Entry Level Resume Example & Writing Guide

An entry-level resume can make or break your shot at an interview in a crowded applicant pool. With no experience, it's tough to show your value to employers. But don't worry - we've got you covered. This guide features an entry-level resume sample and expert tips to help you write a resume that will get your foot in the door.

A good resume is essential for landing your first job after school. When you don't have much work experience, it can be hard to know what to include in your resume to impress hiring managers. But with the right approach, you can create a resume that showcases your skills, education, and potential - even without a long employment history.

In this article, we'll show you how to write an entry-level resume that gets results. We'll cover what sections to include, what information to highlight, and how to present your qualifications in the best light. We'll also share an example of an effective entry-level resume, so you can see these tips in action.

By following this guide, you'll be able to make a resume that grabs employers' attention and helps you take the first step in your career. Whether you're a recent graduate, changing fields, or looking for your first full-time job, these strategies will help you create a compelling resume that opens doors. Let's get started!

Common Responsibilities Listed on Entry Level Resumes

  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Answering phones and addressing customer inquiries
  • Processing orders and handling payments
  • Maintaining accurate records and data entry
  • Organizing and filing documents
  • Assisting with administrative tasks
  • Greeting visitors and clients
  • Handling basic office equipment and supplies
  • Supporting senior staff and team members
  • Learning company policies and procedures
  • Completing other duties as assigned

How to write a Resume Summary

Embarking on the journey of creating a resume can be daunting, especially at the beginning of your career. A significant section of any resume, and indeed where most recruiters' eyes land first, is the summary or objective section. This part speaks volumes about your ambitions, skills and what you bring to the table. However, nailing this section isn't rocket science. With clarity and a focus on the desired position, you can create a highly effective summary.

Understand the Importance

Regard the summary/objective section as your elevator pitch. It's your chance, in a few concise sentences, to show potential employers who you are and what you can accomplish in the role for which you're applying. It sets the tone for the rest of the material to follow and can pique the listener's interest. It is the literal summary of who you are professionally.

Define the Objective Clearly

For entry-level applicants, it’s more beneficial to opt for a resume objective rather than a summary. Unlike an experienced professional, your career story is still writing its early chapters. The objective allows you to state your career goals upfront and explain why you're applying for this specific position. Remember, be direct and explicit about your objectives. Instead of saying "I want to delve into the customer service sector," specify the type of job roles that interest you, like "Seeking an entry-level position as a customer service representative."

Highlight Skills, Not Past Experience

Since you're starting, you probably have limited professional experience, and that’s okay. Use your objective section to emphasize your skills and how they make you a good fit for the job. This doesn't necessarily mean technical practices or industry-specific abilities. Soft skills like effective communication, problem-solving, organizational skills, and team collaboration are also valuable and sought after. So, don't shy away from addressing those.

Tailor to Specific Job Posts

Generic resumes often ride the fast lane to the circular file. To escape this fate, customize your objective section for each job you apply to. Examine the job description and note the crucial skills or qualifications the employer is looking for, then reflect these in your objective. A catering approach always bears more fruit than a one-size-fits-all.

Keep it Professional and Positive

Finally, though it might sound obvious, professionalism is key. Avoid using vague or informal language. Stick to the point and maintain a positive, enthusiastic tone. After all, your resume serves as a reflection of your capability and personality. A professionally articulated objective not only catches attention but also instills a sense of trust and reliability.

In essence, your resume's summary or objective should not be a mere afterthought; it must encapsulate your aspirations, abilities, and tailor-made solutions for the specific role you're applying to. With clear communication and a hint of personal touch, your objective has the potential to set you apart and make the recruiter yearn for more. With that, you've mastered the first step towards crafting a successful career journey. Never underestimate the power within a few well-structured, honest, and convincing sentences. The rest shall fall into place.

