How to Make a Resume With No Experience

by | Last updated Apr 16, 2024 | English Learning

Crafting a resume devoid of work experience can be daunting. This guide is designed to assist you in seamlessly creating a resume, drawing upon first-job resume samples and expert advice.

Browsing through job ads can be disheartening, particularly when crafting a resume without any experience. It often seems like employers are seeking candidates under 25 with over 10 years of experience, which feels impossible!

But fear not, we’ll demonstrate how to create an impressive resume despite lacking job experience. Whether you’re a high school student seeking your first job or transitioning careers, you’ll soon master the art of crafting a compelling resume without experience.

In this guide, you’ll discover:

– A first job resume example that surpasses 9 out of 10 resumes.
– Strategies for crafting a resume for your first job, even with no prior work experience.
– Effective techniques for showcasing professionalism on a resume with no work history.
– Skills to include on a resume lacking experience, along with examples on how to accentuate them.

 

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Resume Example for Candidates with No Experience

A. Peter Medina
Marketing Consultant
+1-23-456-78900
[email protected]
linkedin/in/apmedina

A motivated and personable student pursuing a BA in Media Studies at the University of California Berkeley (GPA 3.89). Eager to join ABC Inc. as Marketing Consultant to help establish quick and long-lasting relationships with customers and assist in developing and implementing marketing materials. Strong theoretical background in consumer behavior, skilled at organizing events and copywriting (incl. 20+ reviews, brochures, and others).

Education

2018—present
University of California Berkeley
Media Studies
GPA: 3.89

Relevant coursework:

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Science, Narrative, Image
  • Virtual Communities/Social Media

Extracurricular activities and achievements:

  • Dean’s List all semesters

2018
George Washington High School, Los Angeles, CA
High School Diploma
GPA 3.90
Combined SAT score: 1450 (Math: 650, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 800)
Activities:

  • Member of Basketball Team, Grade 10-12

Experience

2017—
Freelancing & Volunteering
Los Angeles, CA

  • Helped local community develop marketing materials to promote a series of garage sales events by designing posters and setting up a Facebook group.
  • Wrote promotional texts and 20+ professional product reviews for a local technology website.
  • Turned a friend into an Apple customer by effectively communicating the advantages of iOS over Android for his purposes.
  • Created a fan site for a musical band, as well as built and managed a team of two regular news and content contributors. The website was mentioned in a Loudwire article.
  • Organized and led games and activities for groups of 10+ school children.
  • Completed a training course on the principles of effective marking on Udemy.

Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Motivation
  • Oral and written communication
  • Organizational skills
  • Presentation skills

Languages

  • Spanish (Advanced)
  • French (Conversational)

Certifications

  • Marketing 101—Udemy Certification

Hobbies and Interests

  • Coffee culture (Certified Barista)
  • Basketball

Selecting the Appropriate Format for a Resume Without Prior Experience

Preparing to craft a resume without any prior job experience might imply limited experience in resume writing. But fear not—it’s simpler than you might imagine. You just need to follow the steps to construct each section of your job application.

Here’s what to include on your resume for your first job:

1. Resume header containing your contact details.
2. Resume profile, like a career objective summarizing your skills.
3. Education, where you provide information about the schools you attended and your academic performance.
4. Relevant experience section. It may seem paradoxical, but it can be useful. You’ll soon understand why.
5. Skills section, showcasing your key abilities.

Additionally, your resume can benefit from supplementary details such as languages spoken, hobbies, certifications, etc. Anything relevant to the job you’re pursuing should find its place on your resume, despite lacking work experience.

Incorporate Education into a Resume Without Prior Experience

Whether you’re crafting a resume for a high school student lacking work experience, a college student seeking part-time employment for financial independence, or preparing for your first job, highlighting your education can be the cornerstone of your resume’s strength despite the absence of prior experience.

This is what you should include in the education section:

  • Name and location of the school/college/university
  • Years of education
  • Information on your major
  • GPA that’s high enough to put on a resume
  • Relevant coursework
  • Dean’s list
  • Activities
  • Extracurricular projects
  • Honors, such as cum laude on a resume
  • Study abroad programs you participated in

However, exercise caution and avoid the temptation to include every detail. Focus solely on relevant information that aligns with the requirements of the job. For instance, include your minor on your resume only if it directly relates to the position you’re applying for.

