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Seven Entry-Level Resume Tips for Finding Entry-Level Jobs

 Seven Entry-Level Resume Tips for Finding Entry-Level Jobs

Entry-level-resume advice

Peter Vogt Monster Senior Contributing Writer

September 29, 2009

When you’re a college student or recent grad and trying to write an entry-level resume, especially your first one, you’ll face questions you typically won’t find addressed in the current blizzard of resume books. That doesn’t mean your questions aren’t valid; it simply means the resume experts often overlook them, because they generally target mid-career audiences.

I’ve seen many versions of the following entry-level resume -related questions. It’s time for some answers.

1. Should My Resume Be One Page or Two?

If you read enough books or talk to enough people who “know” about resumes, you’ll come across a rule stating your resume should be only one page long. It’s time to let this myth go, along with the resume handcuffing it spawns.

It’s great if you can do this. But if you end up leaving out so much good material that you destroy your interview chances, what good have you done?

Remember: A human will read your resume. Some readers demand your resume be one page. Others will read a two-pager without hesitation. You don’t know who’s who, but the point still remains –- a one-page rule simply doesn’t exist.

2. Should the Education Section Go First or Last?

In most cases, it makes sense to put the Education section at the beginning of your resume, since you’re a college student or recent grad. But if you’ve got a lot of great internship, co-op or work experience closely related to your chosen field, position your Experience section ahead of Education.

Here’s another resume area where there’s no rule: Put it where it makes the most sense for you and your particular skills and experiences.

3. Should I Include My GPA on My Resume?

Yes — if it’s above a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). If not, try to make it look better by highlighting your major GPA instead of your cumulative one or calculating your GPA for the last three or four semesters, for example.

4. Should I List My School Address, Permanent Address or Both?

If in doubt, list both — as long as you can actually be reached at both. If not, use the address where an employer will actually be able to reach you for the next few months.

5. What Can I Put on My Resume If I Don’t Have Much Experience?

For starters, don’t overlook or ignore the skills you’ve gained from jobs you’ve taken simply to get through school. You’ve also gained valuable experience from:

  • Your foreign-language study.
  • Alternative learning experiences, like studying abroad or conducting research.
  • Your computer and Internet use.

    6. Should My Resume Include Only Paid Experience?

Employers are interested in your skills, not whether or not you’ve been paid to learn them. So don’t hesitate to highlight nonpaying work and volunteer experiences if they’ve given you bragging rights.

7. Should I Include Precollege Information on My Entry-Level Resume?

Generally, no — employers aren’t likely to care about it much. There are exceptions, of course. Suppose you won a national award in high school, or you accomplished something extraordinary. Then you should highlight it, especially if it’s connected to your chosen field.

Remember: Resume writing is much more art than science, so just as you would with an art project, express yourself the way that works best for you and the information you’re trying to portray.

Find entry-level jobs and build the perfect entry-level resume only on MonsterCollege!

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    7 months ago


  • Superhero_logo


    almost 5 years ago


    Please keep your comments on topic to the article -- Any comments posted with embedded links leading to questionable infected sites outside MonsterCollege will be removed and the poster's account will be banned from MonsterCollege. Thank you.

  • Masquerade_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    There are no rules to resume writing, I really like that.
    i disagree with jonny. Education does not have to go first. What I've learned is that when talking to recruiters they hardly ever get past the first few lines, it's what they ask most about. Even if you go to a top notch school, if there's experience you've had that's relevant, they wanna know about that. A lot of people have degrees and/or high gpas, its not that impressive to them.

  • Google_image_result_for_http___farm4


    almost 6 years ago


    We students should ALWAYS lead with our education on our resumes..what are we going to lead with instead? Working at Arby's? Obvi right?