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Consider your objective. Are you trying to get into graduate school? Are you looking for your first "real" job? Once you have your objective, gear everything in the resume towards that objective. With minimum job experience, you should start with a section on your education. Think about other sections to add such as volunteer work, skills, foreign languages, etc. While you have minimum job experience, think about the experience you do have and how those skills can translate to your objective. Use action verbs and do not just list your duties. Focus on results.
Choose a format for your resume. Microsoft word provides various resume templates including basic resumes, job specific resumes, and situational resumes. Choose one that relates most closely to your objective. In most templates, you will list things in order in reverse chronological order. If the resume template is situation specific, you may instead list things in order of importance. Most importantly, remain consistent throughout the resume with fonts, font sizes, spacing, headings, etc. If you are a student, consult your school's career service department. They usually have several sample resumes and resume templates on file or online.
Fill your information in the template. While you have limited job experience, you can spin the experience you do have by putting it in the most positive light. For instance, if you have waited tables, focus on more than that you just served food. How many tables did you handle at once? Did you mediate disputes among co-workers? Were you given additional responsibility over time? Also focus on results, like how much food you sold, etc. If you held positions in clubs or volunteered, consider putting those positions in your experience section and describe the duties you performed and the results you achieved. Just because you did not receive a paycheck does not mean you did not gain valuable experience to boast about.
Proofread your resume thoroughly. Proofreading is the essential final step to create your new resume. You can easily avoid one of the most common mistakes resume writing, which is sending a resume with errors and typos. Thoroughly proofreading your resume and correcting typos demonstrates to the person reading it that you pay tremendous attention to detail, a skill many people look for. While you may only have minimum job experience, a professional resume with no mistakes will go a long way.
Particularly if you have minimum job experience, your resume should never exceed one page. Examples of action verbs are provided, managed, administered, boosted, briefed, drafted, edited, etc. Avoid gimmicks when formatting your resume. For example, do not put it on colored paper or use exotic fonts. Professionalism goes a long way. In addition, make sure your font size is too small.
- Particularly if you have minimum job experience, your resume should never exceed one page. Examples of action verbs are provided, managed, administered, boosted, briefed, drafted, edited, etc. Avoid gimmicks when formatting your resume. For example, do not put it on colored paper or use exotic fonts. Professionalism goes a long way. In addition, make sure your font size is too small.
An attorney and founder of ScrofanoLaw, a general practice law firm in Washington, D.C., Joseph Scrofano has been writing on legal issues since 2008. He holds a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts with special honors from the University of Texas and a master's degree in international affairs from American University's School of International Service.