How to Write a Resume with No Experience: Tips & Examples

Our professional tips and examples will show you how to make a resume with no work experience.



Table of Contents

  1. First-time resume with no experience: samples
  2. Resume With No Work Experience
  3. Is it possible to write a resume with no work experience?
  4. How to pick the right format for your resume with no experience
  5. How to write a resume with no experience
  6. More resume examples and tips
  7. Write a cover letter for your resume
  8. The big takeaways
  9. FAQ: Resumes With No Work Experience

First-time resume with no experience: samples

The resume with no experience examples below is a great foundation for you to write your resume. You can easily edit them using our Resume Builder, which will help you create a professional resume in just a few minutes!

Resume With No Work Experience Example

Resume With No Work Experience

Whether you’re fresh out of high school, a newly-graduated college student or just someone seeking their first job, you will need a resume to showcase your skills. Writing a resume with no experience is possible and easier than you think but it will require a different approach from the standard resume.

To teach you how to write a resume with no experience, we’ve put together an expert guide with:

  • Examples that will show you how to make a good resume with no experience
  • Step-by-step resume advice for formatting and writing your resume
  • Tips on formatting and writing a cover letter to accompany your resume

Is it possible to write a resume with no work experience?

Yes, you can write a resume with no work experience. It’s important to know that hiring managers are looking for relevant experience, not necessarily professional experience. The most crucial tips for knowing how to make a good resume with no experience are:

  • Think outside the box regarding experience. There are plenty of activities, like volunteer work, extracurricular activities and achievements you can include in your resume that you may not consider job experience but a hiring manager will see as evidence of your work ethic and skills.
  • Consider the qualifications and skills you already have. Focus on soft skills such as communication, interpersonal skills and time management, and mention any hard skills you have that are related to the job.

How to pick the right format for your resume with no experience

There are three standard resume formats. They’re not interchangeable, so it’s important to understand each of them individually before deciding which one will benefit you the most.

  • Chronological format
    : The most popular format. The chronological resume is ideal for job seekers with extensive work experience because it focuses on career progression and professional growth. It might not be ideal for someone writing a resume with no experience.

  • Functional format: Also known as the skills-based resume, this format focuses on skills instead of work experience. It’s better for candidates who have little to no work experience because the work history section has less importance. The functional resume also has an additional skills section that the standard resume doesn’t have, so it may suit a candidate with no experience more than the other formats.

  • Combination format: This is a hybrid of the chronological and functional formats. It gives equal emphasis to work experience and relevant skills, so it’s ideal for job seekers with some years of experience in their field.

In addition to choosing the right resume format for you, it’s also important to follow the correct resume formatting guidelines:

  • Choose a professional resume font. You might be tempted to use a font like Comic Sans to stand out but it’s better to stick to readable fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica and Arial.
  • Stick to the same margins. Your resume should have 1-inch margins all around but if you need extra space, you can take them down to half an inch.
  • Keep the font readable. Besides choosing the right font type, your text should be a readable size. The body text should be 11-12 points, the subheadings 14-15 and your name 16 or 18.
  • Maintain consistent spacing. The spacing between the lines should be single or 1.5 and the same throughout your resume.
  • Save and download in the right file format. Most job openings require you to submit your resume in a PDF or MS Word format but read the job description carefully in case the potential employer requests it in another file format.

You can also take away the guesswork using one of our beautiful resume templates. They’re pre-formatted to pass the applicant tracking system (ATS) that most employers use to filter resumes, so you can focus on all the other good stuff.

How to write a resume with no experience

Now that we’ve discussed resume formats and given you all the formatting tips, here’s how to make a resume with no job experience:

1. Header and contact information

First comes the header with your contact information. Make sure that the phone number and professional email address you provide are the correct ones. You can also include the social media handle to your LinkedIn profile but only if it will add value to your job application.

2. Resume objective

We highly recommend writing a resume objective instead of a resume summary. A resume objective is a two- to three-sentence introduction that summarizes your top skills and informs the potential employer of your goals in relation to their company or internship program.

For example:

High school student looking for graphic design internship to hone designing skills. Ready to apply collaborative skills and creative abilities to an advertising agency. Possesses basic Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom skills.

3. Skills section

It’s a good idea to pay close attention to your skills section when applying for an entry-level job. The job posting will usually have resume keywords that reflect what recruiters are expecting to see in the person who eventually gets the job. Look through the job description for soft skills and hard skills that you should include in the skills section.

Soft skills are intangible characteristics that can be applied to virtually any job, regardless of the industry. Hard skills are abilities learned through training and experiences that are job-specific.

For example:

Soft skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility
  • Time management
  • Organizational skills
  • Teamwork

Hard skills:

  • Graphic design
  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Project management
  • Google Analytics
  • Cloud computing

If you’ve chosen to create a functional resume, you might notice that there are additional skills sections to complete, such as:

  • “Professional Skills” or “Relevant Skills” section: You select your top three core skills and expand on how you’ve used those skills by using three to five bullet points, similar to the work experience section.
  • “Summary of Qualifications” section: Where you briefly summarize the skills that qualify you for the job in three bullet points and a single sentence.

