College graduates of three years or less have the lowest rate of employment among higher education graduates, meaning that it’s crucial for any recent graduate to have the best possible résumé. If you have little or no previous work experience, putting together a résumé can be a challenge, but with volunteer experience, a good summary of yourself as a worker, education, and references, writing your first résumé doesn’t have to be a headache. These guidelines can help you create a professional, tailored CV that will stand out.

Short On Paid Work Experience? Volunteering Helps

Employers are always looking for previous experience, but that doesn’t have to mean job experience. If you have little to no job experience, or gaps in paid work, any volunteer experience you have should go on your résumé. You are expected to include your job title and the company you worked for in each entry under experience, so make sure that if you include volunteer work you clearly indicate that you were volunteering. Experience is valued by employers, but long-windedness is not: your résumé should be one page long, with short blurbs of one to two sentences for each job.

Show The Employer You’re Educated

Often, the job you’re applying for will have a minimum education requirement. In addition to job experience, education is one of the most important things for an employer to see on a résumé, so make sure you list your academic credentials. Put the most recent education first – for example, if you’re currently in college, list your college with your expected graduation year before your high school diploma. If you earned any honors or awards in your education, you should list them.

What Else Can You Do?

The ‘skills’ section of your résumé provides you an opportunity to show an employer what you can do outside of official work or education. If you’re applying for a job that requires technical skills, it’s crucial that you show your proficiencies here. For example, employers in hotel front desks will look for previous experience using Opera, word processing, and similar programs. Any languages you speak that could aid communication with other staff and customers should also be listed here.

Constructing a résumé can seem intimidating, but it’s a fairly simple process. Just remember, although you might not have a lot of job experience, you can use your résumé to show that you can still be a valuable employee. Make sure you list all your relevant experience and skills, and you’ll be in the running.


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