When you are beginning your job hunt for your first job, you may wonder how to write the perfect resume with no work experience. First-time job seekers often find it difficult to fill even a one-page resume. If you follow resume examples that are based on professional experience, then you might end up with too much blank space on the page. This guide will show you how to create a professional resume when you are entering the job market for the first time. You will learn: - The best resume format for no work experience - What a great first job resume should include - The best resume writing tips for high school students, recent graduates, and new workers.
Choosing your resume format is an important step in writing the perfect resume. When you are lacking in relevant experience, the best format to use is often the functional resume format. This format focuses on key skills and qualities that make you a good candidate rather than professional experience. The functional resume format is a great choice for a college student resume. Even high school students can create a professional resume using the functional format.
Use a resume builder or resume template to organize your resume.
Look at the job posting and resume samples from your industry to get inspiration. You can even research people who hold similar roles on LinkedIn.
Use bullet points to emphasize key skills or experiences on your resume.
Keep your information short and to the point. Having big blocks of text on your resume can dilute important information, so it’s best to be straightforward.
Use clean standard fonts like Arial or Calibri.
Don’t decorate your resume with extra graphics to make up for lack of experience. Instead, show the hiring manager you have what it takes to do the job by focusing on your strengths, whether they be skills, training or academic qualifications.
Customize your resume for each position.
Even when you have no work experience, you can display your excellent work ethic to recruiters by taking the time to customize your resume for each job posting. Address keywords and requirements from the job description to create a resume that matches each position as much as possible. This will result in a higher number of job interviews and a better chance that you get the job.
Your resume introduction can be a resume summary or a resume objective. A summary draws more on your past experience, so this will typically be better if you have a lot of volunteer experience or relevant academic projects. A resume objective is great for those who want to focus more on their relevant skills. An objective also states your goals with the position you’re applying to. You can write a great resume objective for an entry-level job even with no experience.
Skills are one of your most valuable assets when you don’t have many years of experience in the job market. Include both soft skills and hard skills in your skills section. Hard skills are technical skills that must be learned, such as Microsoft Excel. Soft skills are interpersonal or social skills, like teamwork. Both types of skills contribute to making you a valuable applicant. Check the job description for key words that describe skills and apply them to your resume where applicable. Recruiters often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) software to sort resumes. Incorporating key words into your skills and other resume sections will make it more likely that your resume gets through the system.
An education section can be a major benefit to you in your job search when you have no work experience.
List the basics, such as the name of your school or training program, the location, and expected date of completion (if you haven’t finished yet). Then add relevant coursework, academic achievements such as honors received, or even clubs or associations you are a member of.
If you don’t have professional experience, consider other experiences you do have for your resume. This can include volunteer work, internships, or unpaid work. A part-time or seasonal job can also be listed as work experience. Experience of any kind that shows the hiring manager that you have accountability and competency in a given area can be good for your resume. It also shows that you spend your time purposefully and are familiar with work environments. If you are struggling in your job search due to a lack of job experience, then consider taking on a part-time or volunteer position to list on your resume.
There are other sections you can include on your resume to enhance it further. If your resume is still a little short after completing the above sections, then you may decide to include:
You can choose to include social media in the contact information section of your resume. Make sure your social media is professional in nature, such as a LinkedIn account or online portfolio. If you are applying to more creative jobs, more visually oriented portfolio sites or social media accounts can be beneficial as well.
Try to list only relevant information on your resume. Some hobbies may result in transferable skills that you can use in the job you are applying to. For example, if you take horseback riding lessons in your free time and you are applying for a job as an equine therapist, then this is a relevant hobby.
Yes. You should always write a cover letter for every job you apply to. Similar to your resume, your cover letter can focus on prior volunteer, unpaid, or internship experiences. Your cover letter is a great tool to connect with recruiters and hiring managers, especially when you don’t have a lot of work experience, as it gives you opportunity to explain why you are a capable and qualified candidate for the job.