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How To Make A Resume When You Have No Experience

How To Include Volunteering Like A Line Of Work Experience

How to write a resume when you have no experience

Earlier, we talked about how you can include volunteer experience in your resume.

We used a kind of collective list format, but this time well show you how to list out your volunteering like work experience.

This is especially useful when you have volunteer experience thats super relevant to your field or you picked up a number of relevant skills from it.

Lets say youre looking to get into human resources.

You knew youd need to build up a little experience outside school, so you volunteered over the Summer to help put on a big local 5K/fundraiser.

You helped manage the entrants information and the volunteers time and other details that had to do with making sure they were taken care of while working on the project.

The event took about a month to plan and went off without a hitch. Now, youve got some great volunteer experience youd like to put on your resume.

However, you want it to really shine.

Not like this:

Go Pink for 5K / June 2019 July 2019


  • Managed volunteer onboarding and created a welcome packet for seamless integration into the team
  • Collected and archived files for all team members
  • Handled questions and concerns for volunteers

Alright, now that sells your volunteer experience.

Its amazing what a few bullet points can do.

Make sure that whatever you put down are real skills you developed during your volunteering.

Lying on your resume can be tempting when you dont have much experience.

But also: make sure theyre relevant.

Have A No Experience Attitude

Three main keys to having success in your job search is your attitude, how you view experience, and how you go about the process of the job search itself.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Have a positive approach to the job search. There will be lots of disappointment and rejection, but it just means youre that much closer to finding the right job. Even if you have to be cynical about the job search, at least understand that your outlook or view does not change the process itself.

Think About Experience Differently

Take time to think about what youre good at and how you learned to be good at it. What skills that you picked up in school and with hobbies can be applied to every-day jobs? Getting experience in something doesnt require a job with a steady paycheck.

Look for opportunities to help in your community and to volunteer. The skills you pick up as a teen or student, can often be transferred to your new job.

Be Smart About Your Job Search

Target jobs with 2 years of experience or less, which wont be much of a stretch. New-comers will have more success applying for jobs in-person and re-kindling school friendships, finding people already employed to recommend you.

Track your job search and follow up with employers on a weekly and monthly basis.

Ultimately, the key to your success as a new job seeker will be a positive attitude and a willingness to make yourself stand out. In the digital age, try to drop off resumes in person.

The Best Summary When You Write A Resume With No Experience

Everything that you write in a resume summary with no experience should be targeted towards the role, showcase your attitude in achieving your goals and offer a sample of your aptitude. After those first few introductory lines, the reader should be keen to join the dots of how your potential could translate into performance. Choose your adjectives and examples carefully and make sure that it aligns with the job description.

A study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows: of the graduating seniors who received at least one job offer, 57.5% previously had an internship position.

What does this mean? Applying for zero-experience level positions is the norm for many people who have successful careers later on. Dont be afraid to start from a point where you dont yet have workplace achievement. Write your no experience resume with the knowledge that its nothing to be ashamed of.

Your summary should skew towards describing how your career objectives fit in with the role in question. Too many resume profiles with no experience are too general and if the employer feels that your resume is not written for them, they will be unlikely to read any further. Play the game in terms of choosing the information that will be digested first.

Read Also: How To Use Resume Template In Word 2010

Use The Job Description

Pay attention to the exact phrase from the job description: managing budgets and budget management seem like theyâre the same, but a computer might be looking for an exact match. Use the exact wording from the job description whenever it makes sense!

These simple tricks will help you pass the Applicant Tracking System test. More than 90% of employers use this type of software to process all the resumes they receive, and more than 75% of resumes get rejected by the ATS before a human ever reads them. This means you have to write your resume for a computer first and a human second. At the end of this article, weâll tell you about a free tool to check if your resume will pass the ATS test.

Resume skills example:

Tom is applying for an entry-level business administrative position. Tom can pull many keywords from the job description and plug them into his skills section and his education section.

Core Competencies

  • Proven problem solving and issue resolution skills

  • Exceptional attention to detail

Most of the skills listed here were pulled from a job description. Tom can claim to have these skills because he used them in his classes or had exposure to them during his internship . Problem solving, issue resolution and attention to detail are personal attributes that will benefit him in professional work environments he may have gained these skills as a student, a team captain, or a club leader.

Tips Preparing Your First Resume

How to Write a Resume with No Experience [21+ Examples]
  • Don’t lie. No matter how tempting it might be to stretch the truth, lying on your resume is always a bad idea. You might make it through this round of interviews and even get the job, but you won’t be able to deliver on the promises your resume offered. Plus, you’ll probably be caughtand fired.
  • Don’t pad. You don’t need to include the line “references upon request,” or personal information beyond your contact information, or a bunch of unrelated hobbies. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t need to put on your resume, even when it’s your first one.
  • Proofread. Nothing is less persuasive than a resume full of typos and inconsistencies. Have a trusted friend or family member proofread your resume before you submit it.

