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  • Guide to Writing a Great...

Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience

16 min read · Updated on February 13, 2024

Ronda Suder

No work experience? No problem.

The ol' catch-22: you need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. Either way, you need a resume, and what you don't need is to panic. 

Just because you don't have skills that are relevant to the job, or experience in a traditional work setting, doesn't mean you can't craft a convincing first job resume. Whether you're a high school or college student, you may be wondering: how do you write a resume with no work experience? Well, we'll tell you with these expert tips.

1. Choose the best format for a resume with no experience

There are a few dominant resume templates in use today:

Chronological

Hybrid - a blend of the chronological and functional formats

A  chronological resume format  lists a candidate's work experience in reverse-chronological order and a functional resume format focuses on highlighting the candidate's hard and soft skills and achievements, rather than work experience. While the functional and hybrid resume formats can be attractive options for job seekers with little relevant experience, most employers and hiring managers prefer a chronological format.

Aside from hiring managers preferring it, it's best to use a reverse chronological resume for two additional reasons:

It's the most used format in the US, making it easy for hiring managers to review and find the information they're seeking

It's the most liked by employers' applicant tracking systems, or ATS. If an ATS can't read your resume properly, it might not get into the hands of a human reader - even if you're the perfect candidate for the job

The primary sections of a reverse chronological resume are:

The heading (with your contact information)

Resume summary

Work experience (which will be substituted with other sections when you have no work experience)

Education 

2. Incorporate your contact information 

Now that you've chosen the best format for a resume with no experience, it's time to complete each section. The first section of your resume is the header section. This is the section that includes your name and contact information. In this section, you'll provide:

Phone number

Email address

Location and zip code

LinkedIn  or professional website URL (optional)

Your name should sit above your contact information in a larger font size than the rest of the information included in the header. You also want to ensure you use a professional sounding email address. Using something like “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” will likely come across as unprofessional and won't gain you any points for the “yes” pile. A good choice is to use your name (or a combination of your initials and surname), instead. 

Here's an example of how to list your contact information at the top of your resume:

Joseph Smith

555.555.5555 | [email protected] | WV 26250 | linkedin.com/in/jsmith28

3. Include a strong summary statement

The next section of your resume, your Resume Summary, will fall just below your contact information. Your resume summary is not to be mistaken for a resume objective. 

Resume objective statements , where you state exactly what career goals you wish to achieve, have mostly fallen out of fashion. This is largely because you want to focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you. A resume summary statement, on the other hand, sums up who you are professionally at the top of the page in two to five sentences and serves as the first impression you give a hiring manager to entice them to keep reading. 

For a resume with no experience, your resume summary can still pack a punch. Include some of the key skills you have relevant to the job, while emphasizing your major and any type of experience that speaks to your ability to succeed.

Here's an example of a resume summary for a recent grad with a human resources degree:

Human resources graduate with diverse knowledge base in employee relations, benefits design, employment law, and policy design. Avid learner with solid written and verbal communication skills and a strong desire to support all levels within an organization for improved employee morale and productive collaboration. 

4. Substitute the Work Experience section with other types of experience

Writing a resume with no experience can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, recruiters and hiring managers are seeking candidates that have a robust background, regardless of experience level. Here are some sections you can substitute in lieu of a Work Experience section:

Internships

Graduate assistantships, extracurricular activities.

Volunteer Work

Hobbies and Interests

When you include these additional types of experiences on a resume, you can include them as a standalone section or create a “Relevant Experience” section. Depending on the type of experience you're including, you might find it's best to use a section heading that aligns with the type of experience (“Internships” for internships, “Volunteer Work,” for volunteer work, and so on). 

Landing paid or unpaid college internships  are one of the best weapons you have against "experience required." Not only do they give you some real-world work experience, they also allow you to network and make connections that can put you in a job later. When applying for a job without experience, be sure to list any internships you've completed. 

If you haven't had an internship, consider applying for one as a step before an entry-level job.

Here's an example of how to include an internship on your resume:

Finance Intern

New York Secretary of State Office, New York, NY

Jan 2021 - May 2021

Reconciled budget sheets for quarterly processing

Supported accounting team in year end tax return audits 

Analyzed 15 budget reports over a two-month period to ensure accurate data reporting 

Similar to internships, a graduate assistantship secured during school is also a great way to gain valuable experience to include on a resume. Graduate assistantships are paid opportunities provided to graduate students. They typically involve part-time teaching or research within their field of study. 

