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12 Tips for Writing an Entry-Level Resume That’ll Get Your Career Started Right (Plus an Example)

By | Regina Borsellino |

Getting an “entry-level job” sounds like it should be easy, but when you pull up job descriptions and see the lists of skills and experiences companies are looking for, the prospect can be overwhelming. You know you’re ready to start a great career, but how do you convince someone to give you an entry-level job? That’s where an entry-level resume comes in. You may already have a resume you created to get a job while in high school or college, or to land an internship, but making a resume for an entry-level job can be a little different.

A resume is a document that showcases to potential employers why they should hire you. Generally, past work experience makes up the bulk of it. So what do you do when you’re just getting started and don’t have much (or any) past work experience to put on a resume? Or what if you do have past jobs, but you’re not sure if they apply to the entry-level job you’re looking at?

Read on to find out what recruiters are looking for in an entry-level resume and get tips for making your own—and skip to the end to get an example.

What Are Recruiters Looking for in an Entry-Level Resume?

Despite any horror stories you may have heard about entry-level jobs that require five or more years experience, most companies consider people with zero to three years of work experience to be candidates for entry-level jobs. And recruiters looking at these resumes adjust their expectations accordingly.

With “entry-level resumes, you go in with the assumption that someone isn’t going to have a lot of experience,” says Muse career coach Yolanda Owens, founder of Career Sensei and college corporate recruiter for over twenty years. So what are they looking for in an entry-level resume? How are they making judgements about entry-level candidates? 


When recruiters look at an entry-level (or any) resume, they want to know why you’re applying for the job. If you majored in accounting and everything on your resume focuses on that, but you applied for a job in marketing, recruiters aren’t going to understand why and they’ll probably move you to the rejection pile. But if you show that you had a marketing internship you excelled in or took a lot of communications and marketing classes, that makes your motivations a whole lot clearer.

Your resume is a single page that is supposed to convince the person who reads it to call you for an interview. So it has to be relevant to the job they’re hiring for. That’s why you shouldn’t send out the exact same resume to every company with an entry-level opening. You’re unlikely to ever get a response that way. Instead, make sure you know why you’re applying for each role and tailor every section on your resume accordingly.

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