Are you a student who has just finished high school? If you’re about to apply for your first job in the next few months, you might be wondering what you’re going to write on your first resume. This can be challenging if all you’ve ever done was attend school.
Whether you’re going to be applying for a position at your local police association, the corner grocery store or a large corporate company, chances are you’re going to need to submit a resume. If you’re in this situation, this article is a must-read. Our experts will provide a few pointers to write a successful one.
Key Pointers to Create Your First Resume
A key aspect of job hunting is having an updated and well-written resume. What information should you add? What can you do to make your resume stronger without having had an official job before? Keep reading to find out.
1. Contact Information
The key aspect of your resume should be your contact information. After all, a potential recruiter should be able to easily reach you. Here’s the type of contact information you need to include:
- Full name: As you’re entering the professional world, it’s time to stop using your childhood nicknames and list your full name and surname.
- Mobile phone number: Most teenagers have mobile phones, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Be sure to keep your phone near you and have the ringtone on loud. You don’t want to miss a call from a recruiter. They may move on to the next applicant if they can’t get hold of you.
- Email: If you don’t have an email address, set one up with a free service such as Gmail. This might be necessary to email your resume or application documents. Ensure that your email address sounds professional. This means, opt for your name and surname. So, replace ‘email@example.com’ with ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
- Home address: This is important because it tells the recruiter where you live so that they can perhaps offer you a position at a branch closer to your suburb town.
- Link to a LinkedIn profile: Many job seekers are creating LinkedIn profiles to make it easier for recruiters to view their details. Essentially a LinkedIn profile is a digital resume.
2. List Education
List the high school you attended, the period there and whether or not you have your ATAR. You can also list the subjects you completed.
If you took part in sports or extracurricular activities, you’ll list them here. This includes music lessons, ballet lessons, art classes and anything else that shows you have the discipline to stick to something. Additionally, any part-time studies or online courses from platforms such as Udemy should be added under this section. Try to include a few basic computer courses, since it’s relevant in most industries.
3. Any Work Experience
Here you’ll list any part-time or summer jobs you might have had. It doesn’t matter that you only worked for a few hours a week. If you received payment for a job done, it can be listed on your resume. Here you’ll mention the following:
- Business name
- Position held
- Key duties
- Start & end date
While you might think that volunteering doesn’t really count on a resume, it will show a potential recruiter that you are mature and dedicated. It also highlights your involvement in a community, such as being concerned about animal welfare.
As with the work experience, you’ll list where, when and what was done. If you volunteered at more than one place, list them below each other.
While you’re searching for your first job, it might be a good idea to find a few places to volunteer to have something to add to your resume. A plus point is that you can add the people you volunteered for as a reference, since they can vouch for your character. So it doesn’t matter if the establishment isn’t related to the industry you want to work for.
Most job applications request at least one reference. This is where you’ll add the company name, contact person and phone number of any part-time or volunteer jobs you had. Additionally, if you’re active in the church, you can include your church leader’s details.
If you have none of these, you can include the names of a few teachers with whom you’ve had a good relationship. They will have to attest to your character and work ethic from their experience. Ask any part-time employers for a letter of reference as it will make your resume stronger.
Writing your first resume can seem frustrating because you might feel like you have little to show. If you’re not fortunate enough to have a job secured straight after high school, start looking for ways to add information to your resume. Aside from volunteering, take a few part-time courses in the field you’re interested in. Improve your existing computer skills and list these achievements on your resume.
Why not set yourself a goal to add at least two achievements per month for as long as you’re unemployed? Doing this will prevent you from feeling discouraged while simultaneously adding content to your resume. Good Luck!