How to write your first resume: a step-by-step guide for students (2023)

Learn how to write your first resume for your first job with this step-by-step guide for college students. You don't need a lot of work experience or qualifications to write a great resume that shows off your skills and strengths.

In this guide:

  • What is a resume?
  • What to put on your resume
  • your personal statement
  • Your work experience
  • Your skills and strengths
  • Your interests
  • your references
  • Standards
  • resume formats
  • Why do you need a resume?
  • expert advice
  • Watch the video!

What is a resume?

A CV (also known as Curriculum Vitae) is a document that allows you to show employers your skills, strengths, qualifications, and experience when applying for a job. Employers often request a resume and expect it to appear professional.

ACVIt's a great first step to getting a job. It not only shows employers what you have done, but also what you do.he canDo. Think of it as an introduction to one of the most amazing and employable people in the world. You.

What to put on your first resume: a step-by-step guide

  • Name and surname
  • Contact details
    – telephone number and email address.
  • Personal statement:
    – A personal statement is a sentence or paragraph that summarizes your strengths, your career goals, and what you can offer employers.
  • Key skills:
    – Skills like teamwork, communication, and problem solving are useful to include on your resume as you gain experience.
  • Education:
    If you list your education on your resume, include what you studied, how long you studied, and what grades you received. You can post expected notes while you wait for the results.
  • Work experience:
    Work experience may include part-time jobs, internships, job training, internships, and paid training such as apprenticeships.
  • Hobbies and interests:
    This section is your chance to showcase your experience and general life skills. Volunteering, personal projects, and optional learning (sports or music, for example) can show employers your skills, motivation, and suitability for a position.

You can explore each of these elements in more detail below.

What to put in your personal statement on your first resume

What is a personal resume statement?

A personal CV statement consists of one or two short sentences that outline who you are as a professional and what you want to offer employers in terms of your ambition and experience.

example of a personal statement

Sixth year student at Stonebridge College. Practical experience working in weekend shops (including cash handling) and restaurant summer catering. I am looking for a career in business with a job that develops my business skills and includes customer service.”

If you don't have a lot of work experience, you don't have much to say here. You can still talk about your skills. Read more about how to talk about skills on your first resume below.

What counts as work experience on your first CV?

You may never have had a job, but you probably have more experience than you think. Examples of work experience include:

  • shadow work
  • work experience and internships
  • voluntary work
  • charity work
  • saturday chores
  • summer job.

Work experience can take many forms. for each pieceWork experiencePlease indicate the name of the place where you worked, how long you worked there, and what your main duties were. Try to write about the work you've done in a way that shows future employers what you're good at. For example…

How to talk about skills and strengths on your first resume

Even if you have little to no work experience, you can still use a resume to talk about your skills and strengths. These are known as "interpersonal skills" or "life skills." These are personal qualities that have helped you develop as a person, but they can also help you adapt to the world of work and develop as a professional.

Many youth-friendly employers are changing their hiring approach in terms of job descriptions and requirements, focusing on skills and strengths rather than qualifications and experience. This can help you demonstrate your suitability for a job on your CV when you are at university or have finished your studies and are still developing your skills and experience.

Here are the most important life and job skills to include on your resume:

  • self-confidence
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • Troubleshooting
  • self management.

try oursFree online training for young develop these five main skills for life and work anywhere in Great Britain.

You develop these important career skills all the time, even while you're in school. You just need to learn how to develop them and show employers that you have them. You can talk about these job skills on your resume.

If you're applying for a job that lists interesting skills, use your resume to demonstrate how the work experience you've had has helped you develop those skills.

EXAMPLE: Talk about your Saturday job on your resume

Role: Weekendclerk assistant, MacDougal's Fast Food, August 2016 - December 2017

  • Developed strong customer service skills to serve customers promptly and courteously.
  • Troubleshooting was used to help customers with a variety of questions, such as requesting vegan options or non-menu items.
  • Worked as a team to ensure food was prepared, served and delivered quickly and the serving area was kept clean.
  • I used self-management and organization skills to complete tasks independently, without constant supervision from the team leader.
  • Timing skills developed to always arrive at work on time.
  • The team leader assigned me additional responsibilities and trained me in cash handling and cashier work.

