Updating your resume after your first job

March 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm 2 comments

Making the transition from “recent graduate” to full-fledged “business professional” can be tough. The resume you have when you first get out of school may not have a lot of relevant job experience. Sure that part time job got you through school, but most employers aren’t really interested in your summer as a wedding caterer or camp counselor by the time you hit 25.

That being said, while you’re busy growing up and become a professional, your resume also needs to grow up. Here’s how you do it:

  1. If you haven’t already, get rid of anything highschool related. No one cares what your GPA was junior year or that you were captain of the math team. If you went to a prestigious high school (like many people in St. Louis), think about getting active in the alumni association and putting that in a Community Involvement section.
  2. Unless you had a very important leadership or employment role, you can probably remove most of your club or social involvement from college too. If you were a part of a Greek organization that may help for networking, get involved in the alumni association and put that in your Community Involvement section too.
  3. Move your education information down underneath your work experience. Now that you have job experience, that’s a lot more important that your liberal arts degree that everyone else has, too.
  4. Add an executive summary displaying your key skills and traits as well as your specific objectives for career development. Let’s face it, after graduation your objective literally translated to “please give me a job, any job.” Now that you’ve been out in the real world for a couple years, it’s important to know where you want to go next and what you’ll bring to your next employer.

To demonstrate the before and after of a resume makeover after a first job, check out Chris Mann’s new resume and his first resume out of school.

Still not sure how to make your resume mature with your career? E-mail me.


Entry filed under: advice, Job Search, resume. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. J.C. Campbell  |  December 6, 2014 at 5:06 am

    A question I have is: should I include a summer job from college when making my resume up for my second job if it is relevant? So for example, I’m applying to a job at a fairly large construction company and I’m wondering whether I should include a summer job as a laborer for my dad’s small concrete subcontract company. I’ve got some jobs that I did while in engineering school that were minor but could look good, but I wouldn’t be able to fit this in on one page with my entry level job experience.

    • 2. colleenjaycox  |  December 13, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Hi J.C. – I would definitely include relevant experience on your resume. There may be ways to format the text on your resume, or limit your job description so that it all fits on one page. If I can help, please let me know. Best wishes!


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