Describing an entry-level position on your CV is somewhat tricky. Think about it, there’s a good possibility that your main responsibilities were not so cool and most defiantly not so important to your company’s overall success. Thus, they therefore do not sound all that remarkable to a stranger. While there is a strong temptation to make them sound bigger, better and if I must add, cooler, than they really are—don’t! If you do, that fib will catch up with you at some (embarrassing) point during the interview process, and I am sure you know what that means, right?
But fret not, all hope is not lost! Ngcareers have got five techniques for accurately, yet strategically representing your entry-level job.
1. Explain How You Furthered Company Objectives and Goals
When all is said and done, you were hired for one reason and one reason alone: To make the company more money (do not try to interpret any other way). That means no matter what you work on, no matter how ‘inconsequential’ you can highlight how it helps your organization achieve its goals.
Let’s say you’re a Client Support Specialist. Every day, you attend to customers; you answer questions, solve problems, and follow up on customer’s complaints.
You might ask; so, how does that help my organization make money? Well, not only does what you do make customers happier (which drives brand loyalty), it also lessens the chance a frustrated customer will stop buying or using your product.
Once you’ve got your answer, it’s easy to turn it into a CV bullet:
Improved customer retention by providing warm, helpful, relevant customer support via phone, email, and chat.
2. Tell of Specific Incidents
We all have success stories. Maybe it was that one time a satisfied customer sent you a mail, text or handwritten letter, or the time your boss was so pleased with your work she mentioned how much of a good and smart worker you are to her boss, or when your colleagues officially named you “Most Helpful Person in the Office.”
Even though small, these success stories deserve to be on your CV, particularly if you’re not far enough along in your career to have promotions or huge awards to mention.
Think about all those “small but cool” successes (a.k.a, what you brag to your parents and spouses about after a good day at work). Then, turn it into a bullet.
For example, if you work in HR:
Played key role in recruiting two interns to work full-time at company after graduation.
3. Tell Who You Worked With
Just like no man is an island, no job exists in isolation—and typically, every entry-level employee works with a handful of other people on different levels. This is awesome for CV purposes, because you can use it to display your capacity for teamwork.
Start by thinking about who you depend on to do your job, and who depends on you to do their job. After you’ve created a list, create a bullet that describes these relationships. (And note that you should use job titles rather than specific names.)
If you’re a content provide, that would be something along the lines of:
Worked closely with editors, social media experts , visual, and graphic designers, and product manager to create visually appealing, easy-to-understand, content.
4. Describe What Your Superiors Said
Most entry level jobseekers don’t know you can use the praise and positive feedback gotten from superiors on your resume. But you definitely can—it’s a great way to reinforce one or two of the traits that make you a great employee.
Hopefully, if you are a smart one, you would have been tracking and recording all the nice things your managers have been saying to you in your performance reviews. If not, no worries! Grab a sheet of paper and write down all the compliments you remember receiving. For more material, you should also take a look at emails and performance review records.
Let’s say you’re a sales rep, and your boss is always raving about how you can forge a genuine connection with any client—even if the two of you seemingly have nothing in common.
In resume bullet form, this would look like:
Recognized by supervisor for ability to create rapport with every client, which led to higher sales and greater client satisfaction.
(The key word? “Recognized.” You want to stay away from “honored” or “awarded,” since those imply you got an official award!)
5. Describe Your Job in Numbers
If you’ve been reading CV articles on Ngcareers, for any period of time, you probably know we’re big fans of quantifying your resume bullets. However, when you work in an entry-level position, this isn’t so easy to pull off. After all, you probably didn’t “save company N500K a month by reconfiguring expense tracking process” or “decrease client churn rate by 20%.”
That’s okay! You don’t need accomplishments to quantify your bullets—you can also use duties.
For example, if you’re an assistant editor, think about how many pieces you edit each week.
Edit approximately 15 articles per week for style, content, clarity, grammar, and formatting.
As you can see, there’s no reason why your entry-level job can’t sound awesome.5 Smart Ways to Describe Your Entry-Level Position on Your CV by Stellamaris Obomanu