Example Resume - Just Starting Out 

There seems to be an example resume for just about any occasion once you know where to look. But I think that the young person who is just starting out in the job market sometimes gets a little overlooked.

This was brought to my attention by my nephew Jason. I decided to take a day off from all this job hunting stuff. I’ve still got awhile until the proverbial wolf comes knocking at my door, and it helps to sit back once in awhile to get some perspective on the job search and how it’s going.

So I telephoned Jason who, although he is a Senior in high school, seems to always have time to hang out. We decide to go shoot some hoops.

I didn’t want to embarrass Jason for hanging out with an “old” guy, so I tried to look cool. I ripped up a tee shirt to wear, put my baseball cap on backwards, and slid into my sneakers. Jason quickly informed me that sneakers are no longer called that these days. So much for trying to be cool. Not to mention I forgot the example resume I had meant to bring along to show Jason.

We got to the basketball courts and were shooting around a bit. Then Jason brought it up.        

“Hey Derek, you know how you are always talking about how important a resume is when your looking for a job?”

“Who, me?” I wouldn’t say I “always” talk about resumes.

“Well, I want to find a job, get a little cash flow going, and I was wondering if you could help me find an example resume that works for someone like me.”

“Like you?” I asked, watching my shot bounce off the top of the backboard.

“Yeah, like me. Someone who doesn’t have anything to put on a resume. It makes it kind of tough to write one, you know?”

“You’ve got a lot of experience; you just need to learn how to put it on paper. Let’s look at an example resume or two and see how they might apply to your situation.”

Jason skirted around me and slam dunked the ball, hanging on the rim for good measure.

When we got back to my apartment, I went into teaching mode.

A resume for Jason or someone in his situation – never having held a “job” – needs to be formatted carefully. You want to mine all of your school, volunteer, and personal experiences to show what your skills and capabilities are.

** In school: Were you in any clubs? Hold any leadership positions? Honor society? Student council? Special awards? Advance classes? What sports did you play (and what did you learn from them that may apply to the working world: teamwork, cooperation, handling stress, leadership, discipline…)? Did you participate in any special programs? Extra-curricular activities?

** Volunteerism: Volunteer activities can show any special skills that you may have learned while volunteering, and/or abilities that you brought to the program or project. It also displays signs of character, shows that you care about things external to yourself, and have a willingness to be involved and give of your time and skills freely to help someone else.

** Personal experience: My dad was a handyman. We as a family built houses in my dad’s “spare time.” From that I learned a variety of construction skills. Using that background and highlighting my experiences with this family activity helped land me a summer job as a park aide at a state park when I was fresh out of school. You may have examples of that type of skill-building experience.

“Does any of that bring up ideas for you?” I asked Jason.         

“Yeah, some.” That's about as excited as Jason gets.

“Well, that was the hard part. Now let’s go home and get online and, hit some books to find a good example resumeto fit your style.” Jason was happy to get his resume started, and being able to help made me feel cool, even if I do wear sneakers.

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Derek Todom