When you are looking for your first job it may be frustrating to figure out how to write a resume. Even though you may not have direct work experience as a student, we are here to help you translate some of your experience into what the job requires! Indeed, the trick to getting the job when you have never worked before is to highlight your skills that would make the employer’s life easier on a daily basis. Keep reading; you will learn the ins and outs of how to write a student resume for a first job!
Many people underestimate the importance of commitment when it comes to listing out their experiences. So, you never actually got paid full-time. How about other things you have participated in?
Welcome to the exciting world of vacant jobs — The options are endless!
Here are a couple of job search websites, commonly used in Canada, you should check before we continue discussing how to write a student resume for a first job:
Institutional Talent Portals:
Take your time to narrow down a few job titles that spark interest and scan each job description to see if they mention the same tasks and/or keywords.
You may realize that you have organized some files for your community church; that is a great experience you should be talking about! It also means you have some experience doing office work. Use your related experience to highlight the skills you used for specific projects, and if you can, talk about how your work contributed to a great outcome.
To create your resume, you need to fill in the basic sections. Good thing, we’ve been preparing you for this moment!
Here are the common sections you should have in your first resume:
Quick Tips for Formatting Your Resume
First, let’s see the difference between a sentence formed with and without action verbs.
Without action verb:
“Responsible for helping customers on the retail sales floor.”
With action verb:
“Advised customers with their purchases on the retail floor, hitting monthly sales goals consistently.”
BONUS: With action verb + quantifiable outcome
“Advised customers with their purchases on the retail floor, hitting monthly sales goals consistently and contributing to the 30% increase on the quarterly sales report.”
Moreover, here are some action verbs you can use on your resume:
|Support Customers||Lead a Project||Improve Something||Create Something|
While the reference section is often included at the end of the resume, you may find it completely filled out, or titled with no references to be seen.
Most job searchers choose to include a reference section and write “References available upon request“ right below it. It is usually advised to provide 3 references that worked or volunteered with you directly.
Usually, the hiring team will ask you for references when they complete the interview process and are certain they would like to hire you. Choose your references carefully as all of them may be given a call.
BONUS: If the hiring team asked you for references, chances are they will be giving them a call right away or the next day. Make sure you give your references a head up out of courtesy!
So, nobody likes proofreading. That is a fact. But, you still have to do it.
Here’s what you need to do before submitting your resume to a job application:
If you are a current university student, your institution likely has a Career Services department that can help you with your resume. They can provide some samples to you as well.
Moreover, here are some great sources you can access for free:
Let’s summarize everything that we have learned:
We hope that this article gave you the resources and tips you may need when creating your resume. Do not forget – A good resume will get you an invitation for the interview! You are halfway there!
If you follow the steps we outlined below, you will have no trouble writing your first student resume. All you need to do is outline your job experience as well as other related experience such as volunteering, community involvement, and student clubs. Next, you will look for a target job title and tailor your experience in accordance to it. You can follow our formatting tips to create a top notch resume.
Even if you don’t have any experience, you can highlight some of your major accomplishments. These can include successful high school projects, impact as a volunteer, interests and so on. You can highlight certain skills that align with the job title and still get a job if you write a clear and concise resume!
Do not worry if you have no real job experience, there are still so many other skills you can emphasize on your resume. Talk about your soft skills, career aspirations, and related coursework that relates to the job. If you also write a good cover letter, there is no reason you should not get your dream job.