First Job Resume Sample: What to Write and How to Make It

First Job Resume Sample

What does a first job resume sample look like? Do you need any writing tips to help your teen get started? If you have questions, we have the answers.

In addition to our top tips, we’ll also show you what a typical first job resume sample looks like and how to help your kids jumpstart the future.

What a First Job Resume Sample Should Include

When entering the job market for the first time, the focus should be on experiences that have helped your kids develop a professional skill set. They should also highlight their greatest strengths and education.

Contact Information

One of the most important things a resume can’t be without is contact information. Here’s what a first job resume sample with information would look like.

  • Name: First and Last
  • Phone Number: List one
  • Professional Email: Don’t be funny/informal; If needed, create a new, professional email with the applicant’s name only
  • Social Media: LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter; Include only one or two networks that showcase professional skills
  • Personal Website: Include a portfolio or blog that shows off skills, knowledge, and insight into the profession 

Relevant Experience

Until your teens or young adults have the experience to fill out a resume, the key will be to share how they’re building the skills they’ll need for that profession. Also, they should emphasize the experience that will demonstrate their work ethic.

Here are a few examples of experiences for a first job resume sample: 

  • Volunteer work
  • Internships or apprenticeships
  • Jobs they’ve had so far (if applicable, e.g. babysitting, lawn mowing, pet sitting, etc.)
  • Extracurricular activities 

Here, it’s important to not only highlight previous experience but the skills acquired from these jobs. For example, for lawn mowing services, you would focus on clients acquired, customer service skills, reviews received, and more.

Education Section

In addition to experience (or instead of it), the first job resume should include education. Even if your teen/young adult doesn’t excel at school or doesn’t have a degree yet, education is a key factor in a resume at any age.

Here’s what education information on a resume looks like:

  • School Name
  • Graduation date or years of study: If they haven’t finished school yet, write the expected graduation date
  • Key Achievements: Contests, competitions, etc.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Volunteering, school clubs, school events, etc.
  • GPA: Only include if it’s impressive, otherwise omit it

Best Skills

Earlier, we mentioned the importance of highlighting skills on a first job resume. First off, make a list of all skills your kids have, including soft and hard skills. Soft skills refer to the abilities that can be applied to any position, like communication, leadership, management, etc. 

On the other hand, hard skills are typically learned through education, on-the-job training, and experience. These can include fluency in a foreign language, proficiency in industry-related software, and other technical skills.

It’s important to note that, for entry-level positions, most employers put a higher value on soft skills because they’re more difficult to teach. Here’s what a mix of soft and hard skills would look like on a first job resume:

  • Time management 
  • Organizational skills
  • General computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive Suite, Email management, etc)
  • Management skills
  • Cooperation and collaboration
  • Self-motivation

Once you have the list of skills, go over the job advertisement closely. At this point, you need to underline the keywords that refer to the required abilities and knowledge. Then, make a curated list of 5–8 of the current soft and hard skills that match the job requirements.

Summary or Objective

According to a Ladders Inc. study, recruiters spend only seven seconds on a resume on average. That’s why it’s so important for the resume to capture their attention and convince the person to keep reading.

The best way to do that is with a good resume objective.

A resume objective is a snapshot of all skills, achievements, and career goals, written in only a few sentences. Its purpose is to convey the job seekers’ interest in the position and motivation for getting into the field.

The resume objective should be tailored to the position and highlight skills that will help a company achieve its goal. For first-time job seekers, it’s a good idea to keep the objective sort, and around 60 words.

Top Tips for Writing a First Job Resume

Once you know the information you want to feature, knowing how to properly format, write, and present it is going to be key. Here are some of our best writing tips for a resume.

Create a Format

According to the same Ladders Inc. study, the resumes that tend to do best are ones that feature a simple layout, with clear sections and titles. With that said, here’s how to format that first job resume sample:

  • Use popular fonts like Arial, Cambria, Garamond, Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, etc.
  • For the content, set the font size to 11–12 and 13-14 for the headings
  • Use 1–1.15 line spacing for better overall readability
  • Utilize bolding, italicizing, and CAPITALIZING to emphasize certain keywords, but don’t overdo it, and be consistent 

Add Extra Sections

It’s not unusual for a first resume to be somewhat bare, especially if the job seeker is still in school and hasn’t had any previous experience. One way to offset that is by adding extra sections, which can include:

  • Certifications
  • Activities
  • Honors and awards
  • Relevant interests and hobbies

Back It Up With a Cover Letter

Cover letters are potentially one of the most under-utilized, yet efficient ways to stand out among a sea of job seekers. But they have to be done right.

A cover letter isn’t a way to recap the entire resume but rather answer questions that an employer might have. These include:

  • Who are you?
  • Why have you contacted me?
  • Why should I be interested in meeting you?

Also, make sure to address the hiring manager, and include your biggest achievements, as well as a call to action.

To Sum Up: First Job Resume Sample

We hope to have helped show you the key techniques to use when writing a first job resume. Some final bits of advice we have is to never lie on a resume because it’ll most definitely be not worth it. What’s more, avoid padding the resume or adding unnecessary information.

Lastly, proofread, edit, and then do it a few more times. There’s nothing quite less persuasive than a resume full of typos and inconsistencies. 

And once your kids land their first job and get their paycheck, make sure they’re putting it to good use with the BusyKid app. We can help prepare your kids for a better future with the right financial lessons and tools!

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