Resume with No Experience—Examples of Education Section 

Correct
2018–Present
University of California Berkeley
Major: Media Studies
GPA: 3.89
Key Courses:

– Consumer Behavior
– Sociology of Culture
– Science, Narrative, Image
– Virtual Communities/Social Media
Extracurricular Involvement and Achievements:

– Consistently named to the Dean’s List every semester

This illustration highlights exceptional academic achievements, which are pertinent considering the job description specifies daily training sessions in product knowledge and strategy. Moreover, the candidate’s area of study aligns with the job requirements, making the inclusion of relevant coursework highly relevant.

 

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Include Relevant Experience in a First-Job Resume

Recruiters are primarily focused on hiring the candidate who can excel at the job compared to others. And the most effective way to gauge candidates’ capabilities? Review their past experiences!

This is where your relevant experience becomes crucial. But don’t fret—it doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related. Valuable skills can be acquired in various settings, not limited to formal employment.

The initial step in identifying your relevant experience is to carefully analyze the job advertisement. Then, consider activities you’ve undertaken during your schooling, freelance work, volunteering, assisting family members, or pursuing hobbies that align with the job requirements.

Here’s how to incorporate relevant experience into a first-time resume:

1. Carefully review the job advertisement to understand the specific responsibilities of the role you’re applying for.
2. Reflect on all activities you’ve engaged in that relate to the skills and duties outlined by the employer in the job ad.
3. Document these tasks, such as “wrote product reviews for a local tech-oriented website” or “created a website for my favorite band and was featured in a Loudwire article.”
4. Align your experience with appropriate resume keywords.
5. Begin each bullet point with an action verb, such as collaborated, designed, improved.
6. Utilize numbers to quantify your achievements whenever possible.

Mention Volunteering

This represents one of the most valuable avenues for acquiring significant life experience, and volunteer work serves as a noteworthy addition to a resume for initial employment. There exist myriad charities and NGOs offering diverse opportunities. For instance:

1. Fundraising: Many charities require fundraisers to engage with various businesses and organizations to secure additional funding. This role aids in honing communication and negotiation skills, as well as goal-setting and attainment.

2. Tutoring: NGOs supporting children and teenagers often seek tutors for various subjects. Engaging in tutoring enables the development of soft skills, the ability to deliver clear instructions, and the provision of constructive feedback.

3. Event organization: Organizations frequently seek volunteers to assist in planning special events like charitable auctions and fundraising festivals. This presents an excellent chance to enhance organizational skills, gain insight into budgeting, and refine project coordination abilities.

4. Manual labor: NGOs also rely on individuals for basic tasks such as classroom renovations, community garden setup, and assistance at soup kitchens. These experiences can prove beneficial; for instance, kitchen experience gained at a children’s shelter may distinguish you when applying for a restaurant job.

Highlight Internships

Quite evident, isn’t it?

Internships offer a chance to grasp the basics of a profession by collaborating with seasoned professionals. It’s advisable to begin searching for internship opportunities during your college years—the earlier you gain experience, the greater your prospects of securing promising employment post-graduation.

You can incorporate internships into the work experience section of your resume, or create a distinct section dedicated to internships for a resume lacking prior job experience.

List Extracurricular Activities

Your leisure time during school or college doesn’t have to be solely dedicated to socializing and parties.

Surprising, isn’t it? Occasionally, investing your free time in activities that can benefit your future is worthwhile. Consider joining student associations, attending conferences, writing articles for a student magazine, or participating in research projects. These endeavors can significantly enhance a resume lacking prior experience.

Here are some examples of engaging activities you can pursue while in school:

– Establish a Facebook page dedicated to school memes and gain insight into social media marketing fundamentals.
– Coordinate a mock Academy Awards event with members of the Film Club and acquire event promotion skills in the process.
– Conduct interviews with local small business owners, gaining journalistic experience while crafting articles on entrepreneurial success.

