Dear Sam: I am 21 years old and have 3 years of experience in administrative and customer service roles. I need to really sell myself in my resume; my problem is that I do not know how. Can you point me in the right direction? – Steve

Dear Steve: Let’s touch on a few key areas of your resume which should be addressed:

Resume Length & Design

As an entry-level candidate with just a few years of experience, you should have a one-, not two-page resume. As an administrative specialist claiming technical proficiency, I’d like to see a more aesthetically pleasing design showcasing your Word skills and ability to produce a well-designed document.

Objective vs. Qualifications Summary

Your objective statement is taking up important space at the top of page one, and does not tell the hiring manager what you can offer. Replace this with a summary highlighting your skills and attributes. Use this section to “sell” why the hiring manager should interview (and hire) you!

Professional Experience

You presented a paragraph of your job description, and while providing this information is important (to an extent), what you really want to focus the reader’s attention on is where you truly contributed value. Think about things you achieved while on the job. Did you help with any special projects? Did you receive customer commendations? All of these things are areas in which you could present more achievement-oriented statements.


It is assumed you have a high school diploma, so I would advise not to list that on your resume. In your case, as you received multiple academic honors, I would suggest pulling those items out and including them in your qualifications summary. I would then omit an education section and relocate your community involvement work to its own section.

I am confident if you revamp your resume you will emerge as a highly competitive candidate. You have a strong background for an entry-level candidate; it just needs to be presented a little more strategically than you have done thus far. A great resume can absolutely change the game for an entry-level candidate so take the time to prove your value on paper so the right doors open in your search.