How to Make a Resume for First Job Format

by Ruth Mayhew

The day finally comes when you trade in your cap and gown for a briefcase and Blackberry. Getting to the first rung on your career ladder starts with an employment application, cover letter and well-constructed resume. Granted, you may not have a lengthy work record that will impress recruiters and hiring managers, but using the proper format for your resume can open doors of opportunity for you.

Introduce Yourself

Below your name and contact information, write a short paragraph about your ambition, career objective and qualifications, even if you're a new entrant to the workforce. Your objective or resume introduction can describe what your professional aspirations are or what you're ultimately seeking from your career. Be mindful not to write an objective or introduction that merely describes what you want, though. This section of your resume also should express what you can contribute to the organization.

Prominent Space

When you're entering the workforce for the first time, your education or academic credentials can be more impressive than your work history. In this case, title the next section of your resume "Education and Training." If you have a college degree, list the school and its location -- just city and state -- your program of study and graduation date. Some employers require certain grade point averages for recent graduates to qualify for jobs right out of school. In this case, type your GPA next to the degree program, along with honors, such as magna cum laude.

Practicum and Internships

In addition to your degree or certifications, list practicums or internships in your field. These are effective in showing that you can put theory acquired during your schooling into practice through applying knowledge to a work environment. Make this a separate section, apart from your education, so prospective employers know that you have experience in your field, even if unpaid or a summer internship.

Work History

Now that you've use the prominent space for your educational background and practical experience, contemplate how you want to present your work history. If you don't have any paid work experience at all, list volunteer activities in which you participate that could showcase your qualifications. For example, if you're applying for a job as an event planner, coordinating pledge activities for your sorority demonstrates your ability to manage logistics, recruit volunteers and select appropriate venues and settings. Also, don't discount experience you believe isn't relevant to your chosen field. Any kind of work history can demonstrate dependability, teamwork and professionalism.

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images