Here's an example of how to include an assistantship on your resume:

HR Graduate Assistant

West Virginia University School of Business and Economics, Morgantown, WV

August 2020 - May 2021

Reviewed 100 collective bargaining agreements to identify and document similarities and inconsistencies throughout

Worked with academic Professors to develop research guidelines for future assistants

Volunteer work

When surveyed, the majority of employers say that they take  volunteer experience listed on your resume , such as being a soup kitchen volunteer, into consideration alongside paid work experience. So any volunteer work that highlights your talents or a new skill should be put on your well-prepared resume. 

You'll list volunteer work in a similar way to how you would list internships and actual work experience:

Animal Transport Volunteer

Friends for Life Animal Shelter, Philippi, VA

April 2022 - Present 

Working with local shelters to transport animals to and from shelters and foster homes

Assisting in cleaning kennels and common areas to support sanitation efforts

Spearheading animal supply drive, collecting $10K worth of supplies

Though it might not seem like it at first, extracurricular activities can add a lot of value to your resume in lieu of work experience, if you can relate them to the job you're applying to. For example, if you were an officer for a club during college or a captain of a sports team, these roles speak to leadership ability. 

In general, these types of activities show you have the ability to collaborate with others. It also shows you have the ability to keep up with school work while being involved in other areas outside of school, which speaks to time management and organizational skills. 

Here are some of the top extracurricular activities to include on a resume with no experience, as well of some of the skills they help to highlight:

Artistic endeavors: speaks to creativity, problem solving, perseverance, ability to learn 

Sports: speaks to teamwork, collaboration, hard work, problem solving, conflict resolution

Club leadership roles: speaks to leadership, organization, perseverance, time management

General club membership: speaks to time management, community involvement, prioritizing

Student government: speaks to leadership, public speaking, time management, problem solving, organization

Here's an example of how to list extracurricular activities on a resume with no experience:

Student Council Vice PresidentBelington High SchoolAugust 2020 - May 2021

Spearheaded clothing drive to support the homeless in the state of Virginia

Wrote and delivered 3 speeches to the student body focused on student wellbeing, fundraising events, and life beyond high school

Special Projects

If you completed job-related projects during high school or college, they can be a valuable addition to your resume. Personal projects are also game for a resume with no experience, if they're relevant to the job. 

Here's how you might list a personal project on your resume:

Social Media Campaign

Sparkle and Shine Fundraising Event

February 2022 - Mar 2024

Created social media campaign to support fundraising efforts for local children's shelter, supporting education in underprivileged youth

Increased followers by 25% in two months

Generated leads that converted to $3,000 in donations

Here's how you might list school projects on your resume:

Beaumont University

Masters in Counseling and Development

Career counseling planning design for women with chronic fatigue syndrome

Group counseling proposal for friends and family members of those who have mental health challenges

Behavioral health program design to work with males ages 18 to 30 with adverse childhood experiences

Hobbies and interests

It's more common today than ever before to include hobbies and interests on a resume - they help to provide insights into who you are as a person, to enhance your resume story. Hobbies and interests require soft and hard skills, many of which are required to succeed on the job, and they can especially be useful to fill in gaps when you lack work experience.  

For additional information on how to list hobbies and interests on your resume with no experience, refer to “ How to List Hobbies and Interests on a Resume (With Examples) .”

An award can signal to an employer to take note, since they're a distinction that speaks to your skills, abilities, and accomplishments. Adding an Awards section is an excellent way to showcase your ability to succeed in lieu of work experience. 

When you list an award, include the award and issuing institution. For example:

2023 Science Olympiad Award recipient, Science Olympiad Foundation

Certifications

Acquiring certifications provides an excellent opportunity to add value and fill in gaps in terms of skills and work experience. There are a lot of opportunities to secure certifications for free through sites like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and  Grow with Google . Certifications not only highlight your skills but also show that you're focused on personal and professional development, which employers appreciate in candidates.  

You can list certifications in a standalone Certifications list or with your Education section. For more information on how to best include certifications on a resume with no experience, refer to “ How to List Certifications on a Resume (with examples) .” 

5. Include your education 

When you have work experience, it's common to include your Education section after your Work Experience section. However, on a resume with no experience, many opt to list and emphasize their education after the resume summary. This is largely due to the fact that your education is what's most relevant to employers when you're straight out of school. 

