How to Create a Resume with No Experience
October 14, 2020 • 4 min read
Just because you have no work experience doesn't mean you can't land a great job. You likely have skills and education that will translate well into many industries. When you design a resume with no experience, it's a matter of presenting your abilities in a way that lets a future employer know that you have potential. Even though you don't have a work history to back up your abilities, you have something to offer—and your task is to convey that with a well-constructed resume.
From working well with others to creative problem solving, you have experience and abilities employers value. Since you don't have any work experience, your job is to outline how your skills and education make you a suitable candidate for a specific position. Keep in mind that while experience is important, relevant experience is the key to landing the job you want. This means you identify your skills that will fit the skill set an employer requires for the position and make those the focal point of your resume.
What to Put on a Resume with No Experience
So what do you include in a resume with no experience? You may think you have little to offer, but chances are you're selling yourself short. Were you a math whiz in school? Many jobs involve working with numbers, from simple calculations to measurements and analysis. Did you write for your school paper? Knowing how to communicate, whether in writing or verbally, is a desirable skill for nearly any job.
From completing educational projects to learning a foreign language, you have experience in a wide range of areas. You have been solving problems, conducting digital research, managing time, organizing things and thoughts and much more—all attractive traits for potential employers. If you've been involved in sports, volunteer work and even hobbies, these activities often teach you skills that can be applicable in a business setting.
Highlight examples of teamwork, sacrifice, humility, determination, empathy and other “soft skills.” Soft skills are the skills you need to fit in, contribute, and grow professionally; often, they are even more crucial to an employer than technical, typically teachable skills. When you put your resume's focus on attributes like a respectful attitude, self-motivation and teamwork, use examples that show how you’ve used those skills.
Did your teachers frequently comment on your attentiveness in class? Were you cut from the JV basketball team only to end up team captain during your senior year? Potential employers want to know these things. Even though you have no work experience, examples like these tell future employers you have something of value to bring to the table.
How to Format a Resume with No Work Experience
While most employers seem to prefer resumes with the traditional chronological format, a functional format may be more appropriate if you have little or no work experience. The functional resume format differs from the chronological format by focusing on skills and achievements as opposed to a timeline of employment.
Whether you choose a functional format or a hybrid format that blends a functional and chronological resume layout, the fonts you choose can help your resume stand out. Times New Roman is a common font for resumes, but you can also choose other fonts such as Calibri and Cambria. The key is to use a font that is familiar and works equally well in print and digitally.
That said, creating a resume with no experience that gets the attention it deserves involves more than choosing a resume format and font. Using bold fonts, italics or underlining for your headings, like you see in many online articles, attracts attention to key points. Creating clear and descriptive headings to highlight sections of your resume helps potential employers find the information they need.
Even how you save and title your resume can make or break your chances for that first interview. Instead of titling your resume as “Joe Smith's Resume,” use a title relevant to the job, like “Joe Smith/Produce Manager/Jones Grocery Store.” Unless you are proficient with a word processing program's formatting options, save your resume as a PDF; it keeps your layout intact.
Want to learn more about how to create a resume with no experience? Whether you need industry-specific tips for writing a resume with no experience or you're ready to build the perfect resume, Rocket Resume has the tools you need to find the right job for you.