How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience in 2023 (+Examples)
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.
Creating your first resume or applying to jobs without experience can be scary. How do you write a resume with no work experience? It may even be your first time having to write a resume, put eye-catching resume objectives, list your job skills, or choose a resume format. But at the end of the day, there is a first for everything, and hiring managers know it.
Do you want to save time and create your resume in just a few minutes? Try our premade Microsoft Word resume templates that will help you save time on designing and formatting so you can focus on highlighting your skills and expertise.
How to write a resume with no experience (with examples)
- Identify your goals for writing a resume with no experience
- Choose a suitable resume format for a no-experience resume
- Write a strong resume objective
- Create your education section
- List your relevant experience
- Highlight your skills on a resume with no work experience
- Include your volunteer work
- Tailor your resume with no experience for each job application
- Write and attach a strong cover letter
1. Identify your goals for writing a resume with no experience
There are several steps you should take before starting to write your resume. One of the most important ones is identifying your career objectives and finding the positions and industries you want to apply for. This is crucial to success because it will help you determine what aspects of your skillset and experience to focus on and what to highlight.
No matter how good of a fit you might be, you won’t see much success if your resume doesn’t stand out. So, remember that your resume should show that you can bring value to the company and are knowledgeable about the position. To achieve this, it’s vital to find out what your potential employer is seeking in an employee in two easy steps:
- Begin researching the job listings that align with your career goals and interests.
- Take note of and write down the keywords that appear repeatedly. These may be requirements, certifications, or skills that most of the job descriptions mention. You will want to include these throughout your resume to truly stand out.
2. Choose a suitable resume format for a no-experience resume
Writing a resume with no work experience can be nerve-wracking, especially if it’s the first time writing a resume altogether. To get started, remember that a resume should always include the following five sections:
- A header with your name, job title, and contact details
- A resume summary/objective that presents your skills and achievements in a short paragraph
- An education section with the degree(s) or diploma(s) you have earned
- Your work experience, which can include even volunteering or similar experiences
- A skills section that summarizes all of your best abilities and talents that are relevant to the job
For a resume with no experience, you can also include extra sections for your hobbies, language skills, or academic projects.
But what’s the best way to organize these sections? That depends on the resume format you choose. There are three popular resume formats: functional, chronological, and hybrid. The functional format highlights skills and achievements and focuses less on work experience. On the other hand, a chronological resume format lists the work experience in reverse chronological order.
Finally, a hybrid format combines the other two, illustrating work experience and skills. While many employers prefer a chronological format, the other two are often better for resumes 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 throughout your resume.
Read more: “What’s the Best Resume Format for 2022? [Pros vs Cons]
3. Write a strong resume objective
A resume objective is a brief introductory statement that describes your professional goals. Unlike a resume summary, a resume objective is suitable for a resume with no experience because it focuses on the value you could bring in the future. On the other hand, a resume summary presents existing achievements and expertise.
Most of the time, the recruiting manager is flooded with resumes. Thus, they only have a few seconds to scan each one. This paragraph is your opportunity to grab their attention and convey your abilities.
A resume objective should be no longer than three to four sentences and include the following information:
- Your field of study and highest education
- The skills and experiences that are relevant to the position
- Your motivation for applying to this particular position
Just like with contact information, you don’t need to give your resume objective a separate heading. Instead, you can place it under your header.
Resume objective examples:
Read more: “Resume Objective Examples for 2022 [+How-to Guide]
4. Create your education section
In your education section, show the degrees, training, and certifications that align with your professional goals without appearing over-or under-educated.
To do this, begin by documenting your educational and training background. This should be just an outline of what you’ve collected, so don’t stress about it not being amazing yet.
What should your education section include?
- Degrees and certifications earned
- Name of the degree
- Name of the college, university, or training school
- Years attended
- Years attended
- Optionally, you may also include:
- GPA if it is 3.40 or above
- Specific relevant coursework
- Exchange studies
- Extracurricular interests and online education/training
5. List your relevant experience
Creating your experience section may seem daunting since you most likely lack formal work experience. However, you still have much to include in this resume section, even with no work experience. Depending on your background, you can include:
- Academic projects – The easiest experience to include is academic projects. Whether it’s software you made in a programming class, a marketing campaign, or a website you created, they’re all experiences that show you have the skills to succeed. Overall, this is an excellent opportunity to add value to your resume without experience if you are a high school or college student. You can also include interests and hobbies if they relate to the work and have provided you with transferable skills. Extracurricular activities prove you’re dedicated and driven, so don’t be afraid to include them!
- Internships – Next, paid and unpaid college internships are one of the best weapons you have against the phrase “experience necessary.” They provide real-world work experience and help you network and develop contacts that may lead to a career later. So if you’re a college student writing a resume with no experience, include any internships you have undertaken.
To include an internship on your resume, first, write the title and function of your internship. Instead of simply “Intern,” use “Sales Intern” if your internship was in the sales department. Then, write down the name of the firm, the location, and the length of the internship – in that order. After that, provide a bulleted outline of your intern tasks and achievements. Finally, tailor your duties and accomplishments to the position you’re applying for.
Work experience example:
2017 – 2019
- Managed firm social media accounts.
- Analyzing different social media outlets for viral content.
- Posted engaging content on the company’s Facebook page, which resulted in a 25% increase in customer interaction.
Lawn mowing and trimming
2015 – 2017
- From early spring until mid-fall, mow, edge, and trim lawns.
- Maintained seven lawns weekly throughout the season.
- Developed customer service skills to earn referrals and get more clients.
- In six months, I went from having 2 to having 10 clients.
