Entry-Level Resume Samples + How-to Tips

Entry-Level Resume Samples + How-to Tips

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Entry-Level Resume Samples + How-to Tips

Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2020-07-07

You're a fresh graduate looking for a job.

Or…

Perhaps you're transitioning from one industry to another so you can have a better future.

Whatever your situation, you're certain of this one thing:

You're a qualified candidate, and you deserve a chance to prove your worth.

You've built up many skills and experience in your recent years to prepare for this moment.

Unfortunately...

Entering the workforce can be a challenge to you for many reasons, especially if it's your first time.

You've been preparing yourself all your life for this moment. But when the time comes for it, you might be surprised by how vital work experience is to landing a new job.

To be honest, your lack of expertise isn't your fault.

You did what you had to do.

Yet:

Companies prefer experienced candidates to save them the trouble of training new employees. They want to avoid unnecessary errors.

So, that puts you in a paradoxical situation.

You can't get a job unless you have the experience, but you also need to work to gain expertise.

That's enough for many people to quit looking for employment. It makes the majority settle for less challenging job positions so that they can avoid doing work.

But that's not you…

You're here because you want to go the extra mile and take your career to the next level.

Fortunately, that is possible!

There is a solution to this problem which will end with you landing the job you're dreaming of even if you don't have enough experience around it.

How?

In this guide, we'll teach you how to write an entry-level resume, even if you have no experience.

You'll learn how to make up for your lack of expertise in the workplace by focusing on other aspects such as education, training, transitional skills, and more.

We’ll also share with you lots of job-winning entry level resume samples that you can use to make your own resume.

Ready?

Let's get started.

This entry-level resume guide will teach you

  • +7 entry level resume examples with detailed explanations
  • How to stay relevant to the job application by choosing the right keywords
  • The best way to write a header and summary sections that keep recruiters interested in you
  • Why focusing on skills and education is your best bet competing against others with experience
  • How to make your resume stronger by featuring certifications and additional sections

Entry-level resume example

Looking for related resumes?

How to write an entry-level resume with no experience

An entry-level resume focuses on your educational background, transitional skills, and your achievements. It's intended to make up for your lack of experience in the field by highlighting your strengths and potential.

Think of it as a marketing piece that showcases why you're the best applicant for the role. It's not enough to get you hired, but it's your first step towards landing an interview.

Resumes make the hiring process a lot easier for businesses and applicants.

Companies can't have an open office for all candidates to come and interview.

And at the same time...

As an applicant, you wouldn't have to interview for all the jobs on the market.

That's why you need a strong resume to convince recruiters that you're a winner.

Now, your real concern isn't just how to write any resume.

Instead, it is:

How to write an entry-level resume that gets you hired?

For starters:

You must stick to a professional resume format.

The best entry-level resume format is the classic format with black and white colors. They use simple fonts and a lot of white space to stay professional.

Remember:

Your resume format isn't the place to show your creativity.

You don't want to use unusual fonts, too much color, or a unique format to place your sections.

Doing that might disqualify you in matters of seconds as it turns off hiring managers.

PRO TIPEnhancv’s entry-levelresume templates are built with recruiter in mind, checking off on all of the above criteria.

Another essential thing to keep in mind is:

Keep your language relevant to the job application.

To put that in simple words:

You must use the keywords you find in the offer to write your resume.

This simple trick allows you to move past screening robots in case the company is receiving hundreds of resumes a day. And it also helps you appear more relevant when the hiring manager reads your resume.

What sections should an entry level resume have?

  • Header to grab the recruiter’s attention and make a strong first impression
  • Summary to show your potential and spark the hiring manager’s interest
  • Experience to highlight the overlap between your past work and the new position
  • Skills to showcase your best qualities and talents  
  • Education to explain your lack of experience
  • Certificates to demonstrate how invested and involved your are in your career

What recruiters look for in an entry level resume

  • Professionalism and work ethics that align with the company’s values and culture
  • Relevant soft and core skills that qualify you to be the best at your job
  • A strong educational background that explains for your lack of experience
  • Candidate’s willingness to work hard and go the extra mile while being trained for the job
  • Certificates, achievements, and additional sections to show motivation and early career engagement

How to write a header for your entry level resume

As each year goes by, the job market becomes more competitive, and the number of jobs available goes down.

Therefore:

It's reasonable to have hundreds of candidates competing for one position at the same time.

