How to Write a Resume for the First Time

If you are worried about how to write a resume for the first time, then you are not alone! There are many like you who are concerned about creating a compelling resume. Writing a resume is a vital step to start your professional journey. It may seem to be a daunting process as you have to put in all your best professional qualities and sell yourself, all on a sheet of paper. However, there are various tips and tricks to emphasize your skillset and experiences while writing an intimidating resume.

What is a resume, and why is it essential to write a resume?

A job resume is nothing but a summary of your education, professional experiences, employment history, and skillset. It is essential so that your employer can easily see your potential to contribute to the company’s success. Without a favourable first impression, your employer is likely to stop considering you as a suitable candidate for the job offered. A resume is a tool to market yourself, outlining your skills, education, and experience. Hence, it is incredibly vital that you know how to correctly write a resume that you can probably upload in different job search websites to get the potential job.

Things to do before you write a resume

There are a few steps to consider before you start to write your resume. You must keep in mind that the objective of your resume is to tell your employer that you are a potential candidate for the job, and you will undoubtedly add value to the firm. For this, you must know that your employers are searching for in the potential candidates. Start looking into various job sites in India to research for the job postings that fascinate you. Take note of the keywords like frequently mentioned skills and experiences and focus on those areas while you start to write a resume. Read the professional publications related to your target field and immerse in it to know as much as you can. Make a note of what the experienced professionals have to say when they make any hiring decision and make your resume accordingly.

Tips for writing a resume for the first time

Manage your expectations: You must temper your expectations, being a fresher, when it comes to results. With a competitive job market, you are likely to compete with many experienced people. It should not discourage you and instead should push you to try harder and improve your resume. You should treat the process of writing your first resume as a learning experience. Consider your resume a fluid document that needs to change with every work experience.

Use a clear layout: While you write a resume for the first time, you should know the fact that the readability factor is essential. Keep your resume simple to be read and understood at one go. Keep it concise, to the point, and it should not exceed one page. Try to fill the whole page while having some amount of white spaces in the margin. Make your resume lean and put in only the relevant information as employers do not have much time to review a resume.

Perfect resume style: There are broadly three types of resumes: functional, chronological, and combination. Functional ones are more focused on skillset; chronological resumes concentrate on work experience while a combination resume is more suited for a first-time job seeker like you. It focusses on pointing out your skills as well as your professional experience. You should divide your resume into different categories: academic knowledge, work experience, and extracurricular experience.

Begin with basics: Your resume must start with your name, phone number, address, and email ID. Make sure your email ID is professional and related to your name only. Try to set up a new ID as most often personal email addresses tend to be inappropriate for a job. The right contact information is one of the essential things in your resume. To expect a call or mail from the recruiters for the next rounds, properly mention your contact information while you write a resume.

Mention your objectives: Once you finish writing your necessary information, mention the explicit purpose of your job search. Recruiters are more curious about who you are as a person, whether you would be a good fit for the company’s culture. You can help in giving them the perfect answer by beginning with a short introduction that states your career objectives. If you mention it compellingly, then this may provide a glimpse of your overall personality and stir their interest.

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Make use of job posting: The best way to ensure your resume gets selected is to tailor it to the job description. Your resume should include your knowledge and understanding of the job position. The benefits of making your resume appropriate to the job can land you to the interview. Many recruiters make use of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) that scans the CV for keywords matching the postings. From the tailoring process, your affection and motivation towards the job posting are reflected, which is preferred by most recruiters, showing how keen you are about getting the job. So when you are looking for the job postings, make notes of the keywords used and use them while you write a resume. The more your CV matches up with the job posting, the more likely it will get noticed.

Highlight education and experiences: Being a first-time job seeker post your knowledge, you must put the “Education” component of your resume at the top after writing the necessary information and objectives. Mention the school name, college name, the subjects taken, and the degree for which you went. Also, mention all the significant achievements in your school, college, post-graduation, etc. Moreover, mention your GPA and any notable projects in which you were involved. Recruiters are more interested in knowing your academic achievements.
You may have had limited work experience, but do not hesitate to mention them when you write a resume. Emphasize all the related work experience in your school, college, internships, etc. Do not include hobbies and skills that are unrelated to the job.

Quantify your achievements: More than just mentioning your accomplishments, you should try to quantify them with facts. It will ensure that your accomplishments stand out on your CV. Mention any success that will prove your value addition to the company when you write a resume.

Mention the industry needs: While writing about yourself, do not forget to mention about the industry needs. Your industry-appropriate skillset and knowledge requires a special mention in your resume and should be there at the front and centre. It would be the place where your recruiter’s vision may get stuck at first glance.

Make use of action words: Recruiters like to review CVs that evoke action. You can compel your employer to read on and call you for the next round by using the right power words which are clear, concise, and direct for example, resolved, achieved, generated, managed, created, implemented, streamlined, identified, organized, initiated, improved, increased, launched, etc.

Try to keep it error-free: Experts say that an error-free resume goes a long way in getting the desired job — a flawless grammar results in the extra interest level of your recruiter. While you write a resume, do not miss out in putting the critical information at the centre or in the front. You should also not put any negative information about your previous employer if any.

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Refrain from being too artistry: You may choose to be experimental while making a resume, but when it comes to highlighting your accomplishments too much of artistic fonts may spoil the show. Any fancy lines, borders, clip art, confusing bullets, etc. should be avoided at any cost while you write a resume. Do not make use of additional colours for the fonts and headings. A black and white resume, with any smart addition of colour like dark blue headings, work perfectly well in making the impression. Your resume needs to be clean and clear rather than looking over-crowded, artistry, and clumsy.

Skim your resume: Your recruiters will always prefer reading your resume after scanning and skimming rather than going through every word. So removing your CV helps in creating a dramatic difference from the recruiters’ point of view. You may do this by highlighting the keywords, headlines, and other vital facts with bold or italics. Keep your CV to the end while emphasizing the phrases or keywords in bold. Avoid making a cramped CV with too many white spaces around the headings.

One thing you should always keep in mind is not to lie while writing your resume. Your resume is going to be the passport for all your job interviews. So make sure you create an appealing, crisp, and sound resume. Always take your time and write a resume, keeping in mind all the tips mentioned above and tricks.