Recruiters only look at your resume for about six seconds, so that small piece of paper needs to make them stop in their tracks. The goal is to make it obvious that you possess the qualities they are looking for in an excellent applicant. However, it’s not always easy to make a great first impression when sending an entry-level resume with little work experience to show your expertise.
What Do Employers Look For In A Resume?
Ready to write your first resume? Our career gurus and resume writers have identified the absolute must-haves for entry-level resumes.
1. Keyword Research
Employers want to know first and foremost if you’re qualified for the position. The majority of hiring managers’ time is spent reading resumes for keywords that fit the job description. Examine the job posting carefully each time you apply for a job. Make a list of the abilities, expertise, and experience that are required for the position and that you have. Identify the strongest matches after you’ve made your list. These will be the keywords you’ll use throughout your resume.
2. Career Summary
Hiring managers have a lot on their plates. A career summary can make their work easier. In two to three sentences, summarize why you’re the best candidate for the job—and utilize language and resume keywords to demonstrate that you’ve customized your CV.
3. Metrics & Numbers
What do employers look for in a resume? They want data, proof, and success stories. Regardless of how you phrase it, hiring managers are enthralled by tangible accomplishments, and the best way to emphasize your accomplishments is to use hard statistics. For example, if you were the treasurer of your fraternity or sorority, say you “managed $50,000 in money for a 100-person organization.”
4. Volunteering Background
Volunteering reflects well on your resume and demonstrates that you care about something other than a paycheck. However, avoid relating your volunteering work to religious or political groups, especially if you don’t agree with the hiring manager’s viewpoints. You can mention your volunteer work using non-political or religious statements, such as, “I worked at a health care clinic in Congo,” without mentioning affiliation to a particular religion or organization.
5. Fonts & Colors
Want to get the attention of a recruiting manager? Don’t bother with a drab font. Bookman, Calibri, Cambria, Palatino, and Verdana are all recommended fonts since they are standard typefaces that transition well between operating systems. You can also use colors to help your resume stand out, but don’t go overboard. It’s elegant to use black and white with one or two accent colors. You might even include the company’s colors in your resume to match the brand of your prospective job.
6. College Coursework & GPA
It’s fine to put college courses on your resume if you’re fresh out of school, but they must be relevant. Instead of merely giving the course title, discuss the skills or knowledge you obtained from a specific program. If you graduated with a high GPA (3.7 or higher), consider highlighting it on your resume. However, it’s best to make your decision based on the job description. For example, if the job posting specifies a minimum GPA, make sure you include it.
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