That makes recruiters less interested in quantity and more attentive to quality.

A hiring manager at a big company is busy handling many tasks. They aren't going to waste time reading each resume word by word before making a decision.

Believe it or not:

It takes them a few seconds to skim through your resume before deciding if they're interested in you.

Can you guess where they start?

The header.

It's what grabs their attention and keeps them reading until your profile hooks them.

Of course, this doesn't mean you're going to land the job by having an amazing header.

That's not what resume headers are for.

A resume header shows that you're a relevant, professional candidate. And that way, it gets the recruiter to read the summary.

Now the question is:

How can you write a great entry-level resume header?

It's simple.

The header section should have the following information:

  • Job title
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Portfolio

And they need to follow specific standards to be professional.

Let's look at an example:

2 entry level resume header examples

Pamela Woolfolk
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
94Payne Street Houston, 77062, Texas
WRONG

The information included in this header is all correct. Yet, it doesn't promote the candidate as a professional.

For example:

The email address used here is a personal email. It looks like an online gaming alias, which isn't suited for professional job positions.

That's your first lesson.

Stick to professional email providers such as Gmail, Outlook, or iCloud. And be sure to use a professional format to be more appealing to recruiters.

Here are some examples of good email formats for resume applications:

  • firstlast@domain.com
  • first.last@domain.com
  • flast@domain.com
  • firstl@domain.com
  • first.last@domain.com
  • f.last@domain.com
  • first.l@domain.com

Avoid using ".edu" emails in your resume. Doing that tells the recruiter that you're still in some way associated with your college or university.

That's not a good sign for the hiring company.

Next:

There is no need to include the full home address in your header.

Just the city and state would be enough for the hiring company to know that you live in a nearby area.

Also:

Be sure to add a job title to your resume and match it to the one used in the job application.

For example, if you're making a business analyst entry level resume, you could use:

Junior business analyst.

And one last thing to remember:

It's always good to include a link to your LinkedIn profile to allow recruiters to learn more about you.

And if you're applying to a position where a portfolio is needed, you could feature the link to that instead.

Now, here’s a better entry level resume template for your header:

Pamela Woolfolk
Junior Business Analyst
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
www.linkedin.com/in/pamelawoolfolk
Hou, Texas
RIGHT

This is a much better example than the previous one.

It isn’t any longer, nor does it offer different information.

However:

It comes off as professional and serious, which all hiring managers love to see.

How to craft a summary/objective for an entry-level resume

The first question you need to answer before writing this part is:

Should my resume have a summary or an objective?

Here’s the deal:

The summary section’s importance for a resume is evident from its name. It summarizes your work history in a nutshell.

But you’re an entry-level candidate!

If you only rely on your work history to write your summary, you won’t have much to say. And that makes you look unqualified.

So…

You need to end that with some of your goals and objectives at the new company.

You’re going to focus on your greatest assets and accomplishments to get your point across. Then, you’ll show how much you want this job and why you’re passionate about the company.

You must adapt your language to the application as much as possible.

For instance:

You should include similar skills, job titles, educational background, and other keywords to the ones mentioned in the job offer.

And do not emphasize any irrelevant interests or unrelated hobbies.

2 entry-level resume summary examples

For example, let’s write a summary for a computer science entry-level resume.

Summary
I recently graduated from college with a degree in computer science. I'm a hard-working individual passionate about coding and web development. I need a position to work at your company to develop my skills and boost my career.
WRONG

At such a point of your career, you already have little to offer compared to seniors with decades of experience.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double down on what you can do.

If you read carefully through this example, you’ll notice how egocentric the candidate is.

They’re looking for an opportunity to work at a successful company. Yet, they blew their chance by only talking about themselves.

They didn’t explain what value they can offer to the company and only talked about how this job is beneficial to them.

Even worse:

Anyone applying to the same position could use the same text. In a pile of hundreds of resumes, it’s possible to find other applicants with similar summaries.

Here’s the most important part:

If you do the same, you’re not looking at things from the recruiter’s perspective.

You’re not thinking: what can I bring to the table?

That’s a super important question to answer in your summary if you want hiring managers to have a reason to hire you.

Beyond that:

You need to make your claims more credible by being precise in your examples.

Show tangible results using metrics and data.

Also, be sure to feature any experience and skills you have in your field, even if you didn’t get it while in a job.

