How to Make a Resume for First Job with Template

Updated 27 April 2023

Before entering the professional world, you can create a resume that can help you get your first job. A resume showcases your core strengths, relevant skill set and qualification history, so knowing how to execute an effective resume is important. In this article, we offer a detailed, step-by-step guide on making a resume for your first job, discuss what to include if you have minimal experience and provide a resume for a first job template to use for reference.

How to make a resume for first job

You can use a resume to draw attention to your educational achievements, past projects, voluntary roles and extracurricular activities. By completing all the above, you demonstrate the necessary skills to achieve an entry-level position. We have devised a step-by-step guide on how to write your resume for your first job:

1. Insert keywords into your resume

The easiest way to make your resume stand out from other candidates is by incorporating keywords used by the employer in the original job description. Since many applications are posted online, recruiters often use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter the most relevant resumes. The ATS primarily selects resumes based on whether the keywords align with the job descriptions. You can carefully analyse the job description for words or phrases that relate to you. Sections titled “key qualifications,” “minimum requirements,” or “job responsibilities” are great places to look.

Once you've selected skills and abilities that appeal to you, aim to incorporate them into the main body of your resume seamlessly. You may use them to describe a previous experience, include them in your summary or list them as skills. For example, if you are applying for a role as a customer assistant at a retail store, the job description may consist of desired traits such as:

  • can confidently communicate vital customer service

  • work collaboratively with other team members

  • self-motivated and driven by results.

They may also look for someone to undertake tasks such as:

  • greet customers as they enter the store

  • assist with visual merchandising for promotional sales and seasonal changes

  • maintain organisation in the stock room.

As you review points such as these, aim to link them to a time you demonstrated that skill or undertook a similar duty. Include information regarding the impact of your actions on the company. Here is an example of how you can translate the employer's keywords into your resume:

Skills and Experiences

Happy Aid Charity Shop, Volunteer, January 2016-March 2017

  • Proactively greeted each customer as they entered the store, offering assistance to everyone

  • Demonstrated seamless organisation while sorting through large donation packages. Coordinated clothing by size and estimated price point

  • Worked collaboratively with other volunteers to ensure new stock was distributed on the shop floor while serving customers

  • Confidently served customers at the till making sure they were 100% satisfied with their visit.

Related: How to Write a Resume Using a University Student Resume Template

2. Add your education and qualifications

Outlining your high school, college or university grades and additional qualifications is another excellent way to integrate your core strengths. It would help if you always aimed to write these in chronological order when you obtained the qualification. For example, if you attended university, write:


Rowtree Plains University, 2016-2019

Bachelor of Project Management with Honours: 2:1

Underneath, you may add any recognition or coursework relevant to the job receiving your resume. If you wrote a dissertation or thesis, you might consider adding the main title and grade obtained. Recruiters for specialised jobs often look for accredited institutions or courses.

3. Write a resume summary

A resume summary, also known as a personal profile or career objective, is usually a short description summarising your applicable skills. This is one of the first segments a potential employer sees, so you'll need to make sure it's clear, concise and leaves them wanting to know more about what you and why you'd be a good fit for the role. Here are definitive statements you can use to help you construct your own summary:

  • ‘I am a highly driven marketing graduate seeking a full-time position in digital marketing where I can apply my knowledge of marketing strategy to help promote the organisation's services and increase profitability’.

  • ‘I am a reliable team player and aspiring project manager with proven communication skills. I am looking to use my ability to work collaboratively to strengthen my knowledge of technical programs as a project manager's assistant’.

4. Include previous work experience

In this segment, you can focus on any professional, voluntary or community-based experience you have gained. If you have a substantial number of work placements to include, consider featuring what you believe puts you at an advantage.

Unless you are applying for a temporary role with a contracted duration of employment, hiring managers often aim to employ candidates who are likely stay with the company to reduce turnover. For this reason, you can include only experiences where you stayed for a longer duration. If you only have brief placements, you may wish to add a reason for leaving, such as project completion or seasonal role.

5. Add your skill set

Your skill set is of high importance to the hiring manager, as they are trying to gauge whether your skills align with the job's requirements. Soft skills typically refer to the personal traits that you use in the workplace. Hard skills are proficiencies you have learnt through practice. Here are some soft and hard skills you can include on your resume for a first job:

Soft skills

Soft skills are attributes of your personality that can be useful in your career. Some examples of soft skills you may wish to add to your resume include:

  • strong written and verbal communication skills

  • time management

  • organisation

  • collaboration

  • flexibility

  • multitasking

  • creative thinking

  • problem-solving.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

Hard skills

Hard skills, often referred to as technical skills, are developed throughout your education and career. When listing your hard skills, you can use an adjective to demonstrate the extent of your knowledge. Examples of technical skills may include:

  • knowledge of specific programming languages

  • foreign language speaking

  • data analysis

  • maths skills.

Resume for first job template

Here's a chronological template you can use to create your first resume:

[First and last name]
[Home address]
[Phone number]
[Professional email address]

Resume summary

[Your resume summary is one to two sentences that emphasize your strongest skills and show hiring managers how you match the description for the role you want.]


[Job title]
[Company name], [Start date–End date]

  • [Job duty that describes the effects of your work]

  • [Job duty that describes the effects of your work]

  • [Job duty that describes the effects of your work]

[Job title]
[Company name], [Start date–End date]

  • [Job duty that describes the effects of your work]

  • [Job duty that describes the effects of your work]

  • [Job duty that describes the effects of your work]

Professional skills

  • [Skill that's relevant to the role]

  • [Skill that's relevant to the role]

  • [Skill that's relevant to the role]


[Name of university], [Dates attended]
[Name of degree or qualification earned]

How do I write a resume for my first job with no experience?

Before you work on the main body of your resume, consider brainstorming which soft skills you possess. You can then reflect on how you demonstrated these skills during a school project. Make sure you incorporate any achievements or certificates gained during your time in education. Hiring managers also look for extracurricular activities pursued inside and outside the classroom such as sport, instrument playing, learning a language, volunteer work or academic teams.

To leave a positive first impression, you can thoroughly check your resume to correct any spelling or grammatical errors. Hiring managers who receive a large number of applications may only skim-read resumes. Therefore, you can keep paragraphs short but concise, using bullet points where you can. Also, remember that a well-formatted resume can leave a lasting impression, aiming to keep it need and consistent. If the position requires references, you may politely ask your educators or team leaders for permission to supply their details.

Related: 15 Good First Jobs (With Salaries, Duties and Requirements)

What should I put on my resume for my first job?

When applying for your first job, you can instantly get the attention of the hiring manager with an engaging resume summary directly relating to the position. Ensure you highlight any voluntary work to show you are proactively developing your skill set. Use your resume as a chance to sell yourself by adding in unique achievements.

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