Tech & Work

Resume tips for those just starting out

If you're just starting out in the work world, here are some tips on how to construct a resume that highlights your skills more than your work experience.

Yesterday I talked about how to take the fluff out of your resume if you're an experienced IT pro. Today we'll talk about what to include in your resume if you're just starting out in the work world.

Since you're just starting out, odds are you'll be applying for entry level positions. (You may be confident, but you might want to wait on applying directly for that VP position.) The goal with a resume for a person new to the field is to play up your strengths, whether they're classes you've taken or skills you've gained through volunteer work.

First of all, you should consider using a functional resume format. This format allows you to list your experience in skills clusters, as opposed to a chronological breakdown. A normal practice for most resumes is to list experience first and education second. You'll want to do the opposite. Go into detail on the classes that you took that are directly related to the position you're applying for. List key skills you've learned. Include your GPA only if it's 3.0 or over.

List any summer jobs, volunteer work, military experience, or internships that you may have had. They may not be directly related to the tech field, but they can demonstrate your work ethic.

Finally, and this one is not going to go down easily, express a willingness to accept the conditions other employees don't want — a willingness to work weekends or to relocate.

If anyone has any more tips to offer, post them in the discussion following this blog.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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