Here’s a much better example that gets you hired:

Summary
Self-motivated Computer Science graduate with 2 years of experience building Android and iOS applications. Skilled in multiple coding languages, including SQL, C#, and .NET Framework. Possess excellent communication and teamwork skills. Seeking an entry-level IT position with Interize Software to leverage my problem-solving skills.
RIGHT

The difference between the two examples is evident even for non-recruiters.

The second one ties the candidate’s goals and the success of the hiring company together. And it backs that up with precise metrics to enhance credibility.

How to describe your work experience in an entry level resume

Obviously, this isn’t your strongest section since you have little to no experience.

But...

Experience doesn’t necessarily need to be gained from working at a job.

There are areas in the previous jobs you had where you handled similar tasks to the position you’re applying to.

So, you’ll use the experience section to highlight that.

You should also list here any previous internships or successful projects you worked on. And you must include any jobs you had in the past, even if you worked as a Starbucks partner.

Did you work as a freelancer in the past? Have you volunteered before in your local community? Did you ever work on small projects with your friends or family?

All that counts.

We’ve seen many entry-level candidates neglect such experiences thinking it doesn’t count as a real job.

But that’s not really what matters.

Any work you did in the past requires motivation, discipline, communication to start with. Then there are role-specific skills necessary for success.

So:

We encourage you to spend some time thinking about all the great things you’ve achieved in your past. And no matter how small they seem, you can find a way to feature them here.

2 entry level resume experience examples

Let’s look at a sample for software engineer entry level resumes.

Experience
Software Engineering InternAmperity
11/2018 - 02/2019
Manhattan, NY
Coding and debugging
Responsible for developing software projects using agile development processes
Translated requirements into specific software development tasks
WRONG

Do you notice anything wrong with the responsibilities listed above?

For starters:

They’re super essential and non-specific to the job.

Anyone working in IT can handle them despite his or her role in the company.

Also…

It’s better to avoid indirect adjectives such as “responsible for”.

Instead, you must use action verbs in the past tense (as shown in our improved example below).

This way, the correlation between you and the results is even more evident.

More importantly:

There is nothing that proves how well the candidate did as an intern for the company.

You’re not expected to double revenue or boost sales significantly.

But, your presence in the company should be beneficial in some sort. And to get hired, you need to show that here clearly.

You’ll feature your experience to outline your most outstanding achievements. Thus, you’ll be more focused on results instead of responsibilities.

Here’s a better entry-level resume sample:

Experience
Software Engineering InternAmperity
11/2018 - 02/2019
Manhattan, NY
Modified software to fix errors and improve performance based on customer feedback which cut churn rate by 8%
Collaborated with engineers and designers from other departments on integrating our eCommerce platform with Stripe and PayPal
Customized the mobile app UI to fit different devices using AngularJS and NodeJS
RIGHT

You can apply this same formula to any work you've done in the past.

Remember:

Nothing well done is insignificant.

There is always an overlap between your past and present opportunities.

So:

As long as you've had some success working on a relevant project, you can feature them in your resume. You just need to be smart about how to do that.

How to use an entry level resume to list your skills

This, with education, are the two most crucial sections for entry-level applicants.

No matter what job you're applying to, your skills section can help you stand out from the pack.

It is how you'll land an interview at your dream company.

But before we get there, you must understand what this section is for. Then you’ll share with you the best entry level resume skills you can use.

There are two types of skills that make you the perfect candidate for the job:

Soft skills and hard skills.

Soft skills, also called people skills, are a combination of non-technical skills that allow you to interact more efficiently with others in the workplace.

These interpersonal skills are often determined by your personality traits.

For example, the ability to socialize, communicate, and negotiate are all soft skills.

On the other hand:

Hard skills are the core skills you come to develop with experience and learning. Unlike soft skills, technical skills are teachable and super specific to the job.

They're also easily measurable in the workplace, which puts them in a direct relationship with productivity. Popular examples of hard skills include design, data analysis, and management.

Below, we've gathered a list of the most demanded soft and core skills in today's workforce.

The goal isn't to cram dozens of skills all in one place and cross your fingers that it will work.

Instead:

You must be a specialist who knows the ins and outs of the job despite your lack of experience.

So, make sure to only pick the strongest, most relevant skills to your role.

