Tips for Writing a Resume With No Work Experience

Writing a resume with no work experience is possible, but it can be daunting. How can you make sure this type of resume works?


Resume With No Work Experience

So, you’re looking to get your first-ever job. Whether you’re fresh out of high school, newly-graduated college student, or just someone who hasn’t previously had to work for whatever reason, getting your first job can be hard. You still need to write a resume, and what do you do when the resume template asks you to list your work experience? This can feel daunting, but job seekers without work experience can still compose a solid resume. Here’s how to do it.

Is It Possible to Write a Resume With No Work Experience?

It is absolutely possible. It is important to know that hiring managers are looking for relevant experience, not necessarily professional experience. There are plenty of activities 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.

Structure of a Resume With No Work Experience

The functional resume format is usually your best option for this kind of resume, but the structure of your resume may vary slightly if you decide to use a different resume format.  chronological resume
Introductory section
First is your introductory section, which will typically be a resume objective. This is a 2-3 sentence paragraph that allows you to list your standout skills, as well as your career goals..
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. This way, you’ll get through an applicant tracking system (ATS) that’s looking for specific relevant skills.
Education section
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. If you’re just finishing college and want to add more information, consider listing pertinent coursework.
Work experience
Now you can list any experience you do have. This may include volunteer experience, internships, and even extracurricular activities that have a specific relationship to your job search. You may want to look at resume examples for a first job resume to see what kinds of experience other people are including on their resumes. Remember, even part-time jobs count here.
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/Publications.

Tips for Making a Resume With No Work Experience Shine

Here’s some other ways you can make your resume stand out:

  • Look at example resumes in your industry
  • Showcase your skills throughout your resume
  • Focus on experiences that feature transferable skills (skills that can be useful in almost any job, like good communication skills, or a strong work ethic)
  • Don’t acknowledge a lack of work history
  • In your objective statement, explain what makes you right for the job (e.g., “Recent graduate with proficiency in graphic design and marketing campaigns.”)

A professional resume with no work experience needs to showcase that you belong in your work field just as much as anyone else. One of the best ways to do this is with the ResumeHelp resume builder. It takes care of the difficult things, like fonts, designs, and deciding how to construct your layout, so you can focus on resume writing.

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. You can also use the ResumeHelp cover letter builder to create a cover letter that you can submit with your resume.

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

Hobbies can be a good additional section as long as 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, you can list graduation honors like cum laude. If you graduated with honors, include those honors; if you didn’t, just include the degree you graduated with.

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