I have never had or have little work experience, so what do I put on my resume?
Writing a resume for the first time is like putting together a puzzle with no reference picture. It's confusing, you don't know what pieces to put where and it seems pointless.
Well, here are some simple tips and things to include when trying to navigate your way through it:
Tailor this section to highlight your achievements, in education and your personal life. State what you have done so far and what direction you want your life to take, both professionally and personally.
- Qualifications and Education
List your highest education level and, if relevant, what grade levels you achieved. This applies whether it’s for high school, university or further education like TAFE. Give employers an idea of what kind of student you were/are, and what kind of asset you could be to an employer.
Students and first job applications often may not have much, if any, professional experience. So you can list any work experience stints you may have gained, volunteer work or part-time work.
Again, this may be limited by life and professional experience, but think hard. Many high schools teach typing, computer skills, basic wood and metal shop work- which can be important to a trade type job- and sports skills. Even driving may be a helpful skill to list. A lot of schools also now provide students with skills in word processing and graphic design programs, which can be very relevant knowledge for the right job.
- Memberships and Community Activities
Do you play a team sport? Are you a Surf Lifesaver? Captain of a school club? Are you a prefect? Anything that you’ve done in life that highlights your contribution and commitment to certain areas in your school or personal life are a great inclusion.
Similar to what has been mentioned above, list anything you’re interested in or passionate about. What makes you happy? What gives you a thrill?. Have you achieved something worth noting, like winning a short story competition or giving a valedictorian speech?
Taking part in volunteer positions, and helping not-for-profit organisations is a great inclusion on a resume if you can use it. Make sure to list ANY volunteer work possible.
Many schools encourage their students to ask teachers they have excelled under for a reference, and many are happy to give one and be listed for contact. You can also ask sporting coaches and mentors.
Here is a Basic Template to play with if you are struggling to start:
Click to download
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