Writing your first resume can be a nerve-racking experience because so much of the process feels foreign. You’re not sure what the companies you’re hoping will hire you are looking for—and you may not be sure what message you even want to deliver to them.
If you feel nervous about your first resume, don’t worry. As with anything else you want to become skilled at, practice makes perfect. Of course, it helps if you have a few tips to help you get started. Let’s take a look at four steps to help you create a successful resume on your first try.
1. Know Who You Are Writing For
The first step is to learn who you’re writing your resume for. You may have been under the impression that you can create a one-size-fits-all resume that can be shipped off to multiple employers, but this is not the best approach.
Instead, you want to research each company you’re applying with, determine what each one is looking for in the positions they’re offering, then provide them with details about your professional history that fall directly in line with what they want.
2. Write a Branding Statement
As a newcomer to your field, it’s important to create a branding statement that helps to separate you from your competition. Because you’re new, you may not have a lot of background to incorporate, but this doesn’t mean you can’t create a successful branding statement.
Administrative Assistant with 2 years of experience developing filing systems, managing internal and external communications, coordinating business meetings between company executives and business clients, and managing itineraries for top executives.
Once you’ve created the statement, position it somewhere near the top of your resume underneath your name and contact information.
3. Incorporate Relevant Education and Training
If you’re working on your first resume, there’s a good possibility that you don’t have an extensive work history. If this is the case, then it’s important to show that you have been trained otherwise to work in your field. Be sure to add relevant coursework, certifications, or training classes that prove you know your stuff. Also, if you’ve completed professional projects that have prepared you for a career in your field, detail what they were in order to provide yourself with an edge.
4. Add Testimonials
Some job seekers are taking a new approach to resume writing by adding testimonials. Testimonials are different from references; they strongly mirror product testimonials companies use to prove they’re worthy of purchase. In your case, you’re the product and the people offering testimonials are attesting to your capability to excel in the position you want. Adding two or three should be sufficient in driving the point home.
As you take time to create your own resume, it’s good to incorporate these steps to give your document more depth. The more effort you offer when writing your resume, the greater your chances are of being called in for an interview.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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“Writing your first resume can be a nerve-racking experience because so much of the process feels foreign.”