- On lawn service, I earned and kept a five-star-rated page on Facebook
6. Highlight your skills on a resume with no work experience
When creating your skills section, it’s crucial to focus on relevant, transferrable skills. The first step is to go through the job description and list the key required skills and qualifications you can meet. Employers value both soft and hard skills, so keep that in mind.
Team leadership, verbal communication, and self-management are soft skills that apply to every role. Hard skills, such as industry-related software or a foreign language, are gained through specialized education or training.
Because soft skills are harder to teach, most businesses focus on them when recruiting for entry-level employment. It’s okay if you haven’t yet developed all the hard skills required for a job. Nowadays, most companies will recognize your worth as a possible new employee if you prove to be a fast learner.
Still, make sure that you only include skills that are relevant to the position. For example, if you’re applying for an administrative assistant position, coding or trade skills won’t be very helpful.
Hard skills, soft skills examples:
Microsoft Excel, Cloud Computing, CRM Systems, Email management, POS Software, Programming Languages, Customer service, SEO
Interpersonal Skills, Collaboration, Problem-solving, Communication, Time management, Adaptability, Organizational skills, Active listening
Read more: 30 Top Skills for a Resume (With Examples)
7. Include your volunteer work
Volunteering demonstrates your commitment and desire to put your skills to use. And nothing makes a recruiter happier than a dedicated employee. You may include it on your resume whether you volunteered at a soup kitchen or helped gather rubbish in the countryside. Most employers consider volunteer experience alongside paid professional experience. Thus, you should always aim to include volunteer work that displays your abilities or where you learned a new relevant skill on your resume.
Volunteer work should be stated in the same way as your employment experience section on your resume. So mention the organization’s name, location, the time you worked there, and a bulleted description of your responsibilities.
Volunteer work examples:
Freelancing & Volunteering
2017 – 2019
- Designed posters and created a Facebook page to assist a local community in promoting a series of garage sales events.
- Wrote promotional pieces and 20+ professional product evaluations for a small technology website.
- Converted a family member into an Apple customer by convincing him of the benefits of iOS over Android-based on his needs.
- Supervised a team of two regular news and content writers for a musical band’s fan site mentioned in a local newspaper.
- Planned and led games and activities for groups of elementary school students.
- Completed a course on the basics of efficient marketing on Udemy.
Nursing Volunteering Experience
American Pulmonary Disease Association
2018 – 2018
- Provided patient education to 8 patients weekly.
- Performed an average of 13 health checks per week.
- Received praise from facility management for outstanding patient contact.
- Oversaw physical therapy sessions for 5 patients bi-weekly.
8. Tailor your resume for each position even with no experience
Customizing your resume for each position you apply for is the last and most essential aspect of developing a strong resume. If you lack experience, your greatest chance of landing an interview is to tailor your resume to the position you seek. Examine their job description to determine the skills they require. Then, take the skills you possess from the list and add them to your skills area. Different job advertisements will include different keywords, work responsibilities, etc. Adapting your application to each employer’s demands and job requirements is the best way to get your application noticed.
Most businesses utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen and organize resumes. So, when applying for any job, you must include a list of keywords on your resume to combat this. The best place to find these is in the job listing itself or advertisements for related positions.
9. Write and attach a strong cover letter
About half of applicants include a cover letter with their job application. So even with the lack of professional experience on your resume, you can increase your chances of success by preparing a strong cover letter.
A cover letter is a one-page letter sent with your resume as part of your application. Essentially, your resume describes your experiences, while your cover letter explains how they relate to the position. Here are the steps you need to take to compose an outstanding cover letter:
- Ensure that the format of your cover letter adheres to all professional correspondence formatting requirements.
- Create an engaging introduction to your cover letter that presents you to the readers and motivates them to continue reading.
- Describe your skills and how they may assist the organization.
- Explain why your cultural fit is exceptional.
- Always include a call-to-action at the end of your cover letter.
Also, ensure that your cover letter is the appropriate length. As with the rest of your resume, your cover letter should be relevant, simple, and brief.
Read more: How to Write a Great Cover Letter in 6 Steps
Example of a resume with no work experience
58 South St, Phoenix, AR
An independent and driven business administration student with demonstrable proficiency in business, procurement, sales, and marketing. I am eager to use my theoretical knowledge and introduce the most current industry standards to the company.
Phoenix High School
Class of 2020 (3.9 GPA)
- Assisted the sales regional sales manager in ad hoc tasks.
- Took notes and shared them with attendees at weekly team meetings.
- Prepared monthly reports for 7 international clients.
- Uncovered a bookkeeping error, saving the department 5% of yearly expenses.
Soup Kitchen Volunteer
2020 – 2021
- Acted as weekend/holiday volunteer manager at a local soup kitchen.
- Organized volunteer shifts and monitored the input of donated food.
- Aided with preparing and delivering meals on Sundays and major holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
- Established and operated a profitable pet sitting service.
- Offered services including dog walking, feeding, and yard maintenance to locals in a 5-mile radius.
- Acquired and maintained 13 clients, arranged and attended visits, coordinated appointments, and managed client relationships.
- Attention to detail
- Microsoft Office
- G Suite
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
- National BA Honor Society
- Volunteer Club President and Treasurer of the Phoenix High Cheerleading team
Writing your first resume can be daunting, especially if you have no work experience. So, get ready to edit and tweak your resume until you get the desired results. Using these simple tips, you will create a resume demonstrating your strengths and getting you noticed. This is your chance to show prospective employers how you’ve prepared for the job and why employing you would benefit their company. Start writing your resume today, and soon enough, you will be able to start building your work experience at your first job.
Sample resume with no work experience
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