6 Common Entry Level Resume Questions Answered
Expert Career Coach Leslie Juvin-Acker Answers 6 Common Entry Level Resume Questions
1. How do I make my entry level resume really represent me without sacrificing my ability to get a job Be honest and true about who you are and be sure of your goals and objectives. State your core competencies (also known as know-how) and core qualities (states of being) in relation to your desired position.
2. I have little professional experience in my desired field and I want to try something completely new. How do I make employers interested? At this point, we focus on your descriptive qualities and basic professional competencies and down play your lack of experience. If possible, we’ll focus on the basic transferable skills/competencies that will show examples of this in real life. Be honest that you’re making a transition and communicate that in your cover letter. I’ll write another article about this later on, so stay tuned.
3. I have little education. Will that turn employers off? It depends on the job you’re trying to get. There are many jobs out there that require advanced, formal education. At the same time, there are many positions that require experience and motivation for success.
The key to having a definite answer to that question is knowing the industry and the position for which you are applying. How can we do that? Interviewing those who actually have or have worked the job you want. Asking these individuals will help you garner a definitive answer and will help you identify the types of education or training you will need to get if you plan to have the job and/or move up in the world.
Additionally, employers understand that we all have to begin somewhere. If we focus on our core capacities and qualities and acknowledge our lacking, it is possible to find an entry level position that can act as a gateway to greater possibilities. The question that follows this then asks, “Are you motivated to increase your level of education or training?”
4. I’ve been out of work for a long time. How do I answer that? Life happens. Sometimes, we are faced with illnesses or must make the difficult decision to forsake a career to care for a sick loved one or deal with disability. Sometimes, we have children and must focus on their education/upbringing instead. No matter your decision to leave the workforce, there are ways to explaining gaps in our resume.
Be sure to keep things positive. As long as this period of time was seen as a period of personal growth, an employer is highly likely to understand the change of circumstances.
Be sure to highlight your qualities and core capacities that you still continued to use during this break. If you have done anything on the side or even volunteered, highlight that as well.
5. What’s the point of a cover letter? The cover letter sells you and it also lets the reader know that you have a strong understanding about them, their goals, and their needs. If you can communicate that while highlighting your marketable features, you have a strong cover letter.
For those seeking internships and entry level opportunities, cover letters also state your intentions to learn and develop with a company that you identify with, which also implies you have conducted significant research on the company.
6. What’s the best resume format for me? For most, the best entry level resume is a chronological resume which states all of your experience by date. Some resumes are functional which focus on your core capacities and qualities. I like to create resumes with a mix of both. Depending on your level of experience, success in your field, and type of education the format can be changed to highlight the most marketable features.
Additionally, you don’t have to add every single thing to your resume. Just put what is relevant and an employer will thank you for sticking to the necessary facts.
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