How to talk about hobbies on your resume

Talking about hobbies and interests in your CV gives you the opportunity to express your ambition, motivation,positive attitudeand life skills. It's important to talk about your interests on your first resume because it shows employers that you're interested in learning and trying new things. You are motivated to do more than the bare minimum to develop.

Examples of hobbies and interests to include in your first CV:

  • Voluntary work(that includesonline volunteering)
  • Social action
  • Learning a new skill, also known as lifelong learning (for example, sports discipline, instrument, craft, coding)
  • Clubs and societies (for example, boy scouts, guides, after-school clubs, youth clubs)
  • Achievements (for example, awards you've won, charity events you've attended, courses you've completed)

Employers are likely to ask you about your hobbies and interests during an interview. Talking about it can help you feel more comfortable with the social aspect of the application process. You can also talk about the skills you use in your hobbies to show that you are versatile and well-suited for the job.

Who can give you a reference for your first resume?

Someone who gives you a reference is someone who can vouch for you when you apply. You do not need to include references on your resume. At the bottom you can simply say "References available upon request". But it gives you time to think about who might be a good reference for whatever work experience you've had.

If you're still in school, you can ask a teacher to act as a reference. If you have done sabbatical, volunteer or charitable work, you can ask the team leader or the person who supervised you to be your reference. If you already have school work experience, you can ask your supervisor for a reference.

To whomever you ask for a reference, be courteous and explain why you want the job, or ask if they would be willing to provide you with a reference if you apply for a job in the future.

What not to put on your CV:

  • Age
  • Birthdate
  • Gender (your business, no one else's)
  • Religion (your business, no one else's)
  • Marital status (single, married or “is it complicated”? Never put that on your resume!)
  • Nationality (all these things are very personal and employers will only ask if they really need to know)
  • Weird colors, layouts, and fonts (keep it simple!)
  • An unprofessional email address (weird or prank emails like give employers the wrong impression. It's quick and free to get a new professional email address like if you need one ).
  • Lies (Never lie on your resume. You can emphasize your good points, but never lie; you'll just be caught off guard.)
  • References (if employers want references from people, they will ask for them. Keep that space on your resume for your skills, experience, and accomplishments)
  • It is recommended that youdo not give your addressfor personal security reasons, but you can decide if you consider it necessary to include it.

What should your first CV be like?

The main thing is to keep it simple! Your resume should be no more than two pages long and it should look very simple with a simple format. Avoid fancy fonts, resume templates, or colors.

Search online for "resume templates" and you'll find plenty of examples to try.

Why do you need a resume?

A resume tells employers what you're good at, what interests you, and what you've accomplished in life so far. You hand it out when you look for work. They are great to take with you.job fairsAnd you can often upload your resume when you apply for a job online. If an employer likes your resume, they can ask you to enter onejob interview.

Your CV is your chance to show employers that you are a good fit for the job and that you can substantiate any claim. if you say in yourpresentation letterIf you think your cooking skills could put the Great British Bake-Off to shame, your CV can back it up by showing how you raised hundreds of pounds at a school charity bake sale.

Youth Friendly Employer Resume Tips

BT early career: (Because not all employers need a resume these days, especially when applying online): “Fill out our online application form. We will look for evidence that you are fit to live with BT. Don't worry if you don't have a resume. You don't have to upload one if you don't want to."

captain: “Put your mobile phone number on your CV. We need to find him soon and call him to give him the good news that he made it!

Oxion:“Would you like to apply for an internship with us? As part of your internship, we support you in preparing your CV, because we want you to progress successfully from your internship, to an internship or to a job.

Kelly Services: “In online recruitment, many companies use ATS, or Applicant Tracking Software, to separate the 'good' resumes from those they consider less suitable for the position. In your online application, use keywords that are relevant to the job you are applying for and listed in the job posting.

McDonald's: “Remember what your resume is for. It's not just about showing employers what you've done. Your goal is to show employers who you are and what you CAN do.”

VHR Technical Recruitment: “Please list your major accomplishments in order of importance for each of your past work experience roles. Let employers and recruiters review your CV and get a good idea of ​​your performance and future potential in seconds.

CV tips: watch the video

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