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Keywords that Suggest “Entry Level”

If you’re looking for a position at the entry level, there’s no harm in making this clear. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s okay to launch your career at the bottom rung of the ladder. Almost every successful corporate career begins with a humble role as an assistant, a junior associate, or even a “trainee”.

Entry level jobs provide a balanced combination of invaluable experience and low responsibility. In an ideal first-rung position, you’ll have plenty of time to watch, listen, and learn about your chosen industry. At the same time, no matter how egregious your newbie mistakes may be, they won’t cause that much damage (and technically they’re your manager’s fault, not yours).

But the best thing about a great entry level job is simple: it ends — hopefully sooner rather than later. You may get a promotion, or find a new position all together. When you’re ready to leave the entry level behind, take these items out of your resume for good.

Your GPA

Your high school GPA should only appear on your resume if your education ended after you received your diploma. And if you went on to graduate from college, both your high school and college GPAs should be long gone from your resume within two years, or by the time you start searching for a job above the entry level. If your mid-level employers want this information, they can ask for it. But otherwise, leave it out; including this number suggests that you haven’t accomplished much since you left school.


Entry level candidates face low expectations. These low expectations include everything from work ethic (this is the last time in your life that you’ll be praised just for showing up) to critical and analytical thinking. And they certainly include writing skill. If you load your writing with adverbs, empty buzzwords, and fluff, you’ll be given a pass at the entry level only (if at all).

Text speak and slang

These things have no place a professional resume, but they sometimes show up in the resumes of first time job seekers simply because these job seekers don’t know any better.

Talk of promise and potential

At the entry level, candidates usually have no track record of experience, so managers need to make hiring decisions based solely on promise, potential, and a roll of the dice. Younger candidates can impress by talking about their brilliant futures. But beyond the entry level, this won’t fly. At this point you’ll need to flip the script and start talking about what you’ve already done.

For more on how to land a great job at the entry level, the mid level, and beyond, reach out to the staffing professionals at PSU.