resume templates for your first resume

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. This is especially true if you are searching for a teenager resume template or a resume template for a college student. 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 resume writing 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, accomplishments, 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

  • Sports activities

  • 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:

  1. Makes your target job immediately obvious
  2. 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:

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 resume writing 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.

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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 resume 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.

Career Propellant Student Resume Template

This student resume template from our Career Propellant Collection is an eye-catching favorite with the attractive corner graphic.

College Student Resume Template Page 1

Another template with an eye-catching graphic, Future Focus is particularly popular as a college student resume template.

Career Launcher High School & College Resume Template

With its traditional & eye-catching design, the college resume template in the Career Launcher Collection is another favorite.

Entry-Level IT Resume Template

If you are planning to break into technology fields this entry-level IT resume template is a perfect choice to use for your first resume.

Resume template for entry-level workers

A great choice for making your first resume, this resume template for entry-level workers is a customer favorite.

Resume Template for Early-Career Professionals

This resume template for early-career professionals includes space for a reference testimonial from a teacher or other authority.

Next Steps Classic Format Resume Template

Last but not least, the classic format resume template in our Next Steps Collection will make writing your first resume easy!

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

Working with a resume template will make creating your first resume easier. But you may still need support and if you do, we encourage you to consult with a professional resume writer.

Yes, working with a resume writer is an investment, but it is an investment that almost always pays off in a shorter, more successful job search. We are here for you. If you need help, reach out!

About the Author: Michelle Dumas

Michelle Dumas is the founder and CEO of Distinctive Career Services, one of the internet's longest-standing and most respected professional resume writing firms. Michelle is a 6X certified and 7X award-winning resume writer and career consultant. Michelle designed and created all of the templates in the Distinctive Resume Templates Collections found at

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