4. Education

Typically, you’ll want to include your education section next. Especially if you’re a college graduate, you probably have more academic achievements than you do job achievements and that means putting your education section above your work experience section. You can also include certifications and extracurricular activities.

Some additional tips to make your education section pop:

  • Consider listing relevant coursework that’s pertinent to the job or internship.
  • Likewise, if you’re applying for a job or internship that directly relates to your educational background, you may want to include your GPA but only if it’s between 3.50 and 4.0.
  • If you still haven’t graduated college or high school, include the expected graduation date.

For example:

High School Diploma | East High School
Hayden, ID | Expected in June 2023

5. Work experience

You can list any experience you have as long as it’s relevant to the job. This may include volunteer experience, internships and even extracurricular activities related to your job search — even part-time jobs count here.

List your work history in reverse-chronological order, meaning that your latest or current work experience goes at the top. If you’re using a resume format where you can further explain your work accomplishments and responsibilities, be sure to:

  • Use only three to five bullet points per job title
  • Start your statements with action verbs
  • Avoid talking about mundane tasks. Instead, focus on achievements and major responsibilities
  • Use numbers to portray your accomplishments better

For example:

Secretary / Sept 2022 – Current
Hayden High School Student Government Club, Hayden, ID

  • Draft weekly emails about school activities and student suggestions for school administration.
  • Write detailed meeting minutes and hand in weekly reports.
  • Organize over 15 files and keep track of important documents.

6. Additional sections

You may need additional sections if you have a lot of achievements or certifications that you want to show off. In a no-experience resume, sections like these can back up your skills and show that you’re the right person for a specific job posting. There are many potential resume sections you could include here, including certifications, extracurricular activities, key achievements, and research or publications.

For example:


  • First Aid
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

More resume examples and tips

ResumeHelp has tons of expert resources to help you write the best resume and jump-start your career.

Write a cover letter for your resume

A cover letter is an incredibly useful tool to land the job of your dreams. It’s especially crucial if you don’t have enough work experience, so use our cover letter resources to create a professional letter for your job application.

The big takeaways

Let’s do a quick recap of what we discussed to wrap up:

  • Writing a resume with no experience is possible!
  • Relevant work experience can come from volunteering, extracurricular activities and personal projects.
  • It’s important to feature a mixture of soft skills and hard skills.
  • Resume formats are not interchangeable, so choose the one that works best for you.
  • Summarize your top skills with a resume objective.
  • Create additional sections for your certifications and awards.
  • It’s OK to include your GPA, as long as it’s between 3.50 and 4.0.
  • Use action verbs across your resume to give it more power.
  • Focus on major accomplishments in your work experience section.
  • Introduce yourself with a cover letter.

FAQ: Resumes With No Work Experience

Q: Should I write a resume when I don’t have experience?

Yes. Even if you don’t have work experience, a resume will be expected for most jobs. After all, a resume is an important part of communicating your credentials. The key to writing a resume with no experience is to focus on your skills and mention any relevant experience, even if it doesn’t come from a traditional job.

Work experience can come from volunteer work, extracurricular activities (such as clubs) and personal projects. Just make sure that it’s related to the job or internship.

Q: Can I list hobbies on my resume if I have no experience?

Hobbies can be a good additional section if those hobbies are related to the job you’re trying to get. If you’re trying to become a character designer, listing that you’ve been playing D&D for 10 years can be helpful because you have to design characters for every D&D session. However, it’s not super helpful if you’re trying to get work as a certified nurse assistant.

Connect your hobbies to your job and you can add them to your resume.

Q: Should I list my GPA on my resume if I’ve just graduated?

It’s typically not required to list your GPA on your resume because most hiring managers don’t find it important. However, if you’re searching for a job or an internship in an academic setting, it might be important to list your GPA or the honors you graduated with.

It all depends on the industry and job. Some hiring managers might not bat an eye at the fact that you graduated cum laude (no matter how impressive it is), while others might deem it a great deciding factor.

Q: What to put on your resume if you have no experience?

If you’re writing a resume with no experience, focus on your key skills and any relevant experience you have. You might not have worked at a traditional 9-5 or even a part-time job but maybe you tutored students at your school, volunteered at the local animal shelter or participated in an afterschool program, such as the school newspaper. All of these experiences gave you important skills that you can apply to the job and highlight in your resume.

Q: How do I list jobs on my resume if I have no experience?

Writing a resume work history section with no experience can seem daunting but it’s possible and easier than you think. The key is to redefine what “work experience” means to you.

Maybe you haven’t worked at a traditional job but have experience in customer service from volunteering at a local shelter. In which case, you might write:

  • Guided an average of 10 patrons around the animal shelter, introducing them to different animals.
  • Organized files under the supervision of the shift supervisor.
  • Helped clean and disinfect common areas to maintain high sanitation standards.

You should list these experiences in reverse-chronological order. This means that your latest or current job is at the top. Per job, include three to five bullet points.


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