As an entry-level candidate with just a few years of experience, you should have a one-page resume.
Dear Sam: I am 21 years old, and I have 3 years of experience in administrative assistant and customer service roles. I need to really sell myself in my resume; my problem is that I do not know how. As a single mother with a toddler and one on the way, I really need a job badly. Can you point me in the right direction? – Rebecca
Dear Rebecca: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help by providing some critical guidance in revamping your resume. Let's touch on a few key areas of your resume which should be addressed.
Resume length & designAs an entry-level candidate with just a few years of experience, you should have a one-page resume. Your resume currently spills onto two pages, due to the large font size and wide margins. As an administrative specialist claiming technical proficiency, I'd like to see a more aesthetically pleasing design showcasing your Microsoft Word skills and ability to produce a well-designed document.
Objective & qualifications summaryYour objective statement is taking up important space at the top of page one, and does not tell the hiring manager anything about what you can offer. Replace this with a summary highlighting your skills and attributes. In this summary, you may want to talk about the high-volume, customer-centric environments in which you have worked. You could also note your technical skills so they are not hidden within the professional experience section. Use this section to "sell" why the hiring manager should interview (and hire) you!
Professional experienceAn effective presentation of one's experience and accomplishments typically comes in the form of a paragraph overview of his/her responsibilities followed by bulleted achievements. In your case, you presented a paragraph of your job description, and while providing this information is important, what you really want to focus the reader's attention on is where you truly contributed value. From reading your resume, I'd imagine you would have some additional highlights to present. Think about things you achieved while on the job. Did you help with any special projects? Did you receive customer commendations? Did you collaborate well with a customer service team? All of these things are areas in which you could present a more achievement-oriented statement to validate your claims in the summary and predict the contributions you could provide to your next employer.
EducationIt is assumed you have a high school diploma, so typically I would advise not to list that on your resume. In your case, as you received multiple academic honors, I would suggest pulling those items out and including them in your qualifications summary. You could say something like, "Graduated from high school in the top 10% of class, receiving numerous awards including Honor Roll, Super Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, and Student of the Year." I would then omit an education section and relocate your community involvement work to its own section.
I am confident if you revamp your resume you will emerge as a highly competitive candidate. You have a strong background for an entry-level candidate; it just needs to be presented a little more strategically than you have done thus far.
Samantha Nolan is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service resume-writing firm. Do you have a resume or job search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about Sam's resume writing services, visit ladybug-design.com or call 614-570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).
- California, as Clinton Territory, Finds Itself a Political Outlier
- In Shift, Hillary Clinton Won California’s Orange County
- Tackling the dreaded salary requirement question
- After winning a divided election, Thomas Jefferson had a comforting message to try to bring Americans together
- Americans neared a voter-turnout record — here's how 2016 compares to past elections
- 'Relieved' Rebecca Jeffery is booted off the Apprentice after item mix-up
- Here's President-elect Donald Trump's full victory speech
- Where President-elect Donald Trump stands on climate change
- The drug-pricing fight in California is getting ugly
- The 2016 election has marked a turning point in the politics of guns
- The Best Party on Two Wheels
- Resume review: Refreshing an outdated image
You might also like
- Trump’s CIA pick is seen as both a fierce partisan and serious student of national security issues
- Trump’s NATO Demand Clashes With EU Budgets
- Donald Trump Is in Advanced Talks to Settle Trump University Fraud Allegations
- Cities Defend Immigration Sanctuary Policies Under Fire by Donald Trump
- When President Trump Goes to War
- Buckingham Palace to Have 10-Year, $458 Million Refurbishment
- When Thomas Hart Benton Worked for Disney
- Best-Selling Books Week Ended Nov. 13
- ADM Chief Andreas Wielded Power in Washington and Abroad
- Obama Administration Rescinds Planned Lease Sales in Arctic
- Latin American Leaders Open Door to Tighter China Trade Ties
- A More Effective Way to Complain
- Powerful South Carolina political consultant implicated in indictments of a veteran state senator
- Will Donald Trump get a second Supreme Court nomination?
- "Hazing" rituals await Supreme Court's "junior justice" Neil Gorsuch
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Trump approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline
- Trump praises 'Fox & Friends,' renews old feuds in early morning tweets
- Rex Tillerson finally answers question from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell
- First Read's Morning Clips: The Latest in the Russia Investigation
- Spicer: 'I've let the president down'
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday
- OMB Diriector Mick Mulvaney: Washington's 'a lot more broken' than Trump thought
- Trump attacks conservatives over failure of health care bill
- A very consequential week didn't go well for President Trump
- Health Care Showdown: Republicans look to go big or go home
- No deal on health care bill after conservatives meet with Trump
- CA gov on those supporting health bill: 'Their name is going to be mud'
- Give it to me straight, doc: Is Obamacare dying?
- First Read's Morning Clips: Waiting for CBO
- 14 People Share What's It's Really Like to Have An Ex Who Is Now Their In-Law
- The Internet Is Freaking Out About The Way This Chef Cuts Pizza
- The hunt is on for Planet Nine. Here's how to join it
- Israeli prime minister talks of a snap election amid concerns over a new public broadcaster
- U.S. condemns suspected Syrian chemical attack on civilians, but says the Assad government is a 'political reality'
- Canada's largest school board will end class trips to the U.S. due to Trump's travel restrictions
- Warplanes strike Syrian town already hit by chemical attack
- Vigilantes prowl Europe's border with a target: Muslim migrants
- A letter from Britain to the European Union will trigger the 'Brexit' process March 29
- Ukraine president suggests a Kremlin-orchestrated attack after former Russian lawmaker is shot dead in Kiev
- Russian officials say St. Petersburg subway blast killed at least 11 and injured dozens
- As death toll in hospital attack soars to 50, Afghanistan investigates whether it was an inside job
- South Korea's ousted leader moves out of palace, apologizes for 'not fulfilling my duties'
- A brazen political killing shakes Myanmar, already teetering on the path to democracy
- India's Narendra Modi leads his party to victory in a state with more than 200 million people
- A controversial Thai monk is wanted in connection with a fraud case. His followers won't give him up
- Another Dalit suicide on campus raises fears of a crisis of discrimination at Indian universities
- Syrian government insists it does not use chemical weapons; US vows serious response to attack
- Bodies of U.N. workers and interpreter found in Congo, prompting calls for investigation
- Hamas hangs 3 Palestinians in Gaza it says were collaborating with Israel
- Basque group ETA hands over weapons, ammunition and explosives to France
- Syrian ally Iran blasts U.S. missile strikes as 'dangerous, destructive and a violation of international law'