keywords that indicate what the hiring manager values in a candidate – for example, the job listing might say “successful candidate will be a self-starter who delivers on time and on budget.” In that case, despite the fact that you don’t have relevant work experience in the same field, you can get the hiring manager’s attention by being sure to include (and emphasize) projects that you’ve managed, such as high school clubs in which you held a leadership role and had to manage both your time and the team’s money.

If you start with the job listings instead of with the blank page, the hiring manager’s keywords will guide you, and help you focus on which of your academic or after-school experiences have prepared you for this first step in your career.

The following is an example of a first time resume for a high school student with no formal work experience.

First Resume Example

Mackenzie Rideout
6 Bristol Street, Arlington, NY 12133
Phone: 566.486.2222
Email: mac.rideout@gmail.com


Arlington High School, Arlington, NY
20XX – 20XX


Pet Sitter
20XX – Present

• Provide pet sitting services including dog walking, feeding, and yard care.

Child Care
20XX – Present

• Provide child care for several families after school, weekends, and during school vacations.


• National Honor Society

• Academic Honor Roll

Volunteer Experience

• Little League Coach

• Arlington Literacy Program

• Run for Life

Interests / Activities

• Member of Arlington High School Baseball Team

• Piano

Computer Skills

• Proficient with Microsoft Office, Internet, and Social Media

Cautions for Preparing a First Resume

Don’t lie. No matter how tempting it might be to stretch the truth, lying on your resume is always a bad idea. You might make it through this round of interviews and even get the job, but you won’t be able to deliver on the promises your resume offered.

Plus, you’ll probably be caught – and fired.

Don’t pad. You don’t need to include the line “references upon request,” or personal information beyond your contact info, or a bunch of unrelated hobbies. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t need to put on your resume, even when it’s your very first one.

Proofread. Nothing is less persuasive than a resume full of typos and inconsistencies. Have a trusted friend or family member proofread your resume before you submit it.

Via LifeHacker : The Most Efficient Way to Keep Your Resume Up to Date

Looking for a job is difficult under the best of circumstances, and it gets considerably more so when you’re not prepared. Optimistically, we stick with a gig for a while even if we don’t love it, neglecting to keep our resumes and other materials prepped if an opportunity comes up that we want to jump at.

If you want to (or must) move on, here are some tips for keeping your resume organized and up-to-date for when it’s go time.

Don’t Wait to Update

The subreddit r/LifeProTips is usually a font of helpful, no-duh info on life, but one post that rose to the top from u/hey_im_allison this week embodies the spirit of accepting a new job while preparing for the next. They write:

When you get a new job save the description and requirements from the application and use it to later add the job to your resume

When the day comes, you’ll be able to explain exactly what you were doing to your next employer. In fact, just add it to your resume ASAP, followed by the current date, a dash, and a blank space for the date you leave.

In response, u/chaoticnuetral added that it’s good to have your specific job description on hand because it makes it easier to negotiate your salary if future duties are added. They also quoted Quora on the definition of assigned duties:

The more concretely your job role is defined, the less out of that scope they can reasonably expect you to operate

If they are changing your job function substantially away from the original description, it’s a lateral transfer or a promotion, and it needs formal recognition

If you are working extra time, you need extra pay

If you are working at a higher pay grade, you should (minimally) get a title bump, and a promise of a salary review in the near future (set a concrete date no more than three months out! They need your work product on tax day!)

Being clear on what your job description is is good for when you have performance reviews, think you deserve a different title, or are looking for other employment and need a concrete list of your specific qualifications. But yes, about that resume…

Keep It Current

So, you added your new job to the resume, but you’re there a year, then two. Then BAM, all of a sudden layoffs come around. Does that old job description still reflect what you ended up doing the last 24 months? According to u/KungFuHamster, you should be checking in on your resume more regularly than a Tamagotchi:

Keep a work journal. Every major accomplishment should be noted. Best practice is to update it every day before you leave or you’ll forget.

  • Reacting well in a crisis situation
  • Finishing a project or a major milestone in a project
  • Learning something new that makes you better at your job
  • Adding new responsibilities, job titles, new people you oversee
  • Lessons learned
  • Improved standards

But, they add, be sure not to violate any company security policies in place about protected information, on the off-chance you work at the Pentagon or something.