As you can see, valuable experience can be gained in various settings.

It’s crucial to remember that when describing your experiences in a resume, you should incorporate resume keywords. But hold on—do you know what exactly resume keywords are?

Many companies utilize Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to expedite the recruitment process. ATSs scan resumes for keywords to determine if candidates possess relevant experience. This initial screening process enables recruiters to focus on a smaller pool of applicants.

To ensure your experience is recognized, it’s essential to craft an ATS-friendly resume. In other words: To make your experience count, you must utilize the language and terminology found in the job description itself.

 

Pick the Key Skills to Put on a Resume With No Experience

You must persuade the recruiter that you possess the necessary qualities to excel in the role you’re pursuing. Given your limited (or nonexistent) work experience, it’s essential to highlight your skills as prominently as possible.

How can you achieve this?

Thoroughly review the job listing and compile a comprehensive list of all the skills mentioned therein.

Examples of Skills for a Resume with No Experience

  • Active listening
  • Analytical skills
  • Creative thinking skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Management skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Microsoft Office skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Presentation skills
  • People skills
  • Personal skills
  • Physical fitness
  • Soft skills
  • Strong work ethics
  • Teamwork skills
  • Time management
  • Transferable skills

Incorporate Additional Sections into Your Initial Resume for Enhanced Effectiveness

When the work experience section of your initial resume is lacking, it’s crucial to seize every opportunity to compensate for it elsewhere.

If you possess language skills, showcase them without hesitation. Similarly, if you hold relevant certifications, include them on your resume. Additionally, if your hobbies and interests demonstrate cultural alignment with the job, be sure to mention them.

Anything pertinent to the job should be incorporated into your resume—this is how you can elevate a resume with no experience.

Here are a few examples of additional resume sections to inspire you:

First Job Resume Example: Additional Sections

Languages

– Proficient in Spanish
– Conversational in French

Certifications

– Marketing 101—Udemy Certification

Hobbies and Interests

– Certified Barista with a passion for coffee culture
– Enthusiastic basketball player

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Craft an Engaging Resume Objective

By this point, your resume with no prior experience is nearly complete… except for the introduction.

And no, it’s not a trivial matter. The optimal time to craft the opening paragraph of your “starter” resume is when all other sections are in place.

Why?

You need to spotlight the most compelling aspects of your resume, a task only achievable once the entire document is finalized. Then, pen your resume objective statement—a succinct introductory paragraph elucidating your identity and the skills you bring to the table that could benefit the company.

Here’s how a stellar resume would tackle this:

– Scrutinize your resume with no experience closely and pinpoint up to three attributes you wish to showcase.
– Lead with your prominent character traits (e.g., motivated, personable). It’s advisable to align these traits with the employer’s needs as indicated in the job advertisement rather than include arbitrary details.
– Introduce yourself (e.g., student pursuing a BA in…). You can also highlight your academic accomplishments here (e.g., high GPA).
– Personalize your first-job resume by mentioning the company you’re applying to by name.
– Specify what contributions you aspire to make to the company. You can glean insights from the job ad to identify listed tasks.
– Highlight your strengths. Feel free to incorporate a couple of your most significant achievements as well.

Once you amass more relevant work experience, you’ll transition to writing a resume summary—a condensed rendition of your top professional accomplishments. However, at this stage, an objective will suffice perfectly.

Write a Cover Letter to Boost Your Chances

Here’s the deal—Roughly 50% of applicants submit a cover letter alongside their job application. Given that your first-time resume may lack extensive professional experience, crafting a stellar cover letter can significantly enhance your chances of securing an interview.

Here’s how to compose an impressive cover letter with no prior work experience:

– Ensure your cover letter adheres to all the formal formatting conventions of business correspondence.
– Begin with a captivating introduction that acquaints the reader with you and entices them to continue reading.
– Highlight the skills you possess and how they can contribute to the company’s success.
– Articulate why you are an excellent cultural fit for the organization.
– Conclude your cover letter with a compelling call to action.

Furthermore, it’s essential to maintain an appropriate length for your cover letter.

 

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