By David Pacheco —
Congratulations! You’ve reached that stage of applying for your first job. You might be asking “what do I write for experience if I’ve never worked before?” But before we get to that part, just a couple of points first.
Your resume or application should always be clean and unwrinkled. This signals to your potential boss that you care about the job and strive to do your best.
Do your homework! Ugh, you think. But doing the homework about the company and the job you are applying for is so important.
Grammar and spelling count! It should be clear, easy to read, and free of any misspelled words or grammatical errors. You might want to have someone else look at it before you turn it in. Sometimes your eyes will miss something that the next reader will see.
Now let’s turn to the experience you DO have that should go on the resume. This is where the homework about the company comes in handy. Remember, an employer is looking for someone who is enthusiastic, will always be on time, and who will do the work well without complaining. This is your first opportunity to convince them YOU are the person they should hire!
Pay attention to keywords. Phrases like “customer service” or “attention to detail” and “must be able to stand for long periods of time” are important clues. Were you a babysitter or dog walker or involved in a sport? Use that experience to showcase your dependability and ability to be on your feet for a long period of time. If the job includes math skills, highlight classes and any awards.
If the position is a front desk receptionist, greeting clients, answering calls, then tailor your resume to reflect your friendly, outgoing personality. Are you on the debate team, or in drama, or a team leader at your place of worship? These tell your potential employer you’re not afraid of interacting with other people.
Highlight any community service you’ve been involved in, for example working with pets or at a senior center. This would be great on your social media. Speaking of social media, think about if you were trying to get into the medical field and they saw a party-going, illegally drinking individual. That might not be the ideal image of the person they want working for them. And they WILL look you up. Remember to highlight the best in you.
Additionally, there are plenty of websites, i.e., Indeed.com, that have examples of resumes without previous job experience. If you hand-deliver your application or resume, assume the person you give the application or resume to is the one who makes the decision about hiring you. If you are not dressed for the part, enthusiastic and polite, your application or resume may not be considered.
First impressions count, so go out there with that award-winning smile, your first resume, and get that job you want!