12 hard / technical skills for entry level resumes

  • Project management
  • Data analysis
  • Cloud Computing
  • Coding
  • Graphic Design
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Sales
  • Writing and editing
  • Marketing
  • Research
  • Languages
  • Software proficiency

16 soft skills list to add to your entry level resume

  • Public speaking
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Customer service
  • Reliability
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Motivation
  • Time management
  • Brainstorming
  • Negotiation

Don’t get stuck for too long while picking your list of skills.

Read the job offer carefully, and try to identify the skills most wanted by the hiring company.

After that:

Look at the situation from the recruiter’s perspective. Think of which skills are most needed in the job you’re applying to. Then begin to list those skills in your resume.

A great way to avoid sounding like every other candidate is to spread your skills all over your resume.

For example:

Instead of listing them all in one place, try to include a few of them in your summary and others in your experience section.

The best way to put education on an entry level resume

As a recent graduate, your educational background is your best bet. And that's even more true if your degree is relevant to the job you're applying to.

Most hiring companies would love to give a fair chance to entry-level candidates.

What recruiters care about is how you've spent your years so far, and not only how many years you've been in the industry.

For example:

If you're 32 and only have two years of experience, that means you've only started working in this job when you were 30.

The real question then becomes: where were you in the ten years prior to getting hired?

If you're a recent graduate, however, you're expected not to have any experience.

Your age explains where you've been in the last five years. So, you're allowed not to have any work experience and still be able to get hired.

Hiring managers will gladly bet on your energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. They'd love to hire you and see thrive in the job rather than hire an old candidate with no experience at all.

If you're applying to a job that's looking for entry-level candidates, this is even better for you.

Now:

Let's move to the practical part of how to feature your education on a resume.

You should keep things simple and list the following:

  • Name of your college/university
  • Location of your college/university
  • Your degree
  • Field of study
  • Graduation year
Education
Bachelors of Science in Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California — Berkeley
08/2015 - 08/2019
GPA
3.6 / 4.0
RIGHT

Expert opinions differ a lot about what the minimum GPA on a resume should be.

Some say that if your GPA is lower than 3.5, don’t list it on your resume. Others would advise you to include it as long as it’s over 3.0.

But to be precise:

It all depends on how hard and competitive the job you’re applying to.

As a starting point, you should stick to only listing your GPA if it’s above 3.0.

Then, you might need to check industry standards to see what the average GPA for candidates in your position is.

If yours is lower than that, you may want to keep it for yourself unless you’re asked about it in the interview.

What certificates should you feature in an entry level resume?

Certifications are a huge plus to your resume.

They enrich your profile and make you look more attractive. Moreover, they help promote you as a qualified candidate so you can stand out from others.

But…

Not all certificates are suitable for your resume.

Listing outdated, irrelevant certificates decreases your chances of being considered for the job.

It's all about relevance.

When listing certifications on your resume, a reverse chronological order might be the best option for you. Start from your most recent certificate to your first one.

Next:

Mention the name of your certificate with its' abbreviation in parenthesis.

For example:

  • Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)

You could also include the name of the granting institution as well as the year you obtained it.

Here's the thing:

We can't give you a precise list of certificates that hiring companies are looking for. Each industry in the job market today requires specific certificates from its candidates.

And different skills are required depending on what role you'll fill in the company.

So:

Start by reading carefully through the job application. Some companies will clearly state their preferences for candidates who have certifications.

You may also read throughprofessional resumes in your industry to see what certificates are most sought-after.

What other sections are important for an entry level resume?

This answer depends on you and the job you’re applying to.

Different candidates accomplish different goals based on what paths they choose to take in their earlier years.

But:

Whatever yours was, there is always a way to talk about it in your resume.

The goal in these additional sections is to add unique things about you. And that might help you compete despite your lack of experience.

You can list your awards, achievements, volunteering work, languages, technologies, and more. And as long as those experiences are relevant to the job, they’ll be beneficial to your resume.

Key takeaways

  • Start by understanding what the hiring company needs and reading carefully through the job offer. It’s the first step to making a resume that wins you jobs
  • Make a professional header and a strong brief summary to keep the recruiter glued to your resume
  • Your lack of experience shouldn’t stop you from landing great job opportunities as long as you make up for that with education and skills
  • Be sure to feature relevant certifications to stand out from the competition
  • Companies will always prefer to work with specialists in any field. Thus, keeping your resume relevant to the job is key to getting hired

* Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com. Use this Entry-Level resume sample as a base to create a unique resume for yourself.

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