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Mention Any Achievements From Your Previous Experience

When you list your experience, go beyond just listing the most important responsibilities you held in that position. Mention any achievements that prove you can add value to what you do.

If youve ever won employee of the month, if you increased participation in a club or organization, or if you created a process to increase efficiency at your job, this is all important information for employers to know about you.

Resume With No Experience Example

Letâs breakdown Reziâs corporate rotational graduate resume template below:

Theyâve followed the steps in this article. The main resume sections are there and theyâve included their extracurricular activities under the projects section. For the resume summary, theyâve highlighted their strengths and interests. More notably, theyâve focused on each of their years in corporate education in the work experience section.

With this, the candidate has shown all their relevant skills, education, and qualifications. Itâs more than enough to show employers that they have the ability to get the job done.

ð¥ Browse through Reziâs 189 ATS resume templates!

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How To List Extracurricular Activities Such As Sports And Clubs

Our third additional section, listing extracurricular activities is something most first-time resume builders dont think about but which can really help beef up your resume.

What do I mean by extracurricular activities?

That could include all kinds of things, but most notably college and/or high school:

  • Clubs you participated in
  • Sports you were a part of
  • Or groups you founded or were a part of in or outside of school surrounding a hobby, especially if you put on events and learned relevant skills

For example, you might have been a part of:

  • The debate club at high school
  • A fashion or business club in college
  • The track team in high school
  • Or the Boy Scouts outside of school

Depending on what field youre going into, each of those could be relevant to your profession and worth mentioning on your resume. Or not.

Take a few minutes to think back about any and all relevant clubs, teams, or groups you participated in on a regular basis throughout your life and which might be useful to mention on your resume.

Again, keep it relevant. You shouldnt be throwing just anything onto your resume to fill up the page.

You want whatever you put down into your resume to help display you as a perfect fit for the job.

However impressive, anything you put down that isnt relevant to the position itself will be ignored and give the recruiter one more reason to stop reading your resume.

How to write an extracurricular activity section

But instead of this:

What No Experience Means

How To Write A Resume With Little or No Work Experience – Resume Template

No experience can mean no professional, paid experience. Or it might mean you have absolutely no experience of any kind, not even volunteer or education based experience.

The point of the templates on this page is to give some structure to the skills and abilities you do have, no matter where you picked them up.

Also Check: Relevant Coursework On A Resume

Should I Put Beginner Skills On Resume

If thats all you have as an enty-level worker, sure, put down your beginner-level skills on your resume. But dont try to pass them off as full proficiency. Instead, add a quick note about your actual levels of expertise. Also, omit any beginner-level skills if these are irrelevant to the position you are after.

Create The Perfect Resume Design In Minutes With Resumebuild

Throughout this mega-guide, weve equipped you with the tools you need to score that coveted dream job, even if you have little or no work experience.

We covered:

  • How to format your resume so your unique selling points stand out
  • Tips for customizing your resume to each application, to make sure youre giving recruiters what they want
  • A step-by-step method for crafting an awesome cover letter
  • How to write a resume when youre fresh out of college with no previous experience
  • And how to write a resume when changing careers, including tips for identifying and utilizing transferable skills to get the job.

It can feel like an uphill battle to jump into job hunting with little or no relevant experience in your pocket.

But with this guide, youve got everything you needed to craft a stellar resume that doesnt just pass, but positions you as the ideal candidate for the job.

Well, almost everything.

Its a crime to put this much work into creating an awesome resume only to drop it into a bad resume design.

After all, your resume design is the first impression a recruiter has of you.

You need to make it count.

The only problem?

So, if you want to save time and energy designing your next resume, check out Resumebuilds full collection of designer templates and easy-to-use resume builder.

Choose the design and layout that speaks to you, drop in your resume, add some finishing touches, and youre all done.

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Personal Project Relevant To A Job:

For example, lets say you hosted a bake sale in your neighborhood and are now applying for a job as a cashier at a grocery store. You could explain that while selling your baked goodies, you practiced your customer service, money handling, and food service safety skills.

Example of how to list a personal project in a resume:Summer Bake Sale Hosted a summer bake sale in my neighborhood every weekend from April to August 2018. Created and handed out flyers, took and fulfilled customer orders, handled cash payments, and home baked all products. Skills learned include customer service, money handling, and food service safety.

