How to prepare your first resume

How to prepare your first resume

After completing your graduation, your next obvious step would be to either proceed for higher education or try for the coveted job, you had always dreamt of.

After completing your graduation, your next obvious step would be to either proceed for higher education or try for the coveted job, you had always dreamt of. If your plan is to get the first break in your career, you need to build a strong resume that could make a cut among thousands of applicants. Your resume should provide a snapshot of your professional and personal achievements to drive home the point that you are the right choice among thousands of candidates.

However, it seems quite daunting for youngsters to prepare their first resume and thus end up making a lot of mistakes that could easily cost their careers. If you are one such person struggling to prepare your resume, here are few simple tips that help you to prepare a compelling resume.

What you need to do before you prepare your resume?

Before you pen down the resume, understand that your resume should catch the eyeballs of the recruiter and drive home the point that you are the most suitable candidate among thousands of applicants for this job.

To do this successfully, you need to understand what the potential employers are searching for. You can start by doing thorough research about the various job postings that you are interested in. Prepare a list of keywords that you find in job postings like the top skills that employers generally look at. Also, talk to experienced professionals and check with them what they think relevant when they hire the candidates. You can extend this talk to include your peers and friends, who are in your field to know what jobs are typically relevant for you to consider.

Another good way is to read professional articles (both online and offline) of the industry that you are interested to work with. Immerse yourself in the field that you desire and understand the current market trends, expectations, and the required skills that employers mostly look at. Once you get a clear picture of what employers are expecting, you can target your resume taking all these points into consideration.

Get started with writing your resume

Highlight your educational credentials

The first and foremost thing to highlight in your resume is your educational credentials. If you have recently graduated, note that you need to bank more on your educational qualifications as that is what attracts the employers. Hence, place the Education section on the top of your resume. Include the college or university you had graduated and also the percentage/GPA that you had achieved in your course. In addition to that, also include any other achievements that make sense, for instance, high GPA or a degree from a foreign university that can catch eyeballs of the recruiters.

Highlight your experience

The next important aspect to highlight is your related experience. Of course, if you are a fresher, you cannot include anything in this section. However, even if you have limited experience, don’t hesitate to include that experience in your resume. Think about the seminars you had attended or internships you had done and also volunteer positions that you have been involved. You can list all of this in Related Experience section.

One more important aspect to remember is not to highlight anything which is not related to your job or profession. For instance, if you are looking for a marketing associate job, your short part-time marketing assignment, when you were still at a college becomes relevant. However, if you had won a badminton competition in your college, this information doesn’t make sense for the job you apply.

Another important section to highlight is Achievements. You can include this as a separate section or put it as part of your Experience section to give an impression that you are ready to add value to your prospective employer.

Use Keywords

Sprinkle a lot of relevant keywords in your resume that you had generated earlier as part of preparing your resume. This will catch the attention of the hiring manager and can create a positive impression on your resume.

Explore some examples

It’s also a good idea to look into various resume samples to help place your relevant information in the proper format. This way you can easily customize the resume, based on the position you are applying for. You can check various Resume samples in MS-Word and even Google Docs for free and start using them, whichever you feel right.

Ensure that your resume is short

As this is your first resume, you need to ensure that the resume is short and crisp. Remember that your resume should not be more than a page.

Edit before you send

Once you have included all the information and prepared your first resume, will you directly send it to the employer? Absolutely, no! The most important aspect is to edit and proof-read your resume thoroughly to check for any formatting errors, grammatical mistakes, and even sentence construction. Remember, even a small typo error in your resume would cost a lot in your career and chances are that employer may not look at your resume again. If required, you can even change the font in your resume to make it more eye-catchy and appealing to the recruiters. Once you have edited the resume, pass this to a career counselor, take his/her frank feedback and incorporate the changes, wherever required in your resume.

Next Steps

With a great resume in your hand, you are all set to send it to your prospective employers and even attend walk-in interviews with all the confidence and zeal to ace the first interview. So, go ahead and put your best foot forward for a great careerahead.

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