Make It Your Own

You are copy-pasting for ease of reference, but before sending that resume, it’s recommended that you try to adjust the language, at least by u/DuffinDagels, who claims to be a recruiter that sees a lot of resumes:

As a recruiter, I’d say be careful with making your resume read too much like a job description. Recruiters and employers want to see what you have achieved and accomplished in your job. Not just a list of responsibilities that can be pretty standard. Your resume should be personal and sell YOU.

Make things a bit more personal, but also remember that you often have a cover letter for that, too. Try to take what your job responsibilities are and put into words how you fulfilled them or accomplished measurable results in your time at a company. It’s the accomplishments, not the requirements that people notice. But that copy-paste serves as a good backbone to start with.

Stay Organized

With all this copy-pasting, updating, journaling, and adjustment, things can get wild pretty quickly. Which brings us to a different post from u/rlc327 two months ago. They recommended keeping a “separate master resume” that you can return to and adjust. It should include all of your previous work experience:

When sending out a resume for application, duplicate the file and remove anything that may be irrelevant to the position. You never know when some past experience might become relevant again, and you don’t want to forget about it.

And if you want to HAM, u/dannyisagirl says they keep a spreadsheet similar to the journaling recommended above, but mostly to help them through interviews:

To add to this, I actually keeps a spreadsheet with other information that might not be put on a resume. Things like the full dates that I worked there, actual titles I held, actual duties vs ‘resume duties’ (a list of keywords that could work while remaining honest/accurate), pay rate, managers/superiors/good co-workers names and full titles, physical addresses and phone numbers, the real reason why that is no longer my job.

Not nearly all of it is always necessary nor will a good chunk of it ever actually be seen by an employer, but it can help jog a number of memories as well as help you think of better spins on negative experiences. Especially if you’re a nervous babbler like me.

Now, go forth and get new jobs that you’ll be ready to leave immediately!

Via Forbes : Why Résumé Writing Is Difficult (But Doesn’t Have To Be)

If you sat down to write the biography of your work-life as a novel, how interesting would it be to the average reader? Did you sign any key agreements with foreign nationals? Could you show a patent for a technical or medical issue you solved?

Let’s say you’re a six-figure executive. Can you prove in a short space that you led a novel-inspiring work-life that influenced many?

If not, maybe the company won’t hire. Maybe you won’t even make the first interview cut. Some of my military, business and political clients can show one-of-a-kind experiences that truly make them the candidate of choice for their next role. But even if you’ve got it, it’s not easy.

Let’s talk about one more step in the selling of you: the résumé’s inherent value proposition. What you will need to do is try to tell your possibly less-interesting, less-dramatic work story in no more than three pages. To make your résumé defeat the applicant tracking system that most companies employ on LinkedIn and elsewhere to sort you out, you need to build a résumé that defeats an algorithm. Powerfully convey the value you bring in a humble-enough way to do what one of my executive clients asked me to do for him:

“John, if you could make it look like I walked on the moon and did most of the work to build the rocket ship that took me there, I will be happy.”

Here are three reasons résumé writing is difficult and how you should think about it instead.

You’re probably not an astronaut.

For the rest of us non-astronauts, we need to convey powerful, compelling stories mixed with metrics to show we contributed to a company’s bottom line. We need to show how we built something, solved problems and involved others.

Résumés must create value for the human reader but not be so magnificent that the person seems to walk on moon water. If you want to win an interview and demonstrate your achievements, it usually helps to take some credit for revenue growth and cost savings, for example, but you don’t want to be so unrealistic that the reader thinks, “Did this guy have no help in doing all these things he said he did? We are looking for collaborators and leaders in sales. Not ‘I did everything narcissists.'”

In today’s modern-day résumé, achievements and numbers matter, but so do context, collaboration and cooperation. Render your achievements powerful without understating or overstating your claims.

It’s hard to write about yourself.

In my 27-plus years of résumé-writing and résumé reviews, I can’t think of a time when my clients did not powerfully influence and help me craft their core résumé. In fact, to this day, I take a journalistic approach by looking at evaluations, talking to clients and pulling out stories that may be part of what I develop, offering my rendition of the cover letter and résumé.

The collaboration, interview, review of stories and achievements results in a working copy that we hope will truthfully but powerfully tell my clients’ work-life stories, mission and overall value proposition.

