All job-seekers have an entry-level job at one point or another. An entry-level position is the first job you will likely have in a new field. It is intended to launch your work experience and you get your foot in the door. Whether you are a graduating college student or want to change careers, there are many examples and templates you can use to begin crafting your entry-level resume.
An entry-level resume should show a potential employer what experience and skills you have to enter a new professional field. The focus here is on skills and aptitude rather than experience. Emphasize abilities that show what you can bring to the specific job.
For an entry-level resume, you will want to use the functional resume format. This resume format is ideal for when you have little to no experience in the job field you are applying for. Also, keep in mind that an entry-level resume should be no longer than one page, and there are many components you will want to pack into this limited space. Focus primarily on your skills and education, as you may not have a lot of professional experiences yet. Any professional experiences you’ve had should be listed in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent experience at the top. For the font, use something easy-to-read like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.
The first part of your entry-level resume is the header. This is where you will put your contact information including your full name, phone number, and email address so potential employers and recruiters know how to contact you.
The resume objective, or resume summary. is the next section in your professional resume. A resume objective is used when you have little to no work experience and states your career goals. In contrast, a resume summary highlights your most notable achievements in your work history. Regardless of whether you decide to use a resume objective or a resume summary, this section will only be about 2-3 sentences long.
Since you may not have a lot of professional experience to share, the skills section is where you can shine during your job search. You will want to share hard skills and technical skills that are related to your field. For example, using Microsoft Excel and other software programs, or managing social media, are hard skills.
Soft skills are skills that are not tangible but are useful in all jobs. Some examples are communication skills, teamwork, and organization skills. If you can, group your skills into categories (e.g., “Organizational Skills,” “Computer Skills”) and aim to display around 16-20 skills total.
Work experiences should be listed in reverse-chronological order section. Include the title of the job, company, and dates you held the job. Then, using bullet points, list the major responsibilities and accomplishments you had at that job. Begin each sentence with action verbs like “Processed” or ”Compiled” (e.g., “Managed and directed 500 customer calls on a daily basis”).
Include only relevant experience. Part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, internships, and volunteer work may be considered relevant even if they are not paid, as long as they feature important skills. For instance, if you are applying to a paralegal position and were in the debate club, that could be important to note! Keep in mind that your responsibilities of a job may be similar to the job description you are applying to, even if the job title is not the same!
For an entry-level position, the education section of your resume is very relevant, especially for recent graduates. List your highest credential (e.g., high school or college) and your course of study, as well as any relevant coursework. Only list your GPA if it was above 3.5 and you graduated within the past year. You can also include any certifications you may have, such as Microsoft 365 or a Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate.
Yes. You should include a cover letter with every job application. A cover letter allows you to explain to a potential employer why you would be a good fit for the position. It also allows the employer to see more closely how a candidate’s skills and experiences align with the position.
An entry-level job is usually the first step on the ladder in a field. It is a position that is meant to prepare you for a future in that field. For example, a production assistant could be an entry-level job if your goal is to work in production management. If you are unsure if a job is an entry-level job, job sites like LinkedIn have a filter you can set to see which jobs are entry-level positions.
The best resume type for an entry-level job would be a functional resume. The functional resume template focuses more on your skills and abilities and has less emphasis on experience, since you may not have a lot of experience to share yet.