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How To Make A No Experience Resume
The following guide takes you through the process of filling out any of the resumes available for download on this page, section by section.
Not having any work experience should not get in the way of writing a successful, job-winning resume.
To land your first job, you will need to draw upon your experience as a student, volunteer, self-taught hobbyist, community helper, or some other role in which you learned and demonstrated skills that a company is looking for.
So as we go forward, it will be important to think of experience not as “work experience” but instead as a way to describe the time we’ve put into learning a skill – regardless of where or how we’ve learned it.
The way in which you order things may change depending on what position you’re applying to, but you will generally want to start the resume with your strongest qualifications and work down from there.
For example, if you know a job values a specific degree that you happen to have, then you would lead the resume with your education.
If you’re applying for an apprenticeship that doesn’t value college and you happen to have one or two needed skills that you learned during a summer in high school, you would want to start your resume by listing those skills in a skills section.
Let’s get started by writing your heading:
Key Parts Of Your Heading
The heading of your resume should include at least four pieces of crucial information:
- Your Name
- Phone Number
- City, State
- E-Mail Address
The phone number you list on your resume should be able to be answered in a moment’s notice. Plenty of jobs will not make multiple calls and will instead just go to the next name on the list. So bottom line, list a phone number you know is reliable.
Your e-mail address should be something professional and as close to your name as possible. If you need to, make a new email address just for applying to jobs.
Overall, the heading is pretty straightforward. But treat it with care and take it seriously as your own personal brand.
How To Write A Good Professional Objective
After your name and contact information, you will want to create a sentence or two that summarizes the best of what you have to offer. Since you won’t have a professional career to summarize, we can use an objective for this purpose.
Objectives have gotten a bad name over the years but that’s generally because people used the same one for every job they applied for.
Whether you want to label it as an objective or a summary is up to you, but what you write should include a combination of the following: summarizing your best skills & how you used them, and why you want to work for the particular company/in the particular industry.
Combine Your Ambitions With Your Best Skills
The most desirable skills will change depending on what company and what type of job you’re applying to. That is why it is important to thoroughly examine each job listing to find commonalities between it and your education or other non-work experience.
Once you have found a skill or two that you have that is a strong connection to what they are looking for, you can then tie in any other education based connections that may be applicable.
How much of each section you use will depend a lot on the job you are applying for.
Resume Objective Examples
For example, if you are applying to McDonald’s then talking about your experience in class projects that were fast-paced or volunteering at the cash register at a school fair are more important than talking about why you want to work for McDonald’s in the fast food industry.
On the other hand, if you’re applying for jobs that are in your long-term career goals and related to a degree you have then in addition to talking about your skills, you may want to also discuss what you value in the company and/or industry.
For a more thorough example, if you were a computer programmer looking for a job while in school and came across a job valuing specific coding knowledge, your objective may look something like this:
Your objective can be longer than just one sentence, but it’s certainly not necessary.
Remember that you are only summarizing your resume, and that the rest of your resume will be able to go into more detail about just how great & qualified you are. A good objective will entice the employer enough to keep reading and to find out more.
In any event, whatever you talk about should be directly related to the companies wants and needs. That is why it is important to customize your summary for each company you apply to.
Listing The “Experience” You Do Have
Even without job history, there may be many different types of experience that you have that are worthy of being listed on your resume.
Volunteering, internships, externships, and neighborly acts are just some examples of the types of experience that you may have that can actually be difficult to know how to put on a resume.
Four Key Pieces of Information
When you list any type of experience, there are generally four pieces of information you’ll always want to include:
- Name of the Person or Organization
- Location (City,State)
- Date(s) (Was it for a weekend? One month? Be specific and don’t lie)
- Your “Title” During the Experience (Two to three word phrase describing your general duties)
Beyond those four things, you may also include descriptive statements about the things you do and the skills you practiced & acquired. Remember to use the job listing as a guide for the skillsets they are looking for.
Talking About Different Skills
Some of the skills you may have picked up along the way are what we would call “transferable” skills – non-technical skills that can be used in different jobs. Abilities such as customer service, organization, and general computer skills are all types of transferable skills.
These skills “transfer” from job to job, regardless of the industry, and can be incredibly important to have in your job search. But it won’t be enough to just list those skills as bullet points.
Instead, try and think of what you accomplished and achieved using those specific skills. Write about how you used your knowledge & education to solve problems and get tasks done. You will quickly come to find out that you probably have more experience than you thought.
Education On A Resume
Before we get into describing your skills and background, your education section will also need four pieces of crucial information per school:
- Name of the School
- Location of the School (City,State)
- Date of Graduation (or Credits Earned)
- Degree Major or Main Focus of Studies
As mentioned above, you should only put the date of your graduation if it’s already happened or is about to happen in the next few months. Otherwise you can use the amount of credits you’ve earned alongside the total number of credits required.
Your degree may also be listed as the actual job title you are applying for, in the case of many different trade schools. For example, if you’re going to school to become an HVAC Technician, in the degree & major spot you would put “HVAC Technician”.