Strong Summaries

  • Business Administration graduate with a high GPA and relevant coursework experience in financial management and business analysis. Seeking to apply analytical and management skills in an entry-level role at XYZ Finance Corp.
  • Recent Computer Science grad with a passion for web development and experience in programming in Python and Java. Eager to apply these skills in a junior software development position to contribute creativity and problem-solving abilities.
  • Energetic and passionate Entry-Level Nurse capable of providing safe and compassionate patient care within diverse settings. Successfully completed rigorous nursing curriculum and clinical rotations focusing on care in emergency settings. CPR certified and adept in medical terminologies.
  • Highly driven marketing graduate with hands-on experience in social media management and content creation through internships and university projects. Seeking to apply these skills in a challenging marketing role to contribute to a company’s online presence and overall success

Why these are strong?

These are good examples as they are specific and targeted. They clearly state the individual's professional status (a recent graduate), the field or industry they're interested in (business, computer science, nursing, marketing), the skills they possess, and what they're looking to apply these skills to. This not only demonstrates a clear direction in the candidate's career path but also the relevant skills that make them suitable for their target role or industry. Good summaries are brief, focused, and strongly aligned with the job's requirements.

Weak Summaries

  • I am a recent graduate and I am hoping to obtain a job. I don't have much work experience but I am a quick learner. I am good at many things and believe I can contribute to your company.
  • Recent graduate seeking job. Don't have specific skills or experience but am flexible and can work in any setting. Looking forward to learning new things.
  • Just graduated from university and am on the job hunt. Not sure what I want to do but think this job could be interesting. No experience but eager to work.

Why these are weak?

These are bad examples for several reasons. Firstly, they are not specific or tailored towards a particular job or industry. They don't express clear career goals or the type of role the candidate is seeking. Secondly, these summaries focus heavily on what the candidate does not have (specific skills, experience) instead of focusing on their strengths or potential. Finally, they fail to highlight or identify any unique attributes or skills that could set the candidate apart from other competitors, which could reduce the chance of getting hired.

Showcase your Work Experience

When preparing a resume, and as an entry-level job applicant, the "Work Experience" section becomes a crucial place in showcasing your applicable abilities and skills. However, there's a catch. How do you present meaningful work experience, especially if you're just dipping your toes into the professional sphere?

The Importance of Clear and Relevant Work Experience

Even as an entry-level applicant, presenting your work experience effectively can play a vital role in landing your desirable job. This section serves as a platform to highlight what you've already achieved and what you can bring to the table. It provides prospective employers a glance into your past overviews, enabling them understand the value you could add to their organization.

Emphasize traineeships, internships, part-time positions, and volunteer roles. Even though these might not on face-value seem particularly significant, it’s all about reflecting on your experiences and understanding that every role provides you with valuable skills and experiences.

Expert Tip

Quantify your achievements and impact using concrete numbers, metrics, and percentages to demonstrate the value you brought to your previous roles.

Identifying relevance in your work experience

Yes, you might be just entering the professional sphere, but you've got a wealth of experience under your belt already from personal projects, volunteering, and school. And every experience is a treasure trove of transferable skills that you can bring to the table. Even if the past roles are not directly related to the job you're vying for, you can always draw connections between what you've done and what you’ll be expected to do.

The key here is to focus on transferable skills and accomplishments. For instance, if you've organized events at your college, you've demonstrated planning, coordination, and management skills, which are applicable to virtually any job role.

Writing clear, concise, accomplishments-focused points

Forget elaborate descriptions, addresses, or lengthy explanations of your job duties. As much as practicality, it's all about emphasizing the skills you've demonstrated and the accomplishments you've made.

Try this: Instead of simply stating your roles and responsibilities, start each point with a strong action verb. Much like "Led a team event" or "Collaborated on a project," etc. Then explain the results or achievements you've made through these actions. Highlight key numbers or benchmarks that illustrate your success, even if they aren't monumentally significant.

Many entry-level job applicants make the mistake of underestimating their achievements. Don’t be that person underestimate themselves. You have what it takes, and it’s all about reflecting on your experiences and picking out the golden nuggets of relevance and success.

Remember, work experience isn't solely about the professional work contexts you've been in; it’s about all the experiences that make you the professional you are. So highlight your learning experiences, draw a line between the dots, and leverage your experiences to sound genuinely engaged, interested, and ready to take on the new role, and you're halfway there.

