Writing a strong resume as a first-year student can be tricky, but when you have sought-after skills like coding, it becomes much easier.
The information is presented professionally, and the content is well structured to ensure that time-strapped recruiters and managers can spot the important skills and knowledge quickly.
Refer to this example as you write your own resume.
When it comes to holding the attention of recruiting managers, the format and layout of your resume play a key role.
Your resume needs to strike a perfect balance between looking awesome, and being easy for recruiters to read (which is not always easy to achieve)
Use the following formatting tips to get started.
Resume formatting tips
- Length: Keep your resume to 2 pages or under. You’ve probably heard that recruiters and hiring managers don’t have lots of time to read every resume, so keep yours brief if you want to ensure that they read all of the important info in yours.
- Font and text: Readability is the name of the game when it comes to your resume. Ensure yours is a dream to read by using a simple clear font, and breaking the text up with plenty of bullet points and short paragraphs.
- Design & structure: Go with a resume design that looks good, but also allows for easy reading and navigation for employers. Ensure the page is clearly split up into sections by adding large font headings and dividing borders. Keep the color scheme simple and don’t overcrowd the page.
- Photos and images: In the USA adding a photo to your resume is optional – you don’t have to do it, but it can be a nice way to get your personality across.
Quick tip: Formatting a resume to look professional can be difficult and time-consuming. If you want to create an attractive resume quickly, try our partner’s Resume Builder and use one of their eye-catching resume templates.
Here’s an overview of the sections you should add when writing your resume.
- Name and contact details – Stick these details at the top, so they are easy to find.
- Resume summary – A punchy paragraph summarizing your skills and knowledge, enticing recruiters to read more of your resume.
- Skills section – Short list of your most valuable skills, enabling recruiters to quickly spot your suitability.
- Work experience – Showcase your previous employment, starting with your most recent roe and working backwards – voluntary work and college placements can be included if you have no paid experience.
- Education – A summary of your most relevant qualifications and academic achievements
- Additional info – An optional section for that other attributes that may boost your application, such as hobbies or clubs
Now here’s exactly what you should include in each of these sections in your resume.
Resume Contact Details
Make it easy for hiring managers to contact you by adding your contact details to the top of your resume.
Keep this section small to save space and include the following.
- Name and profession title
- Telephone number – Ideally your cell phone so you can answer quickly.
- Location – Add your general location such as LA or New York
- Email address – Use a professional looking one with no nicknames.
You can add a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one – you do not need to include personal details like date of birth or marital status.
Your resume summary is like your introduction to the recruiter or hiring manager – it should grab their attention and leave them eager to read more about you.
Achieve this by writing a snappy overview of your skills, knowledge and what value you can bring to an employer.
Tips for creating an strong resume summary:
- Keep it brief: Your summary is intended to be a high-level introduction to hook readers’ attention, so keep it brief (4-7 lines) – save the details for later in your resume.
- Tailor it: Tailor your resume to your target jobs by studying the job description and adding as many matching skills as you can.
- Avoid cliches: You might be a “highly motivated go-getter who thinks outside the box” but generic meaningless cliches like that don’t tell employers much about you – stick to factual information in your summary.
- Summary of professional experience: Provide an overview of the type of work you have done in the past and the impact you have made at previous employers.
Quick tip: Choose from hundreds of pre-written summaries across all industries, and add one to your resume with one click in our partner’s Resume Builder. All written by our recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
In addition to your resume summary, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
- Responsive web design – Designing and developing websites that respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform, and orientation.
- Cross-browser compatibility – Ensuring websites or web applications function identically across different browsers.
- Mobile web development – Optimizing web pages to function perfectly when using a mobile phone.
- Web frameworks – Use of a software framework to support the development of web applications.
- Database integration – Building websites which allow visitors to search, manage and edit information held within a database.
Quick tip: Our partner’s Resume Builder contains thousands of in-demand skills for every profession that can be added to your resume in seconds – saving you time and greatly improving your chances of landing job interviews.
Work experience section
Now that you’ve reeled recruiters in with your awesome summary, it’s time to delve into your work experience.
Here you’ll list your previous jobs (starting with your most recent and working backward) and showcase how you apply your skills in the workplace.
Provide lots of detail in recent jobs, and less in older roles.
If you have no relevant paid experience, you can include voluntary work and placements – but if you have lots of experience, you can leave out some of the really old jobs.
Structuring your job descriptions
Without a good structure, your job description can look messy and overwhelming to anyone reading them.
Make it easy for recruiters to read your work experience by structuring your roles like this.
Begin each job with a short summary of who the organization is, where you sit within it, and what the main goal of your position is.
Then delve into the detail of your job by listing out easy-to-read bullet points which show how you apply your skills in the workplace.
Tailor these bullet points to focus on the skills and knowledge that are required in the jobs you are applying for.
Round off each job by adding some impressive achievements you made in the role.
Anything you’ve done that has made a big impact on your employer will make a good impression, think; generating revenue, saving costs, or improving a product.
Quantify your achievements with number where possible e.g. “reduced call wait time by 10%”
- Created accessible and responsive user interfaces to allow visitors on desktop and mobile devices to have the same functional user experience
- Updated and cleaned outdated website coding
- Fixed bugs in existing code and added new features as required
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our partner’s Resume Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Education resume section
Towards the bottom of your resume, add your education section.
Here you should list your professional qualifications and academic record, such as high school diplomas or college degrees.
If you have lots of work experience, you can keep this section brief (because recruiters will be more interested in your career. If you have little/no experience then you should bulk this section up with plenty of detail.
Additional info for your resume
The additional info section is optional but can be useful if you have anything else to add that could benefit your application.
For example ,you may have some hobbies and interests that are relevant to your job – or you might have awards or publications to shout about.
If you follow the steps above, you should be able to bag yourself a top job in no time.
And don’t forget you can use our partner’s Resume Builder if you want to save time and ensure your resume contains the very best content.
Good luck with your job search!