Also, in lieu of a Work Experience section, especially if you're running thin on any of the relevant experience options listed above, you can expand and focus on the  education section on your resume  to highlight the marketable skills you've developed. What can you do well that this job requires? What will be useful to the hiring company? What have you done in school and what have you studied that has prepared you for assuming this job?

This is generally a little easier if you're a college graduate with specialized education, but even a high school graduate can talk about their electives and relevant coursework, why they wanted to take them, and what they learned from the class. It's also acceptable to include any awards, scholarships, honors, or any student clubs and committees you participated in. For example, if you were on the Dean's list, include it. 

Many also wonder if they should include their GPA on their resume. The short answer is yes, if it's 3.5 or higher. This level of achievement highlights your potential and the hard work you're willing to put in for success. 

Here's the order to list items in your Education section, with items 5 to 8 being optional:

Degree issued

Issuing institution

City and state of institution 

Graduation date (or expected graduation date, if in progress)

Relevant coursework

Student committees

Here's how your education might look laid out on your resume:

Bachelors of Science - Psychology (3.5 GPA, magna cum laude)Maryland State University

Relevant coursework: human growth and development, assessment, treatment planning, abnormal behavior

6. Emphasize your skills

Even when you don't have actual work experience, you have definitely acquired skills to support you on the job, which can set you apart from the competition. Be sure to highlight both hard and soft skills on your resume. You can do this by including a Skills section near the end, or by adding a Core Competencies section just below your Resume Summary. 

You also might be wondering what the difference is between hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical skills that are measurable and learned. Softs skills are tangible skills that are difficult to measure. 

Examples of valuable hard skills on a resume include:

Mathematics

Computer skills

Data analysis

Project management

Social media

Language skills

Here are some common soft skills employers seek in their employees:

Communication

Problem solving

Organization

Interpersonal skills

Time management

Working well under stress

7. Add a cover letter

Even if one isn't required, it's generally a good idea to send a short cover letter along with your resume. Cover letters are where your personality comes out and you can use them to make the case for why you're the perfect candidate for this job. 

A standout cover letter can convince an employer to bring you in for an interview, even if your resume itself doesn't have all the things they'd like to see. Your cover letter provides you with the opportunity to show a bit of personality and express why you're interested in the job, as well. Be sure your cover letter uses the same font and style as your resume, for consistency. 

Elements you should never include on a resume

While there are many elements you should consider adding to your resume, career experts say there are a few things you should never include because they waste space, don't tell the employer anything relevant, or could damage your personal brand. This list includes, but is not limited to: 

Employment references

Writing samples

Photos  of yourself

Do not add this information to your resume unless an employer or recruiter asks you to provide it. 

Additional tips for a resume with no work experience 

As you develop your resume with no experience, here are a few more tips to consider. 

Take stock of your achievements and activities

Make a list of absolutely everything you've done that might be useful on a resume. From this list, you'll then need to narrow down what to actually include on your resume. Different things might be relevant to different jobs you apply for, so keep a full list and pick the most relevant things from it to include on your resume when you send it out. This will help you to identify which sections to include in lieu of work experience.

Pay attention to technical details

When editing your resume, make sure there are no punctuation, grammatical, spelling, or other errors that will make your resume look unprofessional. Then, have a friend or family member read it again to catch any mistakes you might have missed — you can't afford a typo or missing word as a candidate with no prior work experience. Also, be sure to vary your language and use action verbs throughout your resume to keep your reader engaged.

Keywords, keywords, keywords!

Most employers use some form of  applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan and sort resumes . This may seem unfair, but it's the reality of modern-day hiring. To combat this, you'll want to come up with, and include, a list of keywords in your resume when applying for any job. The best place to  find these keywords  is in the job post itself, or in ads for similar jobs. One caveat: don't use meaningless "buzzwords," such as "go-getter," "team player," and “detail-oriented." Unfortunately, sometimes these buzzwords are the only keywords listed in the ad. If that's the case, you'll need to sneak them in alongside your detailed accomplishments and academic achievements.

Customize your resume for each job you apply to

The last and most important thing to remember when creating a good resume is to  customize it for every job to which you apply . Different job postings are going to have different keywords, different job duties listed, and so on. Appealing to each individual employer's needs and job requirements is the best strategy for getting your application noticed and hopefully landing your first job.

