I Don’t Have a Resume. Where Do I Start?

News and insights for job seekers and hiring managers.

I Don’t Have a Resume. Where Do I Start?

Starting a resume from scratch may seem like a daunting task. Maybe you haven’t ever had to apply to a job that required a CV, or maybe you don’t have much work experience at all. Whatever the case may be, breathe. Here’s where to start.

Choose the Right Layout

You want to make sure your resume is easy to read and highlights the most relevant information. To do that, you have to choose the right layout. The most important information will go front and center. Everything else should flow nicely with labeled sections for your education, experience, certifications, known languages, and other qualifications. There are plenty of premade resume templates to choose from.

Focus on Your Education and Certifications

If you have little-to-no work experience, focus on what you have learned about the profession or trade. This may include a two-year or four-year degree, specific job-related certifications, and internships that you have completed. Although it isn’t necessarily hands-on experience, it shows you are willing to commit to programs and learn to pursue a career.

Highlight the Most Relevant Experience

When you have limited work experience, it is hard to determine what information you should leave out. Only highlight experience relevant to the job you are applying to. You also don’t want to include any work history from more than 10 years ago. It is likely the job you had flipping burgers in high school won’t lend you a hand in landing your next gig.

Mention Your Key Skills Throughout

You want to showcase what you bring to the table. So, be sure to mention your key skills throughout your CV and hiring materials. If there is something specific that you specialize in, talk about it at every chance you get. Mention it in your work history section, key skills section, and cover letter. Let them know exactly what you bring to the table and that you’re good at what you do.

Write a Fantastic Intro Paragraph

Your introduction paragraph will be the first thing a recruiter sees before reviewing the rest of your resume. A good intro will be no more than three to four sentences. It will give information about your work history and your career aspirations. This will tell the recruiter whether or not you might be a good fit for the job and influence whether they continue reading on or not.

Include a Cover Letter to Stand Out

While intro paragraphs are a great way to briefly introduce yourself, a cover letter will really make you stand out. A cover letter is used to explain more about your professional experience. It also gives you an opportunity to provide more details about projects you have worked on and where your passion lies.

Work With a Staffing Agency to Polish Your Resume

Staffing agencies like Top Notch Personnel can work with you to polish your resume and other hiring materials before sending them to potential employers. Our recruiters can also help you identify job opportunities that further your long-term career goals and professional needs. Learn more about how we can help you land your next job.