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Resume Tips for Teens & Graduates

Finding your first job or pre- paring for the job hunt can be daunting for a recent high school graduate.

Whether you’ve just completed high school or are attending university, getting the right job experience is vital in reaching your career goals. The idea of applying for jobs may seem frightening for some with today’s job market, but here are a few simple tips can help make the process easier.

A resume’ is a formal document which allows for a job applicant to itemize qualifications, career aspirations and achievements for a desired job position. It should always be accompanied by a cover letter, which is used to allow the applicant the opportunity to express interest in a specific job or company. It draws attention to the skills one possesses, highlighting what makes them an ideal candidate and an asset to the organization.

When creating a resume’ you should always have two versions. One should be career specific and the other focusing on entry-level skills such as customer service. It is important to adapt both versions to any job which is being applied for. It shows genuine interest in the role and demonstrates you’ve read and comprehended the job description, knowing what skills are expected of the ideal candidate.

One of the first decisions which should be taken is what type of resume to write: chronological, functional or combination. Each resume’ will be beneficial for each person depending on their experience, background and career objectives. A resume’ is a step in creating a professional, readable document therefore, making specific decisions such as font size, font style and margin size you want to present a document that allows a recruiter to quickly visualize your goals and skills to determine whether you are suitable for a role.

A combination resume’ is best for graduates. This type of resume tends to be a mix of chronological and functional and allows more flexibility. It leads with education/qualifications, work experience and skills followed by reverse-chronological work history.

It’s important to start your resume’ with a career objective; a short concise summary of your career goals, skills and motivation. Don’t be afraid to highlight your willingness to increase the skills you already possess to improve on your career and personal development skills.

If you’re writing without much work experience, focus on your education to fill in the document body.  Emphasize any subjects which have been studied that will be of asset to you in the role. Once you gain more experience and are awarded qualifications, this section can be moved.

If you have work experience, whether it’s part-time or summer employment, list them after your education in reverse order. When summarising your duties, use bullet points and short concise sentences in the right grammatical tense. Don’t forget to include any volunteering opportunities and positions of responsibilities. There are many transferable skills which are developed and learnt in these environments. Think about the tasks you’ve completed and what skills you used to complete any particular project. Skills could include but are not limited to partnering and collaborating, public speaking, self-supervision, time management and organising and planning.

Ensure you add any short courses or training completed, this could be Safeguarding, Customer Service and or IT. Lastly references, there is no real need to include them in your resume any more, most times references aren’t asked for until you’ve received a confirmation of employment or it would be included in the application form.

Formatting a combination resume include the following sections:
ï        Career Objective
ï        Education
ï        Work Experience (Relevant & Additional)
ï        Volunteering
ï        Positions of Responsibility (Student Council, Debate Team, Prom Committee)
ï        Key Skills
ï        Qualification and Training  
Eight Success Factors for Resume Building
ï        Always submit resume’ and cover Letters as a PDF and not as a Word document.
ï        Submit a cover letter specifically addressed to the company you’re apply for.
ï        Limit your resume’ to two pages. ï        Use a simplistic but professional email address
ï        Use content and keywords tailored towards application requirements.
ï        Don’t use fancy fonts; less is more.
ï        Stick with using consistent formatting – font, line spacing and alignment.
ï        Ask a peer to review your resume’ for grammar and readability.

Akira Adams is the owner of HIRE Consultancy, a resume’ and curriculum vitae ser- vice, specialising in CV building. She can be reached at hireconsultancy@outlook.com. BPM