(Please refer the following imaginery section for some good/bad examples)

Strong Experiences

  • Reviewed and revised documentation for new software processes, increasing team productivity by 18%
  • Implemented new data sanitization process, resulting in 20% reduction in data errors
  • Contributed to software upgrade project to streamline user interface, improving user experience
  • Participated in multidisciplinary teams to improve project scope and direction
  • Prepared weekly status reports, improving team communication and project deadlines

Why these are strong?

These examples are good because they not only list tasks performed, but also showcase the positive impact the individual had in their role. The use of quantifiable data gives recruiters a clear picture of the candidate's accomplishments and potential. Additionally, they incorporate relevant keywords and industry-related tasks that entry-level people might do, which highlights appropriate job understanding and competence.

Weak Experiences

  • * Worked at a company (*no specific job role mentioned*)
  • * Made PowerPoint presentations
  • * Handled cash transactions
  • * Assisted with various tasks
  • * Huge focus on academic projects in a work experience section

Why these are weak?

These examples are seen as poor practices in writing an Entry-Level resume because they lack specificity and relevance to the job position being applied for. For instance, 'Worked at a company' does not inform employers about the job role or any specific duties accomplished. 'Made PowerPoint presentations' or 'Handled cash transactions' are too vague and do not show any specific competencies or achievements. 'Assisted with various tasks' is also non-specific and fails to show the skills acquired from performing the tasks. Lastly, focusing excessively on academic projects within a work experience section may give the impression that the candidate lacks real-world experience related to the job. Thus, it is always important to give concise, specific, and job-relevant bullet points that reflect your achievements and skills.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

When it comes to building a strong resume, especially at an entry-level, the importance of both hard and soft skills cannot be underestimated. More importantly, understanding the link between these skills, keywords and the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will undoubtedly set your resume apart. Let us delve into these points straight away.

Hard Skills on an Entry Level Resume

Hard skills are technical abilities and professional knowledge that you can measure or evaluate. They are the concrete skills you possess, like computer programming, accounting, or foreign language fluency. As an entry-level candidate, these skills must be highlighted in your resume to show your proficiency and competency, as they are the core skills required to perform a job.

Soft Skills on an Entry Level Resume

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills, though they may seem a bit nebulous in nature. These are generally related to how you work with others, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Since entry-level positions often involve learning on the job, these skills are important as they demonstrate a level of adaptability which can increase your hireability.

The Importance of Keywords

Keywords refer to the specific words or phrases that relate to the skills and qualifications required for a job. Using relevant keywords in your resume will make it easier for the hiring manager (or ATS) to see you as a potential match. The key here is to carefully review the job description and use the same language when referring to your skills and experiences, wherever applicable.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Skills

An Applicant Tracking System, or ATS, is a software tool used by many companies to sort and filter resumes. It searches for specific keywords related to the skills and experiences requested in the job advert. If your resume doesn't contain these keywords, the ATS might reject your application before a human ever sees it.

Matching Skills to Maximize Resume Effectiveness

When you're crafting your resume, it's crucial to match your hard and soft skills to the competencies listed in the job description. Doing so allows you to demonstrate to the employer that you understand what's required and that you possess the necessary abilities. This improved alignment not only helps your resume pass the ATS but also increases your chance of catching a potential employer's eye.

So, as you prepare your resume, remember to prioritize both hard and soft skills, use relevant keywords, and tailor your skills to the job description. This strategy not only increases your chances of making it past the ATS but also makes you a compelling candidate in the eyes of the hiring manager, increasing your chances for an interview.

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Data Analysis
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Research
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Time Management
  • Communication Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Basic Coding Knowledge
  • Report Writing
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Market Research
  • Customer Service
  • Project Management
  • Soft Skills

  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Patience
  • Professionalism
  • Resilience
  • Stress Management
  • Teamwork
  • Work Ethic
  • Top Action Verbs

    Use action verbs to highlight achievements and responsibilities on your resume.

