‘To succeed in today’s job market, you have to think of your resume as an advertisement targeted towards your future boss.’ 

“To get a job you need some experience. But to get some experience you need a job.” Most of the time, candidates are trapped in this turmoil. The worst nightmare of every applicant while applying for a job is to get lost in an ocean of identical applications. But the secret is to showcase your abilities, skills, and educational qualification, profoundly and uniquely. Remember, writing a resume with no prior work experience requires lots of patience, dedication, time, and effort.

You’ve heard before that recruiters don’t spend a considerable amount of time reading every resume. So your goal should be to enable them to get as much information as you possibly can, in very little time. So remember, you have only got a few seconds to convince the recruiter that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. While designing your first resume, you need to be very precise. 

So, how can you make your resume stand out despite having no prior work experience? 

If you have limited or no prior work experience, it’s okay. You can give more emphasis on your educational qualification
While designing a resume with no prior work experience, focus on your educational qualification. Education can be your main strength and the main pillar of your resume.
Sprinkle your education qualification in a very impressive manner and mention your cumulative GPA to show recruiters how well you performed academically.

 So, make a meaningful education section. 

Put your education section on the very top of your resume.

If you have made it to the honor’s list or dean’s list, definitely mention it. Or if you have taken a semester abroad, do mention it.
If you have taken courses or worked on a project related to the job, write about them as well.
This section itself gives details about your college and mentions the year of graduation. 
Next, segregate your content into appropriate sections, highlight the important points and you can also use a bit of color to do that. Avoid artistic fonts and delete unnecessary information.

Before beginning to write the resume for the particular position, carefully review the job description, then list down any particular skill or requirement that you can fulfill. It’s also important to do some research about what’s going on in the industry by properly studying the current and effective trends, projects, and topics. Read about the company’s description on the website. The bottom line is to stay updated. 

While listing your potential skills, keep in mind that recruiters are looking for a blend of skills such as leadership, decision making, self-management, fluency in language along with the skills you have learned through your certified courses or your higher education. 

Never oversell or undersell yourself and only focus on your skills. For example: while listing your skills, you don’t have to discuss the role of a cashier at a local cafe or a restaurant but you need to discuss your time management skills and problem-solving skills and the ability to juggle between multiple tasks at once. 

Extracurricular and Volunteering activities: it can be fundraising or tutoring or coaching kids for a particular sport. 
Moreover, include your responsibilities, the number of ampere-hours you had volunteered for each activity.

“ A resume will seldom get you a job offer. A resume will often lose you a job offer “

But at the same time, with so many applicants following the same advice, similar resume layout, and template it can be difficult to make one‘s resume stand out and look impressive. Most of the time, the recruiters use ATS. 

What is ATS?
An applicant tracking system is a software that is widely used by the recruiters to scan and rank the applications for a particular position based on relevant keywords.

So, how can you make your resume look unique and cliché?

  • Structure your document properly. Use the right formatting and elements.
  • Upgrade your style: Use a bit of color to highlight your major achievement and thereby to showcase your personality and skills.
  • Reorganize your resume: keep your resume easy to read; use simple but professional keywords. 
  • Tailor your resume :
  • Look professional: Use a professional Email-id 
  • Focus on your education 
  • Add information on your education: emphasize on the relevant aspects such as GPA/Dean’s list 
  • Customize the skills the company is looking for: take your time to update your job descriptions and also your hard and soft skills to make an impressive resume. 
  • Add extra resume sections (if you can ): this will boost your CV
  • Write a compelling objective. Highlight your selling points.
  • Enlist your key skills. Focus on those relevant to the position.
  • Keep it concise 
  • Choose the Proper format and layout 
  • Avoid unnecessary text 
  • Avoid flowery/artistic fonts
  • Avoid using more than one font type on the same resume: All similar items in the resume need to be aligned and formatted in the same manner. For example: If you write the dates in bold, then the dates need to be bold in every other place on the resume. 
  • Focus only on the relevant things 
  • Use a conservative font and resume formatting
  • Use relevant keywords to showcase your skills for the job:
    It is very important to use the right keywords in your resume because such keywords create an impression that may lead the recruiter to either accept or reject your application.

The most important tool you have on a resume is language. 

Avoid slang or casual/informal texting language. Avoid anything that implies negativity and directly speaks about your weakness.
 Use powerful words, action words. Some common buzzwords are “experienced,” “expect,” “skilled,” “facilitated,” “launched,” and “demonstrated.”
One of the great ways to make your resume impressive is to remove the words which do not add value but instead replace them with examples about how you can add value.
By using wrong buzzwords, you are simply wasting everyone’s time and energy and thereby reducing your chances of reaching one step closer to your goals. So, the best thing to do is to use the right buzzwords showcasing your skills, abilities, dedication, credentials, and the right candidate for the job. You won’t get most of the buzzwords from the internet but just grab them for the job requirement list. Then shortlist all those keywords and also research beyond those words and finally include in your resume. Remember, using the right keywords increases the chances of your resume to move to the ” yes” pile.

  • Use the keywords related to the specific industry you are applying for

So,  what are the buzzwords you can use to showcase your resume?
A. Improved
B. Won- it denotes success
C. Enthusiast
D. Passionate
E. Multi-tasker

Keywords to avoid –
 A. Go-to person
B. Think outside the box
C. People pleaser
D. Self-sufficient
E. Good thinker

  • Use effective bullet points : 
    Some of the tools to write more effective Bullet Points are:
     Resy Bullet – It analyses your bullet points.
     ResumePuppy – Along with creating free LaTeX resumes, they have readymade bullet points for various Job Roles.
  • Expand your professional network :

While your resume plays an important role to get the job, networking should also be a priority. You are more likely to know about job opportunities or get recommended by someone in your network. According to one survey, most of the jobs get filled through networking which can either be professional or personal connections. 

  • Proofread the resume: this is the final step of preparing an impressive resume i.e. to proofread. Double-check little words, run a Grammarly check, and ensure there are no spelling mistakes. 
  • Print the resume- while printing your resume, print on a crisp white paper rather than a fancy colored one.
  • Make sure your resume matches the job requirement. 
  • Display a readiness for working with others and making impactful contributions.

Remember the ultimate goal is to make your resume unique. Portray your profile to demonstrate the skills that you’re excited to use in the future, so recruiters know you’re ready to take on something new and challenging. 

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