According To Deb Hornell

Sample College Resume With No Work Experience ...

Business consultant, career coach, and founder and president of Hornell Partners.

Employers primarily want to know what differentiates you from other candidates, and you dont necessarily need work experience to convey this.

Reflect on the experiences youve had internships, volunteer work, entrepreneur activities, awards and honours, Hornell says.

What have you learned about yourself? What sets you apart and how would you bring value to a potential employer? These descriptors can be woven into the resume, cover letter or email, she explains.

If applicable, include a thesis or dissertation title GPA and extracurricular activities like internships or roles which require you to apply and be selected, such as teaching assistant, resident hall assistant, or other paid work on campus.

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Volunteer & Other Experience

As soon as you are able to, you should start to look for opportunities to volunteer through your education or through community events. Churches and local non-profit organizations are also great ways to volunteer in the community.

Volunteer opportunities dont necessarily need to be in the industry that youre looking to eventually apply for.

Any type of experience is helpful and using everyday transferable job skills like communicating with others or providing customer service will help show you are ready to take on the responsibilities of a full-time job.

Ultimately, however you fill the gap of work experience on your resume will depend on the skills and abilities that you have.

When you think about your next resume format, ask yourself the following questions: What is the best way to showcase my best skills? How can I incorporate what Ive learned through schooling in more sections of my resume? What is filling my work experience gaps?

The answers to those questions will help you know how best to organize your resumes information.

Read on to find out about the various sections of a no experience resume.

Describe Your Educational Background

As a no-experience job seeker, your educational background is likely your strongest job qualification . This is especially true if youre writing a college freshman resume or have recently graduated.

One approach to highlight this background is to describe your relevant coursework first, like this:

You also need a resume education section, regardless if you want to mention your relevant classwork. And because youre applying for your first time job, its okay to make this section longer to fit your academic experiences.

Expand your education section by mentioning any student committees you were part of, and any scholarships, awards, or honors you were awarded. Additionally, include your GPA on your resume to further emphasize your work ethic and potential.

These details are helpful for recruiters and hiring managers, and give them another way to assess your resume other than work experience.

Heres an example of a smaller resume education section taken from a no-experience resume:

Graduate Studies

M.S. in Computer Science

California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CaliforniaB.S. in Electrical Engineering

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How To Write A Resume When You Have Little Or No Work Experience

Theres a lot you can do to write a great resume even if you have little to no work experience.

However, you need to know the right tricks to employ, particularly ones that allow you to shift the focus from your lack of experience to your abundance of other positive qualities such as:

  • Quality education
  • Skills
  • Other details
  • In a reverse chronological structure, its your experience that is displayed most prominently immediately after your profile .

    Clearly, thats a problem.

    If you dont have much experience, you need to shift things around, even potentially doing away with the experience section altogether.

    That pretty much comes down to one of three different formats, each shifting a different section of your resume up above your experience section:

  • Skills-first
  • Other details-first
  • Which is the best fit for you depends on your situation and strong points:

    Well be talking about strategies for both recent grads and career changers later, so lets go with another example.

    Lets say youre currentlyin college, so you dont have your degree just yet.

    If thats you, list your education but with the date section as: Present so you make it clear you havent graduated yet.

    Like this:

    • Tax management
    • Profit and loss

    List out all relevant coursework youve completed so far so they can see what skills youve learned.

    That allows you to get most of the benefits of listing out your education, which will really help your case if you dont have any relevant experience yet.

    How To Write A Cover Letter With No Experience: Your Entry

    How to Make a Resume with No Work Experience in Microsoft Word (2020)

    Applying for a position with no experience can be challenging, especially when writing a cover letter. Luckily, there are ways to feature relevant skills or achievements that capture the attention of the hiring manager. Explaining how your skills can benefit the employee and provide value can make your cover letter stand out from other applicants.

    In this article, we explain how to write a cover letter with no experience and feature a template and example to help you build a strong cover letter.

    Related:8 Jobs with No Experience Required

    Also Check: What To Put On Resume If No Experience

    Academic Project Relevant To A Job

    Including an academic project in a resume is straightforward. Include where the project took place, what class it was a part of, the title of the project, the date it was completed and a short summary of its purpose.

    Example of how to list an academic project in a resume:Coral Springs University, Coral Springs, Florida Intro to Hospitality Course McDonalds Restaurant Analysis Group ProjectWorked within a team of 4 to analyze data on the revenue, size, and customer base of a popular fast-food chain in Florida. Created and presented findings during a course presentation. Was personally responsible for collecting data on McDonalds revenue and creating a PowerPoint presentation.


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