Relevant experience goes beyond work experience

At the end of the day, the only perfect resume is the one that gets you the interview. Regardless of whether you have work experience or not, it's still possible to stand out by highlighting other types of experience that relate to the role. 

Even once you're comfortably employed, be prepared to tweak and update your resume to get noticed with each job application you submit. In the meantime, use any type of relevant experience to help you shine and land an interview. Sooner or later, you'll land that job - and gain that much-coveted relevant work experience.

Tackling this kind of resume isn't easy. If you've recently graduated or are in an entry-level job search, a  professional resume writer  can prepare you for success.

This blog was originally written by Riya Sand and has been updated by Ronda Suder. 

Recommended reading:

5 Things You Should Always Include on Your Resume

Should You Include Social Media on Your Resume?

How to Be a Great Candidate Even If You're Under-Qualified for the Job

Related Articles:

How to Maximize Your Resume Action Words to Wow the Employer

Is Your Resume Inspirational? If Not, Here's How to Fix It

7 Ways You Try Too Hard in Job Applications

See how your resume stacks up.

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How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience in 2024 (With Examples)

Don't worry, we've all been there. Thrown into the job world with little to none work experience and no idea how to start a resume. We're here to help.

Ed Moss

With more and more people on the job hunt each year, entering the work force with minimal to no experience on your resume can be a daunting and frustrating task.

However, no need to worry, all is not lost for applicants lacking in relevant work experience.

We've all been there.

This guide is here to help you learn how to shift the focus of your resume onto your skills, unpaid experiences, and education in order to frame your lack of experience in a more appealing manner.

  • What Resume Format is Best for Someone with No Experience?

Adding Transferable Skills to Resume

Including unpaid experience on resume, listing education on a resume as a student.

  • Finally, Getting Jobs with a No-Experience Resume

What Resume Format is Best for Someone with No Experience

The first and arguably most important decision when it comes to crafting a resume is deciding which format is best for you.

When you are lacking in relevant work experience, using the standard resume format – also known as the reverse-chronological resume – may not be the best idea.

Reverse-chronological resumes are centered around the work experience section, which is precisely the section you want to shift the attention away from when your experience is limited.

Instead, you should consider using either a functional or a hybrid resume .

If you are unsure which resume format best fits your needs, check out our guide on choosing the correct resume format.  

1) What are Functional Resumes?

Unlike reverse-chronological resumes, functional resumes are not designed or formatted to be primarily focused on relevant work experience.

Because of this, the functional resume has become the favored format for applicants who do not have work experience to showcase.

There are a number of reasons why a person may not have work experience to feature on a resume. Common circumstances include an individual being a student or recent grad.

Veterans who lack non-military experience and people looking to re-enter the workforce after a gap in their employment history also may favor a functional format. 

The benefits of using a functional resume include:

  • Well-suited for applicants who have gaps in their employment history or lack relevant work experience.
  • Greater flexibility in how sections of the resume can be structured, allowing for a skills section to be the main centerpiece of the resume.
  • Provides better opportunity to highlight any unpaid experiences or academic credentials an applicant may have. 

2) What are Hybrid Resumes?

A hybrid resume mixes the formatting of functional and reverse-chronological resumes in order to make a resume that includes elements from both.

These kinds of resumes are highly customizable and can be restructured according to the applicant’s needs.

Using a hybrid resume may be wise for someone who has some work experience that may or may not be wholly relevant

For people with no work experience whatsoever, however, sticking to a functional format may be best.

Benefits of using a hybrid resume include: 

  • Opportunity to show work experience, even if it is not relevant to the job being applied for
  • Good for applicants who have limited paid working experience but have extensive history working in unpaid opportunities, such as volunteering. 
  • Hybrid resumes may more closely resemble a reverse-chronological, which is the standard resume format that employers typically expect. 

Beautiful resume templates to land your dream job

Physical Therapist

Making a resume as a job applicant with little to no experience requires you to take an in-depth personal inventory of your personal skills and talents.

Everything from your communication skills to your time management and teamwork skills matter here and creating a definitive list of your greatest strengths is key.

There are two categories of skills to consider: hard skills and soft skills .

1) Hard Skills 

Hard skills are more quantifiable and are typically gained through some form of education, training, or certification program.

This can include skills such as computer programming, speaking foreign languages, or being a mathematician.

While you may not have gained hard skills through prior work experience, there are still potentially hard skills you obtained through other channels, such as through school or from the military.

