What to Include in Your Resume for Your First Job?

Horizontal view of woman with her curriculum vitae-1Having zero job experience doesn't have to be a problem at all – there’s always room to cultivate some so, be excited! Finding a great opportunity depends on your intuitive qualities. If your instinct says, “attend that interview,” attend it. If it says, “continue your job hunt,” then keep searching. And never miss opportunities simply because you aren't prepared to put a spotlight on your resume!

To get the best out of your searches, keep your resume updated at all times and your experiences always new. Never forget that you get new job experience just by practicing. Practice makes perfect. And perfect makes money.

So, what should you add to your resume as a fresh college graduate? Take a look, and don’t hesitate to leave us questions or comments.

1. The Summary

Your resume will stand out if you provide a summary of your qualities. Through hundreds or even thousands of awaiting resumes, yours will be the easiest to spot because of its efficiency – a professional summary makes the content easy to understand and quick to scan. If you don’t have any job experience, a synopsis is an excellent way of providing some quick info about yourself.

  • Start by presenting yourself – what you do, who you are, what your field of study or interest is
  • Keep it brief and to the point
  • Make a list of the qualities you are bringing to the company – why would they hire you?


2. Emphasis On Education

Your education section must be the top-most information presented. At this point in your life, this is how your resume must look since your background experience is zero or close to it. Some highlights:

  • Your highest degree is the most important, so it must be included first
  • Add other degrees if you have any
  • If a college graduate, don’t include any high-school info


  • Where, when, and what school you graduated from
  • Your major/minor
  • The type of diploma you received

In case you are not confident in your formatting skills, any professional resume writing service on the market will be able to help you. It’s an excellent alternative to have, in case your mind goes blank!


3. What are your skills?

Your skill section must be well-designed and appreciably structured. You should avoid writing a one-size-fits-all type of resume and sending it out impersonalized. It looks negligent and won’t get you very far on the job market. It seems unprofessional. Your skills should be included in an uncluttered, organized way. Here is an example of what this section should look like.

Skills Section Example

My Skills:

  • Proficient in Verbal Communication and Client Interaction
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Programs
  • Expert in LinkedIn Marketing and Advertising

If you find it necessary, design an “Additional Skills” section and insert it at the end of the page.


4. Have You Been Volunteering?

If you were a big fan of volunteering in college, the time to show it off has come! Employers love unexplored potential and excitement combined. If you are a fresh graduate, your volunteer work has been your ‘real work’ over the last years, hasn’t it?

  • Under the Experience Section, include all of your relevant volunteering experiences, briefly describing your past duties and accomplishments
  • If your volunteering work does not relate to the job you are applying for, add your activities under “Additional/Unrelated Experience” section. They will help too!
  • Emphasize your leadership positions, if you held any

Volunteering Experience Example

Relevant Volunteering Work:

  • Scout Leader, Girl Scouts of America, Orlando, Florida, Summer 2012 to 2015 – - – coordinated bonding activities and led training groups
  • Teacher Assistant, Don Juan Disability School, Bogota, Colombia, Summer 2014 – coordinated class activities and took psychology courses


5. What Have You Won Over the Years?

Ever wondered how your Honors and Awards Section could bring you the desired job? Here are some things to do and not do as it relates to awards.


  • Each award must be briefly described – why and when you received it is crucial to include
  • Your award section should not be the focus of your resume
  • The format is important, so keep the content clean and your honor diplomas well-explained
  • If you have both educational and sports awards, keep them separate, but focus on them both


  • Don’t include irrelevant diplomas
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have too many awards – you’ve just started your career!
  • Don’t lie about past experiences if they never happened

Be proud of yourself! Show them what they are missing if they don’t hire you.


6. How Many Languages Do You Speak?

If you speak more than one language, the chances of getting your desired job will exponentially grow! So, how should you include this vital piece of information in your resume?

  • Language skills are usually listed under the Skills Section, but I like designing a brand-new subtitle only for my language abilities; I call it “Language Skills” – it catches any employer’s eye in a second!
  • Find out your proficiency level – are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced speaker? How are your listening skills? How about writing? Can you converse?

Quick Tip: Update your resume on LinkedIn for faster outcomes and shorter reply-waiting times!


7. What Are Your References?

Ask your favorite professor to offer you some feedback – does your resume look professional? Does it have everything it takes? Would he/she hire you? What’s missing? What is there to add? Were you sincere? Is there anything you’d like to emphasize even more? Did you personalize it accordingly?

Editing and proofreading your resume one more time after receiving feedback is crucial. If your content contains errors or any form of spelling mistakes you’ll immediately be rejected and probably never again considered.


Wrapping Up

Dear fresh graduate students, this is what you have to include in your resume for great outcomes: a short summary of your studies and volunteering experience, an emphasis on education, your detailed skill set, and last but not least, your honors and awards. Ask for feedback from a dear professor and don’t forget to edit. Good luck with your job hunt!


Jessy Lee is an experienced recruiter and headhunter. She knows how to create the best resume, get ready to interview and how to land your dream job. You may contact her via LinkedIn (

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