Take it from Miles Davis, who said, “Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.” Your work-life collapsed into this silly thing we call a résumé is not easy to write. It has to show your value, be a forward-looking instrument and win you an interview by influencing both the humans and the bots.

You live and work lost in space.

Most executives I meet in my professional life don’t spend most of their time refining their professional and personal brands. Why not? They often work very hard at building revenue and solving business, medical and people problems so their organization and stakeholders can prosper and make the world a bit better and more efficient.

Best case? If those same executives love what they do and know that what they do helps others, it adds to their work-life satisfaction and mission.

The job market and the selling of yourself is like a confusing, alien adventure, especially if you’ve mostly just focused on making it as an executive. What do you do to change that if you need to build your résumé and look for your next opportunity?

Get professional résumé help. Find creative ways to render your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Articulate complicated work history as a continuous, achievement-filled journey. Infuse documents with an argument and a point of view, and stop your job history from sounding like an obituary. Don’t let your audience read you as, “Ah, a work-life well-led.” Lead them into wanting a conversation with you, where you can continue playing the music you were destined to play.

Via Task & Purpose : Why You Have To Edit Your Resume Every Time You Apply

Have you been working hard to update your resume? Have you made sure to translate all of those military acronyms? Do you think you have it ready to send out to every company and every job in which you have interest?

Well, think again.

Your resume should be different for every role to which you apply.

There are a lot of tips on good resume writing. They’ll tell you how long it should be; how many bullet points each section should have; what font to use; whether or not to put the date of when you graduated, etc…

But the first step in writing a good resume is reading the job description.

A job description is full of clues as to what the company is seeking in an ideal candidate. Those clues are in the company description, the position summary, the list of responsibilities and they are certainly in the requirements section. Before you even think about hitting that “apply” button, take the time to make sure that your resume clearly shows that you are the ideal candidate, not for any job, but for each job that you apply to.

Does the word “data” appear in the job description seven times? If so, your resume should have the word “data” in it as well indicating your specific experience with data. Does the role require three or more years of “project management” experience? Then a recruiter needs to see these specific words and the amount of years of experience on your resume. Does the role require “people management” experience? Then make sure that your resume highlights what you’ve done in this area.

You may have called it “statistics” or “operations planning” while you were in service – but if the company is seeking data and project management, then those are the words that a recruiter is seeking as well. You may assume that listing your rank on your resume makes it clear that you managed people, but it’s important to make no assumptions and clearly articulate all of your skills in the same language used in the job description.

The same holds true for a cover letter – you should write a new cover letter for each submission. The cover letter should have information that is not in your resume. Maybe you want to explain some time off or a “gap,” in your resume; or explain a part of your service and how it relates to the role you’re applying for; or maybe you want to explain that you’re planning to relocate to the location of this position and will not require relocation assistance to do so – a cover letter is the place to do just that.

But make sure that you read it over and over, checking for grammatical errors and correct spelling. And always check the name of the company and name of the addressee before you submit it. Candidates have been declined for starting a cover letter with “I’ve always wanted to work at Company A” but sending it to Company B. The last thing you want is to have a great resume and get declined because your cover letter shows poor written communication skills.

All of this becomes more important when you consider the role of technology in recruiting. Many companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems to filter out resumes in the selection process, eliminating and selecting resumes based on keywords in the document. If you can’t get pass the automated computer check, then it is even harder to get your resume to the next level and in front of a recruiter who will actually read your resume and cover letter.

Before you hit apply, also take a few more minutes to review the company website, as well as sites like Glassdoor to get more information on the company. What is the company’s mission statement? Does the company mission align with your views? Are there key words there that you could incorporate into your resume? This is your chance to make a first impression, so take your time and get it right – let this company know that you are focused on this role and their company by being thoughtful in your resume and you’ll increase your chances of getting selected for the next step in the hiring process.

Via Time : This Is the One Thing You Should NEVER Put on Your Resume

Ask a room full of hiring managers which resume cliche is most likely to make their eyes roll back in their heads, and they’ll probably all give you the same line:

“Proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite.”

This string of seemingly innocuous words sunk its hooks into the job seeker’s lexicon years ago, and remains a resume staple to this day—and for no good reason.

Yeah, everyone wants to flex a little. But padding your resume with “skills” shared by everyone with an office job signals to employers that you actually don’t have any skills at all. It might even throw you out of the running.

