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Doing a Resume with Little to No Work Experience

It seems a catch-22: to get a job you need work experience; to get work experience you need a job. I’ll let you in on a secret: work experience doesn’t matter as much as relevant experience. This means you can take your schoolwork, your odd jobs (yard work/babysitting), volunteering, extracurricular activities, and internships/apprenticeships and use it to make a stand out resume. Let’s work on how.

First you want to look at the job description, find the skills they are looking for, and then find ways to highlight those skills on your resume. For example, if they are looking for customer service experience, you can take those odd jobs and make them work for you. Say, you’ve done some babysitting. You can include the following on your resume:

· Care for and entertain children as young as 6 months to 7 years of age.

· Work an average of 3 nights a week.

· Use my customer service skills to build relationships and gain referrals.

· Grew client base from one family to eight families.

Now you’ve added customer service to your resume. Not only that but you’ve shown responsibility and a willingness to grow your business and level of responsibility. Nicely done!

Even if you haven’t done odd jobs, your participation in sports can show you’re willing to be a team player. The “A” you earned on a school project can show time management, project management, and problem solving. If done with a group, it can also show teamwork.

Focus on soft skills when doing a resume, especially with no work experience. Soft skills are often more desired than hard skills by employers because soft skills are harder to teach. To learn more about soft and hard skills read our article “Hard Skills & Soft Skills: What They Are & How to Include Them on Your Resume”.

You can also highlight your education. If you’re still a student, something like the following can be helpful.

Any School Graduation June 2023 Anywhere, NY

GPA 3.5

Relevant Coursework: Business Math, Introduction to Communications

Clubs: National Honor Society, Women in Business

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List

If you’ve graduated, replace the graduation date with your diploma or degree, such as High School Diploma or Associates in Business Administration. Please note that you should use this set up only if you need to expand on your experience. If you are someone with extensive work experience, keep the education section simple with just the school name, degree/diploma, and school location. For more assistance on resume set up, see our article “Resumes 101”.

Now that you’ve written your resume, a few tips: Proofread carefully. Errors in spelling or grammar can create a bad impression. Get someone to look it over for you. Also keep it concise. One page for someone with little to no work experience is best. Lastly, be confident! Be willing to talk about your achievements. Employers want to know that you’re proud of what you can do. Make sure this shines through.

Are you trying to write your first resume? Your career center can help! Contact us for an appointment, and we’ll get that resume sparkling.

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