If you’re just starting out and looking for your first job or internship, you may feel a bit lost on what to do next. If you don’t have any work experience to put on your resume, how can you make yourself stand out as the perfect candidate? You can still write a resume and land the job. In fact, even experienced writers sometimes struggle to write their own resumes. Even if you don’t have much work experience, writing a resume is not impossible.
A resume for a job is your first opportunity to impress potential employers with only a few pages. Creating a resume that highlights your skills, education, and interests in a clear and concise way will greatly increase your chances of getting an interview.
So, what exactly is a resume?
It’s essentially the document that articulates all the relevant information about you as an applicant when applying for jobs. A resume is typically one of the first things HR staff sees when reviewing applications so it’s crucial to get it right from the start. So, create a resume now!
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Here is our step-by-step guide on how to write a simple resume if you have no work experience:
Things to know before writing a resume:
- Resume Formats – There are two standard formats you can use to write your resume: reverse-chronological or functional. While reverse-chronological resumes are the most common and widely accepted format, functional resumes are helpful for candidates with little to no experience. Keep in mind, each resume format has its own set of rules and you should carefully follow them to ensure your resume doesn’t get tossed in the trash.
- Resume Font – While this might be the last thing on your mind when writing your resume, font is crucial to your application. You want to use a clean and professional font that isn’t over the top or unrealistic. Some of the most commonly used fonts for resumes are Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Century Gothic.
- Resume Editing – Once you have written your resume, it’s important to edit and proofread it before sending it to employers. The last thing you want is a careless mistake to stand out more than your qualifications. Double check for grammar and spelling errors, as well as for excessive formatting. Keep your resume to one page, as anything longer won’t be taken seriously.
- Resume Length- Keep your resume to one page. It’s important to keep in mind that when you’re writing a resume, it needs to be very focused. The goal is to make your resume as concise as possible, so you only include the most relevant information.
How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
- Put the job title in the header – If you don’t have any experience, the first thing you want to do is add a header that says “Job title: Entry-level” on your resume. Put the job title in bold as well so it really pops out. Employers will see this and immediately know that you have no experience because it’s essentially a made-up job title. They will also notice that you’re eager to learn and are willing to start at the bottom.
- Put your education at the top – If you have the option to include any education on your resume, put it at the top of the resume. This shows that you have long-term goals and you have a long-term plan. It also highlights your strengths by showcasing any awards, honors, or special recognitions you’ve received for your academics.
How to Write a Resume with Only Course-Based Experience
- Choose one course and highlight its relevance to the desired job – If you only have course-based experience, it’s important to narrow down the most important course and then relate it to the job you’re applying for.
For example, if you majored in marketing and are applying for a marketing job, you can include a course in your marketing major that has the most relevance to the job.
- List all courses – If you’re only including one course on your resume, it’s important to list all courses you’ve taken since some of them may be relevant to your desired job.
If you’re applying for an entry-level marketing job, and your only course-based experience is an introductory marketing course, it’s important to list all marketing courses, even if they aren’t related to the job you’re applying for.
- Highlight transferable skills – If you don’t have any experience, you’re going to have to put a little more effort into highlighting your skills. Employers want to know that you have the potential and ability to do the job, so you need to show that you have what it takes to succeed. Make sure all of your transferable skills are highlighted on your resume and make them bold. This will help employers to easily see the skills you have to offer.
- Focus on soft skills – Just because you don’t have any experience doesn’t mean your application won’t be read. You can still make a great first impression by focusing on soft skills.
Format of a resume with no experience
Not all resume formats are created equal. Choosing the proper resume format can make or break how a hiring manager views your qualifications and work history, so it’s critical to choose the one that’s right for your level of experience.