“In 2018, if you’re attempting to get a job, the presumption will be that you are computer literate,” says career consultant Carlota Zimmerman. “If a client seriously told me she was going to write ‘proficient in MS Office Suite’ on her resume, I’d ask her, ‘Why stop there? Can you also use a knife and fork?’”

This is not to disparage the entire Microsoft suite of programs, nor its users: Expertise in some Microsoft tools, such as Excel, OneNote, or PowerPoint, can be attractive to recruiters. But there are better ways to brag about your skills than relying on a stale catchall term.

Here are a few resume dos and dont’s to keep in mind.

DON’T list Microsoft Word on your resume. Period.

The only thing worse than using “Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite” as a stand-in for, you know, actual skills is using “Microsoft Word” instead.

You wrote your resume using some sort of word processing software, right? It stands to reason that you have a baseline knowledge of the most popular one out there. No need to call attention to a program most middle-schoolers can handle.

“Listing Microsoft Word as a skill should be removed from every resume,” says Andrew Selepak, a communications expert and professor at the University of Florida. “You wouldn’t list the ability to type in a resume that you typed. If you shook hands with someone during a job interview, you wouldn’t tell them one of your biggest skills is the ability to shake hands.”

DO include programs where you have expert-level knowledge.

A few individual Microsoft programs — and certain capabilities within those programs — do deserve a nod. Maybe you can work Excel pivot tables like nobody’s business. Or maybe you’re the only one on your team who can whip up a memorable PowerPoint presentation. In those cases, feel free to pepper in a few of these expert-level skills. Just be specific.

“Detailing your precise knowledge of the software is a great way to stand out,” says Zachary Vickers, a career adviser and hiring manager at Resume Companion. “Expand upon exactly how you’re proficient with the Microsoft Office Suite. Mention that you know how to build spreadsheet formulas in Excel, export PowerPoint slides into video formats, or merge productivity apps with Outlook.”

DO figure out other ways to show off.

There’s a difference between skills and experience: It’s the divide between what you can do and what you’ve already done. Recruiters want to see the latter, and industry-specific keywords that reflect that experience. So even if you’re applying for a position that would definitely require you to use programs like Word and PowerPoint, it’s better to give specific examples of how you used the programs, instead of just ticking them off.

“If I’m hiring for an admin assistant or data entry position, I prefer to see things like how many words per minute you can type, or examples of content you wrote … such as official company letterheads or ebooks,” says Amine Rahal, founder of the digital marketing firm IronMonk.

DON’T claim expertise you don’t have.

Many job seekers claim to be “fluent” in the entire Microsoft Office Suite, career experts say, when what they really mean is, “I use Microsoft Word and I’ve opened PowerPoint a few times.”

“Job seekers may have a loose interpretation of the word proficient,” says Andrew Quagliata, a lecturer in management communication at Cornell.

Quagliata used to work as a manager, and says he once learned after the fact that a new hire had lied about her capabilities. After that, he started testing candidates. “I still remember the time a candidate stood up and walked out of an interview in the middle of an Excel assessment,” Quagliata says. “He had listed ‘Proficient in Microsoft Office’ on his resume.”

Be honest: Do you really know every program like the back of your hand? If you’re embellishing, it can backfire.

DO pay attention to the job ad.

There’s one exception to pretty much all of the above: if you’re sending a resume in response to an ad that specifically seeks Office skills. That’s because applicant tracking systems, the software companies use to sort online applications, are programmed to scan resumes for keywords related to the job posting.

If the ad you’re applying to has Microsoft Office software among its required skills, you should definitely create a version of your resume that includes it. Mirror the ad’s phrasing as is — whether that’s listing each individual program or using the catchall “Microsoft Office Suite.”

“Employers’ software isn’t smart enough to understand that Microsoft Office includes Excel, Word and PowerPoint, so if the job posting lists the specific programs, your resume should list each program, too, so you can match those keywords,” says professional resume writer Kelly Donovan.

But again, if a job ad doesn’t include Office as a requirement, skip it for more relevant info.

“Put yourself in the mind of the recruiter,” says Ben Guez, founder of another marketing agency, Laxir. “Think, what skill will be useful for the position? If I am looking for a digital marketer I want to see ‘Google Adwords, ‘Facebook Ads,’ and ‘social media.’

“I don’t really give a damn if you were doing great PowerPoint in school … It won’t bring value to the company.”