Here is a guide to developing your first resume right out of high school or college. Follow the steps below and you will be ready to present yourself to prospective employers. Remember that the resume is only a piece of paper that represents some of your experiences and attributes. Your attitude and enthusiasm will play a key role in your job prospects when you have very limited job experience.
The resume is a snapshot of your career, work and educational attainments at a given moment in time. Update the document at least annually to ensure accurate information, because you never know when an opportunity may present itself. Ordering the document so that your most relevant information is listed first and least relevant last makes good sense. The sections could be as follows: name and address, professional objective, work experience, education and other information at the bottom.
The vital statistical information and facts are easy to present and should be written in a straightforward way, without annoying effects, mixed type styles or colors. The facts you need to include are your name, address and contact information such as telephone, cell phone and email address as well as your educational background and your job experience. Compile this data first, and then you can make some enhancements that make sense for you and the job you are seeking.
To express more of your personality in the document, include some additional information that will be of interest to a potential employer. While it is fine to describe the gist of your job duties at a particular place, you should also include the things that you did that you are particularly proud of doing, where you went above and beyond the expectations of the boss or the customer or where you left behind a legacy (such as a set of instructions, booklet or procedure) that will be used by others in the job in the future. This will help a future employer see more of your personality and your potential.
Include a section near the bottom of the document that lists awards, achievements and milestones relevant to your life. Consider including some information about things that you do in your spare time if they are somehow related to the job you are seeking. Volunteer work or projects done as part of a club (Boy Scouts, 4-H, etc.) that pertain to the job or skills you would use while working for the employer are worth mentioning in a section at the bottom of the resume called "Other Information." Be sure your resume is concise and no longer than one page. Only an experienced professional might need to use a multipage format.
Include a statement at the top of your resume as your professional objective. The savvy applicant will alter his statement of objective to fit each of the job types he is applying for before he sends the resume out. This customization will be more likely to catch the hiring manager's attention than would a general statement that could apply to many different types of jobs. The more specific you can be in making your objective cater to the job at hand, the better. One caveat is to always be truthful. Any misrepresentation or exaggeration can come back to haunt you in the future.
Avoid overstating your accomplishments on the resume. Employers understand that you have not had a "real job" yet if you are just out of school. So avoid the trap of trying to make your part-time job sound like you were the right hand to the CEO if your job was more in line with bagging groceries. Hiring managers will see through this and may consider this to be a form of misrepresentation.