Writing down your hard skills is important, as this is where you will find your most relevant skills for a job application. 

2) Soft Skills

Soft skills are less quantifiable and have more to do with your personality, work ethic, and how you interact with other people.

Communication, problem-solving, and cooperative skills all come into play here. 

Though soft skills may not be as easy to directly relate to a job application, they are still necessary and helpful to include in a resume with a limited work experience section.

Additionally, job descriptions often lend hints to the kinds of soft skills an employer is looking for, and including those skills can show you pay close attention to information given to you. 

Examples of Transferable Skills

Below we have provided a list of common transferable skills to help get you started on identifying which skills you possess and how you can frame them on your resume to improve your chances of landing a job interview. 

Of course, there are hundreds of skills that are good to include on a resume.

It is important to choose skills that both accurately represent your talents as well as provide relevance to the job description provided.

For more ideas on good skills to include, check out our guide on 100+ key skills for a resume in 2024.

Here are a few examples of transferable skills and how to list them:

1) Collaboration

Collaboration skills generally indicate your ability to work well with departments, professionals, or teams outside of your own.

This can show employers your ability to form connections with others within an industry

Incorrect: Collaborated with volunteer teams from other counties.
Correct: Learned strong collaboration strategies through participating in volunteer service activities involving multiple groups of volunteers.

2) Teamwork 

While collaboration shows your ability to work with external connections, teamwork emphasizes your ability to work well within your own team.

Teamwork requires you to pay close attention to your teammates and be willing to compromise in order to make things happen.

Incorrect: Gained teamwork skills through community service.
Correct: Achieved effective teamwork through helping to organize meetings for a community service group.

3) Communication

Communication skills largely involve your public speaking abilities and your capability for expressing yourself in a clear and concise manner.

Including examples of how you have honed your communicative abilities is key. 

Incorrect: Strong communication skills
Correct: Developed communication skills through working as a peer mentor at the university. 

See how this Art Director resume example listed Communication as a skill on her resume:

Art Director

4) Computer Skills

Nowadays, digital and computer skills are a must and the more you know, the more opportunity you may have for employment.

Detailing your computer skills and programs you can properly operate is essential. 

Incorrect: Strong computer skills and knowledge of software.
Correct: Experienced in the use of Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Cloud. Certified in the use of Microsoft Excel. 

5) Dependability

When an employer is considering a job applicant with little to no experience, that applicant’s dependability will be one of their major questions.

As such, including dependability in your skillset is generally a smart idea. 

Incorrect: Provided dependable service as an intern.
Correct: Proved dependability through being on time or early every day on an internship. 

6) Critical Thinking

An employer will want you to be fast on your feet while also being able to think things through thoroughly.

Emphasizing your critical thinking skills helps to show a potential employer your attention to detail and ability to problem solve. 

Incorrect: Gained critical thinking skills through membership in a chess club. 
Correct: Employed critical thinking skills during a chess club competition, placing in second. 

7) Leadership

Taking on leadership roles oftentimes comes with hefty responsibilities.

Showing employers your ability to handle and succeed as a leader can greatly impact their impression of your work ethic and ability to work well with others. 

Incorrect: Grew leadership skills in military training.
Correct: Developed leadership skills in the role of a platoon leader during military training. 

For example, take a look at how Elysse added Leadership skills on her chef resume :

Chef

For many job applicants with little to no work experience, there are oftentimes other experiences they have that can be used to emphasize and showcase work done to better hone one’s skills and expertise.

Two common examples include experience gained through volunteering or internships .

When you have no experience or gaps in your employment history, having experiences like these to fill the gaps and give context to your skills is key. 

1) Volunteering

Taking advantage of volunteering opportunities is a great way to both begin to build out your resume while also giving back to your community.

There are all sorts of volunteering positions to consider, from working in a local animal shelter to helping with inventory at a food bank. 

Volunteer service shows not only that you have experience to back up you the skills you claim to have, but it also shows your commitment to your work even if there is no compensation involved.

This can reflect very positively on your work ethic to future employers. 

Incorrect: Volunteered at a local shelter.
Correct: Spent six months volunteering at a local homeless shelter, helping to take daily and weekly food and supply inventories.

2) Internships

Internships are especially common for current students or recent grads to take on, as many jobs require some amount of relevant experience to be considered for open positions.

Internships provide the opportunity to gain relevant working experience for those with little to no prior experience.

