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Top Entry-Level Resume Examples for You to Use This Year

Just because you’re applying for an entry-level job doesn’t mean you can't write a strong resume. Follow these entry-level resume tips.

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By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Create a strong entry-level resume

The term “entry-level” means any position where you typically don’t need a lot of work experience to get hired. However, that doesn’t mean an entry-level job will necessarily just accept anyone who applies. You still need to prove to a potential employer that you have what it takes to succeed. No matter what job you’re pursuing, if this is your first job, or you’re just changing careers, use our entry-level resume examples and tips.

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What to highlight in an entry-level resume

In an entry-level resume, you need to highlight your skills and non-job experience as much as possible. In an entry-level position, recruiters know that you’re probably not going to have a very significant experience section. However, they will expect you to have skills that relate to the job, any required certifications, and the right personality traits (or soft skills) for the job. These are the areas you should highlight when you’re applying.

How to write an entry-level resume

The structure of your resume will depend on which resume format you use. The three formats are chronological, which emphasizes work experience, functional, which emphasizes skills, and hybrid or combination, which emphasizes both. For an entry-level resume, it’s usually best to go with a functional format, which focuses on your abilities rather than your lack of work history.

Header

The header goes at the very top of the resume. It includes your full name, phone number and email address.

Resume objective

Next is the resume objective. This is a short 2-3 sentence paragraph that quickly describes who you are and what you’re looking for in a job. For an entry-level resume, it might mention that you’re a high school graduate, any related experience you have, or relevant coursework you completed.

Skills

The skills section for an entry-level resume is where you can really shine. Highlight your soft skills, like communication skills and teamwork, as well as any technical skills related to your job that you’ve mastered. For example, if you’re applying for an entry-level secretary job, you might want to mention a high WPM typing speed, your ability to create a sense of teamwork in a group, and any extracurricular or volunteer work where you assumed organizational duties. Always check the job description to see what a company wants in an applicant before listing your skills.

Work history

Most of the time, you won’t have an official work history if you’re writing an entry-level resume. However, you can still list other types of relevant experience in reverse-chronological order. Remember that volunteer work and work at part-time jobs is still professional experience, and if it’s relevant to the job, you can list it on your resume. A good resume leverages as much experience as possible, even experience that doesn’t seem like it would be relevant to your job search.

Education

If you’re going into a field that requires prior education, your education section will likely be a focus in your resume. List any college experience or job-specific training you have, and only list high school experience if you don’t have college experience. Recent graduates may also want to list extracurricular activities done throughout their years of experience in college.

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Do's and don'ts for your entry-level resume

check sign Do's
  • Look for keywords in the job description that spell out what the job is looking for. Using these keywords in your resume allow you to get through applicant tracking systems(ATS) and creates a professional resume that shows off your most relevant professional qualifications.
  • Use bullet points when you can, including for your skills list and details about past work experiences. This keeps your resume concise and readable.
  • Check out job-specific resume exampleswritten by job experts before you write your resume. This is a great way to get guidance on how to create the most effective resume for your job.
close sign Don'ts
  • List your GPA. In general, hiring managers don’t care about your GPA, but if you received any honors or special recognition for your academic work, list those.
  • Have a resume longer than a single page. Especially for an entry-level job, there’s no reason to go overboard with non-essential info. Focus on the skills and qualifications that fit the job.
  • List work history that’s completely irrelevant. If you’re planning to list a previous job, it should display skills or accomplishments that tie in with the job you're applying for.

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FAQ: Entry-level resumes

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Do I need to include a cover letter for an entry-level application?

Yes. An entry-level cover letter gives you the chance to provide more details about all the talents you mention in your resume. Plus, it’s a good way to ask for a job interview, which makes the hiring manager more likely to give it to you.

How do I proofread my entry-level resume?

Typos are the death of any resume, and this is even true in an entry-level resume. One option is to use ResumeHelp’s resume builder, which has tools that catch errors. Plus, the ResumeHelp resume builder offers expert tips that will improve your resume.

How do I change my entry-level resume to apply to different jobs?

Resume keywords are important to keep in mind as you’re applying to different jobs. While you can use an entry-level resume example to generally understand how to structure your resume, you also need to highlight the specific skills a job description is looking for. This allows you to present the best side of yourself and get that job interview you want.

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WRITTEN BY Ho Lin

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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