Are you a recent graduate? Are you struggling with how to write a resume without work experience? Not sure how to show your accomplishments from university or school? Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to creating a great resume that gets interviews, even if you have no professional work experience.
Each resume section plays a specific and critical role in showcasing who you are as an applicant, as well as what you can contribute to the company. This means each of your sections should be given equal attention. What’s more, every single item on your resume should showcase your achievements and work experience.
The same goes for bullet points. At all times, you want to make sure that your language is clear, concise and straight-to-the-point: no fluff.
To help you out, here’s a list of the different sections that may turn up on a typical resume:
- Contact Details (Name, Address, Email Address)
- Personal Statement/Profile
- Education and Qualifications
- Work Experience
- Skills (Technical skills or Soft skills)
- Hobbies (Awarded with medals)
Where should I include my education?
Your education section should come at the top of your resume, whether you have a master’s degree or a high school diploma. Include the name of your educational institution, the years you attended and, if your degree is relevant to the job for which you’re applying, your major and minor.
If you don’t have any formal training in the job field for which you’re applying, include courses that are related to it. For example, if you’re applying for an accounting position at a company that relies heavily on computer-aided recordkeeping or if you want to be an administrative assistant, list computer classes that can demonstrate your ability to adapt quickly to new technology.
RESEARCH COMPANIES AND POSITIONS YOU WANT TO APPLY FOR
Before you start applying for a job, it’s extremely important to learn about the company. You want to make sure you are able to convey why you are a perfect fit for the position and the company’s culture.
You should take some time to read through their social media posts, look at their website and find out as much information about them as possible. This will really help you in your next step of preparing for your application.
Try to find out what they are looking for when hiring new candidates and use that information in your resume so that it fits right in with their expectations, whilst also highlighting what makes you unique.
Use the right format
You’ve probably heard that “a resume is a resume is a resume,” but what does that mean? In simple terms, it depends on how you use your resume. The best resumes are brief, easy to read, and designed with each hiring manager in mind.
If you’re not sure where to begin, the most important thing to remember when writing your resume is that no matter what job you’re applying for, the format should be consistent. Start with an introduction section, then list your education and previous jobs. You can also highlight one or two key skills from each position – something that shows you’re qualified for the job. And after the main section of your resume, attach a cover letter, which should include any relevant contact information so the employer can reach out if something comes up during the interview process.
Don’t ignore your soft skills
Don’t forget your soft skills! Most people think of hard skills as the only important part of a resume but remember: you’re a person too, and humans have needs. Many employers are looking for candidates with strong soft skills because they make them easier to work with. These are non-technical abilities that are transferable between jobs. Examples include communication, problem solving and time management.
When listing your soft skills it’s important to use examples to back up your claims. In this case, it would be a good idea to write about things like working in teams or planning events because these activities demonstrate both leadership ability and an aptitude for planning time around multiple commitments – two vital skills for nearly every job you can imagine.
Add a “Core Competencies” section
Core competencies are the skills and talents that make you unique from the competition. They should be listed front and centre on your resume and will serve as a testament to your skills and abilities.
What are core competencies?
A core competency is a concept in management theory introduced by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel. It can be defined as “a harmonized combination of multiple resources and skills that distinguish a firm in the marketplace”. In short, it’s what makes you stand out from everyone else in your industry!
How do I identify my core competencies?
You don’t have to have tons of work experience under your belt to determine which of your abilities are most marketable to employers. Take some time to reflect on what you enjoy doing with both your professional life (like working at a job or volunteering) as well as your personal one (such as hobbies). If there’s anything specific about them that stands out—maybe you’re really great at getting people excited about things or organizing events—those things could become part of what makes up one’s core competencies!
The more relevant you can make your resume for a specific job, the better.
The more relevant you can make your resume for a specific job, the better. So, it’s common for people who don’t have much work experience to tailor their resumes for each position they apply to.
To make your resume relevant, follow these steps:
- Start with the job description: Review the job description and note any skills or experiences that are important for the position.
- Next, review your own qualifications: Look at your education, clubs, volunteer activities and other things you have done that may be applicable to the position. If anything is missing from this list that would make you a good candidate for the position, consider adding additional items such as volunteering experiences or taking additional classes if possible.
- Match up what you are looking for in an employee with yourself: Tailor your resume so it contains key words and phrases from both the job description and your own qualifications that match those desired of employees by employers. You want to show hiring managers why you are qualified.
Volunteer work and personal projects are great additions to a “no experience” resume.
Personal projects and volunteer work are great additions to a “no experience” resume. They show you’re curious and motivated enough to do things outside of a traditional workplace—and that’s always going to impress employers. Plus, if your volunteer work is related to what you want to pursue as a profession, it shows that you understand what goes into working in that area.
Here are two examples:
- Maybe you want to be an accountant someday, but don’t have any real-world experience yet—that’s okay! You can still include the fact that you’re Treasurer of your local chess club or that you helped organize the fundraiser for your church last year. Taking ownership of a task like this (even if it doesn’t involve money) shows employers that you’re good with responsibility and can add value to their team even without a lot of direct experience in the field yet.
- Maybe there isn’t any link between what you want your profession to be and what your volunteer work is about, but that’s okay too! Even if it seems unrelated at first glance, there will be aspects of being involved in any project or organization that will help prepare you for professional life (managing time, communicating clearly with others, etc.). Listing whatever skills these types of responsibilities have given you on your resume will show potential employers how involved and invested in life outside school/work you really are – which is always going to give them reason to think twice before rejecting your application.
And keep in mind: There’s no shame in only having volunteer work or personal projects under “work experience”—in fact, it demonstrates self-discipline and initiative (which are super important traits for any job). If all else fails? Just remember: confidence goes a long way when putting together a killer resume—and if they see how confident *you* are about yourself, they’ll start feeling pretty confident about hiring *you*, too!
You can still create a meaningful resume even if you don’t have work experience
Now that you know what to include in your resume and how to write a resume when you have no work experience, let’s take a look at some tips that will help you stand out.
- Your resume is your chance to make a good first impression on a potential employer. This is even more important if you’re applying for an entry-level job with limited or no experience, because it can be difficult for employers to determine whether or not you’re qualified for the position. You’ll want to use your resume as an opportunity to show off the best parts of yourself, such as things you’ve learned or done outside of work, whether in school or elsewhere.
- Be aware of what your resume is saying about you. The design and content of your resume are key parts of its message: does it portray you as someone who follows instructions and pays attention to detail? Or does it appear sloppy and unfocused? Remember, sometimes it can be easier for an employer to judge someone’s personality from their resume than from their interview!
- Employers will be looking for key skills and achievements. When they read through hundreds (or maybe thousands) of resumes looking for candidates who have what they need most in the role they’re hiring for—it’s easy to see why adding these types of notable items helps set yourself apart from other applicants.
- You should try to tailor your resume for each job you apply for. The best way is by having multiple versions available so that when a new opportunity comes along, one doesn’t waste time adjusting all information they already included once before; instead just add any additional relevant details specific only towards this particular vacancy which could include dedicated accomplishments/experience gained directly within these related fields too!