Resume Tips for a New Receptionist Job With No Experience

Receptionists make the first impression on company visitors.
Receptionists make the first impression on company visitors. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

In a competitive job market, your resume is often what hiring managers use to decide if you’re qualified for an interview -- if you don’t have any work experience, it can be challenging to get your foot in the door. Many receptionist positions are entry-level administrative positions, so you can create a strong and effective resume that shows you have the required skill sets -- even without any prior work experience.

Use the Functional Resume Layout

Rather than using the chronological resume layout, use a functional resume format. This type of resume layout is ideal when you do not have much work experience or are just entering the workforce, according to Resume Resource. The functional resume works to detract attention from a lack of work experience by emphasizing your transferable skills and education. For example, the overall objective and educational background is at the top of the page. It is then followed by a qualifications summary paragraph and a list of your skill sets.

Highlight Your Skill Sets

The receptionist position entails many duties, including answering the phones, greeting company visitors and basic administrative tasks, such as light computer work or filing. You don’t have to have previous receptionist work to already have these particular skills. In fact, many students who have worked on computers for years have all the required qualifications. Simply list your skill sets to highlight your customer service mindset, administrative skills and a professional appearance and demeanor. Include your typing speed and any computer software packages that you know, such as Microsoft Word and Excel.

Use Preprofessional Experience

Even if you haven’t had paying positions in the past, you should include any and all type of transferable work experience. If you were a part of a sorority or other type of volunteer club in school, add it as you would a job. You can have individual bullet points featuring project management or customer service skills. For example, if you organized or volunteered at a phone drive, then that counts as having customer service phone skill sets. According to the UC Santa Cruz Career Center, other examples of good bullet points that highlight your preprofessional experience include, “ability to communicate well with others” and “understands the importance of meeting and exceeding deadlines.”

Include Memberships and Awards

Because your resume doesn’t have much work experience, include any memberships or affiliations that highlight your social and team skills. Sports teams, school clubs and volunteer activities should be added. If you are a member of any professional organization, add that as well. Final items to include are any special achievements, awards or honors you’ve received.

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