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Your resume represents the first encounter that potential employers will have with you. First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to starting a career, so you have to make sure that your resume stands out from the pack. But how can you stand out when your career is just beginning, and the only work history you have to report is a part-time job at the local convenience store? Whether you are going into business, trade, or something else altogether, a talent-based resume can let your best qualities shine and give hiring managers a reason to want you on their team. 

Showcase Your Skills 

After a brief intro, start your resume with a breakdown of the skills you can bring to the job. You can label a section “Work Ethics,” for example, then list your talents in that area — ability to multitask, commitment to deadlines, great time management skills, and so on. Identify at least four major skill areas that are relevant to the job you hope to land, and spell out your talents in those areas. 

Work History and Education 

At the beginning of a career, you may not have much to report on work history and education. If you are currently in school, go ahead and mention that, as well as your area of study. You can also include any independent study that you have done — some employers will appreciate the drive and resourcefulness that is required to study a subject without earning any credentials for it.

Volunteer work, community service, and even church mission trips can go in the work history section, because these all demonstrate a willingness to participate and work with a team. For some applications, you may want to include that convenience store job you had because it shows that you have had experience working with a boss and with the public. If these seem irrelevant, or if you won’t get a good reference from that job, leave it out. 


Just about any job worth having is going to require some good references to get your foot in the door. Look back to those talents you boasted about earlier in your resume. Who can verify that you have those skills? A teacher? Religious mentor? The hired hand on your family’s farm? If you did court-ordered community service, even the officer who oversaw your work can be an asset, and some employers will appreciate that you didn’t try to hide it. As long as your references don’t include close friends or family members (unless you were employed by them) — and never use your parents, (even if they did employ you) — just about anyone who can reliably attest to your skills is a good reference. 

No matter how good your talent-based resume looks, you may just need a boost to find a job that you love. Contact Nextaff to get that beautiful resume out to more employers, and get hired sooner.