When you apply for your first job right out of school, your resume will inevitably be thin, as you’ve likely had very little job experience to that point. Once you’ve landed your first job and are looking to find a second, however, it will be necessary to update your resume to reflect the new skill set you’ve acquired after holding this position. What follows are some tips for what to include on your updated resume.
Remove Outdated Information
Most people pad their first resumes with various extracurricular activities from high school and college, largely because there is little else they have to include. Once you’ve held a position in the professional world, it’s best to delete some of this older information since it may seem to employers to be irrelevant and out of date. As a general rule of thumb, leave out any information about high school or college sports or clubs that may come across as juvenile, or that do not demonstrate any job-related skills.
Emphasize Work Experience
The next step in updating your resume after your first job is to place a greater emphasis on your work experience. For example, some people choose to move the education section of their resume further down in the document, so work experience and skills are listed first and thus prioritized. Since you will only be listing a single job under this heading, you also have a bit more space to expand the description of your work history.
Work Experience Example
To highlight your work experience, it’s best to employ a bullet point format, since this allows you to lengthen this section while still ensuring that it is clear and easy to read. For instance, if your first job is as a copyeditor, your job description section and description might look like the following:
Smith & Jones Publishing Firm, New York, New York
•Assisted editors in proofing manuscripts sent to publishing house
•Used Microsoft Office Suite and publishing software to edit and polish manuscripts
•Attended meetings with contributors and editors
•Acted as liaison between publishing house and authors
•Performed clerical duties as necessary
Expand Skills Section
Once you’ve held your first professional position for an extended period of time, you will also be able to expand your skills and abilities section on your updated resume. This is your opportunity to reflect on the new capabilities that your first job has offered, and to articulate these skills for potential employees. For example, such a section might look as follows:
SKILLS and ABILITIES
•Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point
•Possess excellent interpersonal skills
•Highly trained in compositional principles and writing conventions
•Detail oriented and organized
If you expand and update the sections of your resume as demonstrated above, you’ll be able to effectively flesh out your job profile. Though it will be obvious that you have limited work experience, providing a detailed description of that job will allow you to clearly demonstrate to future employers that you can handle numerous responsibilities and that you know your own value to the company.