Describing Your Education
As with the other sections of your resume, the goal of your education section is to show how you’re schooling has prepared you for the responsibilities of the upcoming job.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to describe your technical job skills in terms of what you accomplished. For example, if you went to school for graphic design then you may talk about particular design layout skills you used on school projects, and computer applications you utilized.
Now don’t just list the programs or skills one by one. Again, describe them in the context of an accomplishment. An accomplishment may be a grade, an award, a scholarship, or it may just be that you gained new knowledge in a particular software program.
It will be important to first describe skills and knowledge found directly in the job listing itself, especially for people with less amounts of experience. Find out how the company describes the job and try to pick up the language they use when talking about daily job duties. While you won’t want to ever copy their information verbatim, you should develop a style to describe your past experience in their “voice”.
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 you’re 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 you’re 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 doesn’t 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 won’t 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.
If nothing else, work on your people skills and make people say no to you face-to-face instead of never responding to an e-mail.
Take time on your resumes as well. Don’t just send off a million resumes a week and think you’re doing a great job search.
Pay attention to what the company is actually looking for and study job duties and descriptions that they list. If you do even some of these things, your no experience resume can still be unique and intriguing for many employers.
A resume’s “format” is just another way to describe how you organize the information & various sections of the resume.
With a no experience resume, you will want to use a format that emphasizes your education and the other strong points that make up for your lack of work experience.
The overall focus of most no experience resumes will be your education and the skills that have developed because of that education.
But the education section itself may not always be the largest section of your resume.
Your education may actually trickle out into many sections of your resume: the skills section, the objective, and maybe even some internships or volunteer work.
And whether you are a graduate or a current student, your resume should still be focused on talking about your skills and abilities in terms of achievements.
Achievements can be things such as group projects completed, credits earned, or specific courses passed.
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 don’t necessarily need to be in the industry that you’re 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 I’ve 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 resume’s information.
Read on to find out about the various sections of a no experience resume.
Sample No Experience Resumes
Not having any work experience can be an issue for all types of job seekers – whether you’re still in school, already graduated, or just looking for an internship.
Check out some of the samples below to find out how to make better use of a no experience resume.
Student No Experience Resume Sample
Students without any work experience will want to describe their education differently than those who have already graduated.
For starters, only list your graduation date if it is coming up within 4-6 months. If your graduation is further out than that, you may want to list the amount of credits you’ve earned instead.
This resume is a blend of formal education & other outside “experience”.
It takes into account that while you may be in school now, not all of your skills and abilities may have come from college.
This is a powerful resume for job-seekers with specific skill-sets where you will need to show your knowledge of individual skills.
Jobs in many technology and industrial lines of work are a good fit to use this resume.
And while you may not be able to draw upon as many skills as a graduate, the knowledge and skills you do have will be important to showcase on your resume.
Regardless of how you explain your experience so far as a student, you should always attempt to find a common theme between your education and the job you are applying for.
Look carefully through job listings to find out how they describe the day to day aspects of the job. You can then review your own experiences a student to find similar situations that you faced, whether they be from group projects or individual classwork.
Recent Graduate No Experience Resume Sample
As a recent graduate, your resume should be built around your education.
Be sure to use the entire breadth of your experience at school to fill out your resume. This includes summer projects, fraternity or sorority volunteering opportunities, job specific classes, and anything else that helped you develop the skills you will use in your career.
This resume wastes no time with an objective or summary and dives right into your education and what you learned.
This is also a great resume for people who are looking to attend graduate school and will need lots of space for education.
Remember to put your education and degree into a context that the employer can understand.
Use industry standard or commonly agreed upon terms of your field when describing your knowledge and skills.
As a recent graduate, you’re most likely going to want to lead off with your education. Even so, your situation may be different so feel free to move sections around to suit your specific needs.
Also, remember to tailor your resume to each company you apply to.
Don’t treat your applications like a dating app – take the time to get to know the company and apply with a purpose. You may end up applying to fewer places but you’ll end up wasting less time.
Write A Cover Letter With No Experience
Cover letters can be a great way to provide more information to an employer if you have little or no experience.
A resume’s cover letter will help you introduce yourself and can help you elaborate about how your abilities fit their needs.
Make A Personal Connection
You can do this by properly researching the companies you are applying to and finding how your background and theirs intersects.
For example, maybe there are charities that the company works with that you have volunteered with. Maybe you are being referred to the company by a family member or friend who is already working there.
Or maybe the company has been a special part of the community and your life in some way that has stood out.
Whatever that connection may be, emphasize it and write a few sentences about it to supplement your education and skills.
It can provide the extra personal touch to wake up a hiring manager slogging through applications.
For a full run down on how to write a cover letter with no experience Click Here.
You can also view all of our cover letter examples by Clicking Here.
No Experience Resume Templates Free to Download
The free resume templates available on this page are made specifically for job-seekers who have little to no experience.