How To Write Your First Resume;
So, it’s time to write your first resume! You’re nervous and excited and probably asking the question “What on earth am I supposed to put in my resume??” Enclosed are my tips to writing the best resume possible (and hopefully landing a job)!
What should your resume include?
Home Phone Number
Mobile Phone Number
Previous Work Experience
“References on request”
Formatting is Key
The Importance of formatting is one of the most important parts of any guide describing how to write your first resume. Essentially if your resume doesn’t look good, or at least organised, no one is going to bother to read it. And then they won’t be able to tell how fantastic you are!
This means you should be using a uniform font, my font of choice has always been Georgia but any font is fine as long as it is clear and legible. Group favourites when I asked my colleagues what font they thought I should use included Calibri and Arial.
You should also have headings! (See above)
Date work experience/ awards/ etc. in reverse chronological order (from most recent to least recent). This ensures that the most relevant information is the first your prospective employer sees.
Even if you don’t have formal work experience under your belt, any of your achievements will contribute to a positive view of you! Making yourself sound good is perhaps the most important step in how to write your first resume!!
Short and sweet is key, your resume should be a page/ 2 (without enclosed references).
Tailor your resume to the type of job you are going for;
If you are looking for a job in food service highlight any previous experience/ skills which would help you with working there.
If you are looking for a job working with children highlight previous experiences such as babysitting.
My friend was going for a job at Smiggle and made her resume rainbow in an attempt to cater to the store and it worked!! However, most stores won’t love your rainbow resume and you should stick to just one colour. (Mine is navy!)
What are your skills?
As an HSC student, you have excellent communication skills, you’ve been practising written and oral communication all throughout school and now you’re an expert. Communication skills are essential to any area of the workforce you’re wanting to apply to so writing this on your resume is essential! If you have any extra experience with communication e.g. you were an MC for a school event or attended a writing course, then you should add this as well.
Teamwork! You’ve been doing group-work all throughout school, and potentially you’ve done team sports or organised a school/ community event and you should be including this in your resume! This looks great to an employer because it is essential that employees get along and cooperate to give the best service possible.
You have great technological skills! You might be like me and feel that technology was designed to make you look foolish… However, chances are you understand how to operate most computer programs, and if not, you’re able to quickly learn this!
In my part time job I was required to learn how to select items from a drop down menu and ensure that the codes matched exactly, I would then have to put the number of each item in. My 40-year-old boss warned me that it was “quite complicated” however I learned it with ease, and so would most of you!
The point is that your technological skills are good enough to put them on your resume and if you have extra skills i.e. an excellent grasp of Photoshop you can add this.
Showing initiative is an excellent skill to have on your resume. Employers are looking for someone who can think on their feet to solve problems, this is especially true for retail.
Interpersonal skills are also a good thing to add; the ability to relate to others is highly desirable to employers as it makes for a cohesive work environment, and in retail makes for good sales!
An ability to work under pressure is essential for most jobs, so it is a good idea to include this in your resume.
The importance of editing
Be sure to edit it and get parents/ friends to edit it as well.
Have a question for us?
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Sophie Dyson finished the HSC and then realised she needed to get a job, fast. Her dad helped her to draft a resume and she proceeded to walk around 4 different shopping centres handing out resumes with friends. This landed her with a Christmas Casual position which she greatly enjoyed, and online applications landed her an ushering gig and her internship at Art of Smart! Sophie wishes you the best of luck in your job hunting and reminds you to be patient when applying for jobs.