If you are struggling to make your first resume, you know it isn’t easy!
After all, you need job experience to put on a resume. But without a resume, you can’t get a job.
Or can you?
Millions of new people enter the job market every year, so you certainly aren’t alone if you are struggling to write your first resume. The majority of these new workers probably worry that they have no experience to put on their resume either.
Another problem is that it can be hard to find a resume template specifically for entry-level applicants. If this sounds familiar to you, you’ll be happy to know about the following 7 templates for your first resume. Professionally designed, they are all eye-appealing and ATS-friendly. Even better, they include tips and prompts throughout the templates to make it easy for you to create your first resume.
All Experience Counts!
With the right template, making a resume with no experience doesn’t need to be as hard as it might first seem. In fact, it can be really fast and easy. But even with the best resume template to start with, what do you put on the resume if you don’t have any work experience?
Here is the answer: All it takes is looking at things with a slightly different perspective.
Employers don’t just hire employees. They hire people who can solve their problems, meet their goals, and hurdle their challenges. They hire people who are a profitable investment for them because that person will make them more money than they cost, save them more money than they cost, or they deliver returns on that investment in some other way.
Your resume needs to show you are this person.
But, how do you show this on your first resume when you don’t have any work experience to include? Simple. All experience counts. It doesn’t matter whether you were paid for it or not.
When you write your first resume, you will want to include all relevant experience and skills, regardless of how you developed them. This means that you will be including things like:
Education, degrees, coursework, GPAs, and any academic honors
Specialized training and certifications other than a college degree
Relevant professional organizations you are a member of
Relevant professional workshops, conferences, and trade shows you have attended
Extracurricular activities and club memberships
Volunteer and community service work
Internships and apprenticeships
Major academic projects you’ve worked on
Any part-time or temporary jobs
Any entrepreneurial work you have done
Leadership roles in any activities
The Best Format for Your First Resume
The best resume format for your first resume will be one that:
- Makes your target job immediately obvious
- Promotes your skills in a way that speaks to the employer’s needs
While that sounds simple, and it is simple, it can also be a bit confusing, because the truth is that there is no single best format that will work for everyone. But here are some basic guidelines:
First impressions are key—your resume should be eye-catching, professional, and easy to read
Use a combination format for your first resume rather than a straight traditional chronological format
Make sure your resume is ATS-compliant (e.g., no complex tables or column formats)
Lead with your name and contact information
Make sure that the focus of your resume is crystal clear
Begin the resume with a strong summary section that highlights the most impressive relevant experience you offer
Follow the summary with your education – often this is one of the most important qualifications on a first resume
After education, include part-time work, volunteer work, internships, etc.
Use lots of active verbs and describe your experience in terms of the value and benefits you delivered
Fill your resume with the keywords that are important in your target field
Follow current resume best practices (e.g., if you are in the U.S. do NOT include a headshot on your resume)
How a Resume Template Can Help You Write Your First Resume
While it is always a good idea to work with a trained professional resume writer who has expertise in all of these areas, if you decide to go it alone, a good resume template can be invaluable when writing your first resume.
The best resume templates will allow you to focus solely on the wording of your resume. Distinctive Resume Templates are eye-catching, ATS-friendly, properly formatted, follow all modern “rules” of resume writing, and even guide you with tips and prompts to help you write your first resume.
Using a resume template may help you to think about your experience (whether that is paid experience or other experience) in new ways. Even better, they may help you to present that experience in ways you may never have thought of on your own, and make an excellent first resume that is powerful, persuasive, and effective.
The Most Popular and Best Resume Templates for Your First Resume
You are unique and your resume should be unique too. The following templates for making a resume to land your first job are all custom-designed and are super easy to modify to make them even more unique.
But it is more than just the design of these resume templates that is different, It is the format and structure too. Remember that we said there was no one single best format? Well, it is true. As you review these entry-level and student resume templates for your first resume, think about what you have to offer, and look for the template that best matches that vision.