How to Write an Entry-Level Resume

Resume
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When you are applying for an entry-level position, you may or may not have the exact education or experience that corresponds to the job description and requirements. Nevertheless, if you feel that you are a good fit for the position and the company, you can tailor your resume to show how your educational achievements and your relevant experience would help you perform in the job for which you are applying.

The following resume template lists the information that you should include on your resume when applying for an entry-level position.

Resume Template - Entry Level

Contact Information 
The first section of your resume should include information on how the employer can contact you:

FirstName LastName
Street Address
City, State Zip Code
Phone
Email Address
LinkedIn Address

Even as an entry-level professional, it’s important to capitalize upon the networking opportunities that social media sites like LinkedIn provide. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is robust and articulate, then start building your network with former instructors, peers, and people you’ve met through work or at job fairs.

Skills Summary
In an opening skills summary, include specific mention of the skills related to the position/career field that you are applying for—for example, computer skills, language skills, and interpersonal skills like listening skills, teamwork, motivation, communications, and conflict resolution. These “keywords” should be mentioned both in the initial summary of the resume and throughout the “Experience” section. Example:

“Emerging professional positioned to utilize comprehensive training in software design, engineering best practices, Ruby on Rails, and Java to excel within entry-level Software Engineer role. Innovative and collaborative team player, thriving within deadline-critical performance settings.”

Education
In the education section of your resume, list the schools and colleges you have attended, the diplomas or degrees you attained, and any special awards and honors you earned along with relevant extracurricular activities. If your college GPA was 3.5 or higher, you can mention this after the title of your diploma:

College, City, State, Type of Degree / Diploma (3.5 GPA)
Awards, Honors, Extracurricular Activities

School, City, State, Type of Degree / Certification
Awards, Honors, Extracurricular Activities

Experience
This section of your entry-level resume includes your work history in reverse chronological order. List the companies you worked for, their location (city and state), dates of employment, the positions you held, and a bulleted list of responsibilities and achievements. If you have completed internships, it's fine to include them in the experience section of your resume.

You can also list summer jobs along with relevant volunteer or extracurricular experience that might indicate how you are uniquely qualified for the job.

Company #1
City, State
Dates Worked

Job Title

  • Responsibilities/Achievements
  • Responsibilities/Achievements

Company #2
City, State
Dates Worked

Job Title

  • Responsibilities/Achievements
  • Responsibilities/Achievements

Customize Your Resume

In all cases, be sure to personalize and customize your resume so that it reflects your skills and abilities and connects them with the jobs you are applying for. Repeat the keywords that you have identified in the job announcement you’re interested in and also in other similar job announcements.

For example, if you are applying for a job as a restaurant team member at a restaurant that has posted that it is looking for "someone who loves to help and serve others (both customers and team members)," you might add a description of your volunteer work serving the homeless at a local soup kitchen under the “Experience” section of your resume. Try to make this description as responsive as possible to the qualifications a specific employer is seeking.

Say, for instance, that another keyword phrase in this job posting mentions that the employer wants "someone with a friendly, enthusiastic attitude." On your resume, note that your supervisor at the soup kitchen encouraged you to learn to smile at every person whom you served. These are not boasts—they are merely facts that you are adding to your resume to help the company understand your skills, even if you weren't paid.

By emphasizing both the hard and the soft skills you’ve gained during your education, summer jobs, and volunteer work in your resume, you’ll build a persuasive case for why you’re the ideal candidate for your first entry-level position.

Need more inspiration? Have a look at these resume samples, resume formats, and downloadable Microsoft resume templates