  • Analyzed
  • Researched
  • Solved
  • Communicated
  • Collaborated
  • Managed
  • Organized
  • Prioritized
  • Presented
  • Developed
  • Implemented
  • Evaluated
  • Assisted
  • Coordinated
  • Documented
  • Facilitated
  • Innovated
  • Negotiated
  • Resolved
  • Supported
  • Trained
  • Adapted
  • Created
  • Empathized
  • Initiated
  • Motivated
  • Negotiated
  • Persuaded
  • Promoted
  • Simplified
  • Validated
  • Demonstrated
  • Improved
  • Influenced
  • Listened
  • Managed
  • Observed
  • Planned
  • Education

    Your education and professional certifications play a crucial role in enhancing your resume, especially when you're at the entry level. Start by identifying the education/certification section of your resume, generally positioned after your career objective or skills summary. List your formal education, starting with the most recent one, including the name of the institution, degree earned, and year of completion. Present your certifications next, specifying the certifying authority, certificate name, and the date received. Depending on their relevance, you might want to rearrange their order. Simplify the language to make it easily understood by hiring managers.

    Resume FAQs for Entry Levels


    What is the ideal resume format for an entry-level position?


    The reverse-chronological format is generally recommended for entry-level resumes. This format highlights your education and relevant coursework, projects, and internships at the top, followed by any work experience, skills, and other relevant sections.


    How long should an entry-level resume be?


    An entry-level resume should typically be one page in length. However, if you have significant relevant experience, such as internships or projects, it can extend to a second page. The key is to be concise and highlight your most relevant qualifications.


    How can I make my entry-level resume stand out?


    To make your entry-level resume stand out, focus on quantifying your achievements, using relevant keywords from the job description, and highlighting transferable skills from extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or personal projects. Additionally, customize your resume for each application and ensure it is well-formatted and error-free.


    What sections should be included in an entry-level resume?


    An entry-level resume should typically include sections such as a summary or objective statement, education, relevant coursework or projects, work experience (if applicable), skills, and optional sections like certifications, volunteer experience, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate relevant skills and achievements.

    Entry Level Resume Example

    Entry-level roles are typically the first step in a professional career, involving basic tasks and on-the-job training. The resume should highlight relevant education, coursework, internships, and transferable skills from part-time jobs. Use clear formatting, quantify achievements, and tailor the content to each role applied for. Most importantly, convey motivation and a willingness to learn. Keep it concise yet compelling to showcase your potential as an ideal entry-level hire.

    Willard White
    (873) 632-1663
    Entry Level

    Highly motivated and detail-oriented entry-level professional with a strong work ethic and a passion for learning. Excels at adapting to new challenges, working collaboratively with teams, and delivering results in fast-paced environments. Seeking an opportunity to contribute to organizational success while developing valuable skills and experience.

    Work Experience
    Customer Service Representative
    06/2022 - Present
    • Provided exceptional customer support via phone, email, and chat, maintaining a 95% customer satisfaction rating
    • Resolved complex customer inquiries and issues, demonstrating strong problem-solving skills
    • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to improve customer experience and streamline processes
    • Maintained accurate records of customer interactions using Zendesk CRM software
    • Consistently met and exceeded monthly performance targets, contributing to team success
    Sales Associate
    01/2021 - 05/2022
    Best Buy
    • Delivered outstanding customer service, assisting customers with product selection and purchases
    • Demonstrated extensive knowledge of consumer electronics, providing expert advice and recommendations
    • Consistently exceeded sales targets, contributing to store revenue growth
    • Maintained a clean and organized sales floor, ensuring an optimal shopping experience for customers
    • Trained and mentored new sales associates, fostering a supportive team environment
    Volunteer Tutor
    09/2020 - 05/2021
    New York Public Library
    • Tutored elementary and middle school students in various subjects, helping them improve academic performance
    • Developed customized lesson plans based on individual student needs and learning styles
    • Communicated regularly with parents and teachers to discuss student progress and areas for improvement
    • Assisted in organizing and facilitating educational workshops and events for students and families
    • Demonstrated patience, empathy, and strong communication skills in working with diverse learners
  • Customer Service
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Sales
  • Microsoft Office
  • CRM Software
  • Time Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Adaptability
  • Active Listening
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Tutoring
  • Lesson Planning
  • Public Speaking
  • Education
    Bachelor of Arts in Communication
    09/2018 - 05/2022
    New York University, New York, NY