Writing that first resume represents a significant step in a recent college graduate’s professional career. This is an opportunity to boast to potential employers what you have learned in college and convince them that you are an excellent candidate to hire. The thing is…you don’t really have any experience yet. It’s time for you to learn how to write resumes with no work or industry experience.
It’s not easy, but it can be done. And you CAN get hired…even with little-to-no experience.
This post is written by my new friend, Latoshia. She recently started a new site (frankly, a new business!) and has a passion to help people write quality resumes and get that first job of their dreams. I loved her passion so much I agreed to publish this post. This is great stuff here. Learn from it and apply it, and be sure to check out her page as well!
This post may contain affiliate links.
Related: How to Start Your Own Blog
1) Start With Your Educational Experiences
Crafting your first resume should be exciting for a new professional. It’s an opportunity to show employers how you have prepared yourself for the workforce and why hiring you is a value-added choice for their organization.
When creating resumes with no work experience, it is important to emphasize educational experiences.
This will show employers that you can handle challenges, stick to commitments, and learn new skills. You can also use this opportunity to share job-relevant coursework that you have completed.
You may perhaps highlight college experience on your resume as:
- Emory University
- Major: Pre-Med with a Concentration in Holistic Health
- Anticipated Graduation Date: May 20XX | GPA: 3.8
- Relevant coursework: Customer Discovery & Development | Interpersonal Communication
- Honors: Dean’s List Fall 20XX through Spring 20XX
2) Highlight Your Professional Skills
The summary section of your resume is a short paragraph (no more than five lines) at the beginning of your resume that highlights your skills and experience. It tells the hiring manager about you before they dive into the resume. The objective of the summary is to establish value as a potential employee and express to an employer why you would be a good fit for their company.
To create a summary statement, start by reviewing the job description for which you are interested in and list out relevant, already existent skills.
Remember: employers are seeking a combination of Soft Skills and Hard Skills.
- Soft Skills are non-teachable leadership, time management, people, and interpersonal skills.
- Hard Skills are teachable abilities or skills. These can be a degree or some machine operation capability.
For career newbies, employers pay closer attention to soft skills because those are hard to teach. The hard skills, as long as you display a willingness to learn and the competence to build new skills, can be taught.
Once you have been working in professional roles for a few years, your “Work Experience” section will fill the majority of your resume. But, until you have reached that point, it is essential to show how you are continually building skills. Also, remember to continually emphasize experiences that demonstrate your work ethic.
In your resume – Be sure to include information that is most applicable to jobs in which you are applying.
If you are applying to an Administrative Assistant role, then don’t discuss how your previous Pet Sitter job helped you become a better dog lover (though, I absolutely adore dogs). Instead, focus on transferable skills. For example, your ability to “manage multiple client schedules” or “multi-task, pay close attention to detail, and maximize time efficiency.”
Create a “Core Competencies” section to list soft and hard skills. Some examples (depending on what type of position you are applying for) include:
- Problem-solving | Customer Service | Strategic Planning | Schedule Management
- This core competencies section is to describe “you in a nutshell,”. It is an easily-skimmed rundown of your talents and skills. So, keep the core competencies brief – one to three words per competency.
3) Other First Resume Considerations
Because you don’t have that experience to back you up like some of the other candidates may have, you need to make sure you nail absolutely everything you put on that resume page.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
Demonstrate your attention to detail by carefully reviewing your resume for any typos and grammatical errors. Each time you make updates to your resume, make sure to give it another review. Also, do not be afraid to have an HR friend or other professionally savvy rock star friends to proofread it once more before you send it out to potential employers.
Let employers know you are proud of your accomplishments and that you are confident in your skill-set. Make sure this is evident in your resume by highlighting all your best and most relevant strengths and achievements.
Keep it brief
Recruiters receive an average of 250 resumes for each job that they post and will often only spend 6-8 seconds reading through your resume. The resume should be powerful but brief, as you want the recruiter to quickly understand how your history and experience align with defined job requirements.
And of course…if you’re writing resumes with no work experience and you need assistance, reach out to me and my team at Write Direction Resume Services. We will craft a new career tool that will get you noticed!
Are you writing resumes with no work experience? You’re not the only one! It IS still possible to land that job!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.