Writing your resume with no work experience can be tricky. You need to impress the hiring manager even if you have no relevant experience. When creating your first resume, focus on skills that are unique and valuable. Appropriate experience may include causal jobs, volunteering, or school activities.
An employer will most likely overlook a lack of experience if your attitude and abilities make up for it. Below are the best tips for writing an impactful resume that will help you land an entry-level job.
5 tips on writing a resume with no work experience
A few years into your career, you will have enough experience to fill most of your resume space. But if you just graduated, you will want to focus on other strengths that make you a valuable employee. You will want to prove that you are developing professional skills and have a strong work ethic. To do this, read the job description. Then, identify which of the skills or qualifications you possess.
Remember that in entry-level jobs, soft skills are more important than hard skills. If you prove to be adaptable and a quick learner, an employer will be glad to provide training on the job. This is why you should tailor your resume to each job and include the required skills and experience. Moreover, you should always include these five sections in your resume.
1. Professional summary
Resumes should always include a professional summary. This section should be at the very top of your resume under your name and contact details. It should be brief and give the reader an idea of your background, skills, and qualifications.
For a resume with no work experience, include your level of education, skills, interests, and work ethic in the professional summary. Also, it is crucial to tailor your professional summary for each position you’re applying to. That way, the hiring manager will immediately see what makes you the ideal candidate.
2. Education section
If you are studying or have recently graduated, your education section should be at the top of your resume. This way, you can highlight your academic achievements first. List any degrees you have obtained along with the school, location, and the years you attended. If you have gotten any awards or academic honors, you should also include these. But, if you already have some work experience, you can move this section towards the end of your resume.
3. Key skills
After your education, list skills relevant to the position you are applying for. To identify these, look at the job description, or review job listings for the same position. You will usually find the relevant skills under requirements or qualifications.
Remember to list skills regardless of whether you have used them professionally. If you gained valuable skills during extracurricular activities or in school, mention them. You can then expand on your level of competency in each skill during the interview.
4. Achievements, training, and certifications
Next, highlight any relevant training, certifications, or classes you have taken. Write a short description of each to illustrate the skills and expertise you have gained from them. Also, mention where the training took place, the exact name of the course, and the date when you attended. In the case of certifications, you should also mention if or when it expires.
5. Volunteer work and activities
Finally, include a section for any volunteering and extracurricular activities. This can consist of informal volunteer experience as well, like helping clean up your neighborhood. Also, add any relevant hobbies or internships that provided you with new skills. Under each experience, mention the company you worked with, your role and responsibilities, and the date(s) and hours.
Other things to consider when creating your resume with no work experience
Best resume format
There are three popular resume formats: functional, chronological, and hybrid. The functional format highlights skills and achievements and focuses less on work experience. A chronological resume format then lists the work experience in reverse chronological order. A hybrid format is a combination of the two, which illustrates both the work experience and skills. While many employers prefer chronological format, the functional or hybrid format is more suitable for a resume with no work experience. This way, hiring managers will see your achievements and skills immediately. Whichever format you decide to use, make sure to stick with it all throughout your resume.
Because many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS), including keywords is crucial. To find the keywords, look at the job advertisement and job descriptions for similar positions. But, avoid using meaningless business jargon and buzzwords that do not add any value.
Resume action verbs
Action verbs are powerful words that communicate your expertise to the reader. Along with using active voice, action verbs will make your resume impactful and easy to read. Apart from that, they will help you save space while still getting your message across. To find out more about action verbs, read Resume Action Verbs That Will Boost Your Interview Chances.
Your resume should be easy to scan and read. That way, the hiring manager will be able to find the information that matters the most quickly. Using a resume template will make this task swift and easy. Especially if you are writing a resume with no work experience, using a resume template will save you a lot of time. You can then spend time focusing on the content instead of the formatting.
Writing your first resume can be daunting, especially if you have no work experience. Get ready to edit and tweak your resume until you get the results you are seeking. By using these simple tips, you will create a resume that demonstrates your strengths and gets you noticed. And soon enough, you will be able to start building your work experience at your first job.