Inclusion of internships is important, as though it is unpaid work it still can hold a similar weight to paid work experience, especially when applying to entry or low level positions. 

Incorrect: Interned at a local newspaper for one semester. ‍
Correct: Earned a semester-long internship working as an assistant to an investigative reporter at a locally-run newspaper. 

Aside from internships and volunteer experiences, things such as community leadership or fundraising can be useful to include as well.

Basically any experience that helped you to gain and hone your skills is good to consider adding to a resume. 

See how Marianne added her internship in this graphic design resume example :

Graphic Designer

When figuring out how to list education on a resume it is important to be mindful of what the job description listed as the educational requirements for the position.

Generally speaking, unless a resume is meant to be more academically focused, it is recommended to keep education sections rather short.

For those with no experience, however, the education section may be a good opportunity to showcase activities, clubs, leadership roles, and other similar experiences.

Showing your involvement on campus can help to fill the time gaps in employment history if you are a student or recent grad. 

Incorrect: Played on an intramural soccer team. ‍
Correct: Participated on an intramural soccer team and earned the role of team co-captain. 

Finally, How to Get Jobs with a No-Experience Resume

When it comes to writing the perfect resume in 2024 , there are lots of considerations to keep in mind.

With so much competition, it can sometimes feel disheartening for those of you with no experience.

However, there is a lot of power in the format and wording of your resume and learning how to optimize your resume is key to overcoming a lack of experience.

Here are three key takeaways for writing resumes with no experience:

1) Be Extra Attentive to Formatting

When you are using a functional or hybrid resume format, it may be immediately noticeable to employers that you have chosen against using the standard reverse-chronological format.

As such, you need to be extra careful with your formatting and design in order to ensure your resume looks clean and is easy to follow. 

2) Contextualize Your Information for Specific Jobs

Since your resume will likely be centered around you skills rather than your experience, it is very important to relate your skills back to the job you are applying for and contextualize for the employer how you will apply you skills if given the position. 

3) The More Detail the Better

You don’t want to leave employers feeling like they’ve been left hanging.

While you should still strive to maintain clarity and conciseness in your descriptions, do not be shy in adding heftier amounts of detail than you might in a more standard resume.

You want to stand out to employers and showcase exactly how you are perfect for the role being offered.

Our Last Thoughts

Landing a job with no experience can be tricky, but it’s nowhere near impossible.

The key to crafting a resume when you lack relevant experience is to identify and showcase your relevant and transferrable skills. 

If you are unsure how to get started formatting your resume, check out our resume templates and examples !

Browse more resume templates that fit your role

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

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writing a resume without work experience

How to Make a Resume With No Experience

You can lean on internships, class projects and extracurricular activities.

Jeff Rumage

Making a resume early in your career feels like a classic catch-22: A good resume highlights relevant work experience, which you don’t get until you land a job.

The truth is you don’t always need professional experience for entry-level jobs. By highlighting your existing skills, coursework and extracurricular activities, you can craft a resume that will impress employers — even without work experience.

Writing a resume with no experience

  • Start with a professional summary 
  • Emphasize your education 
  • Include relevant experience like internships and extracurriculars
  • Highlight your accomplishments
  • Showcase your skills 
  • Don’t include a headshot, hobbies and other unnecessary details

Even if you don’t meet all the requirements described in a job description , there are still ways to write a resume that catches a company’s eye. First, you may want to get your hands on a resume template (word processors like Google Docs and Microsoft Word have resume templates to guide you with a general structure). From there, you can fill in the details by following the tips below.  

1. Start With a Professional Summary

Career coaches have mixed opinions on including a short professional summary at the top of your resume. Lesa Edwards, founder of  Exclusive Career Coaching and the former director of the career center at  Truman State University , is in favor of a professional summary because it can set the stage and contextualize the experiences that follow. It also allows you to set yourself apart in a large stack of resumes. 

If you decide to include a professional summary, ask yourself: What do I bring to the table? What soft skills could I transfer over to this role? What do I have that other candidates don’t have? If written well, this two-to-three-sentence summary could encourage recruiters and hiring managers to take a closer look at your resume and cover letter.

2. Emphasize Your Education

If you recently graduated from college, put your education experience as one of the first headers on your resume. You should list your major, any academic honors and your GPA (if it is 3.5 or higher). The education section of your resume can also include a subsection for industry-relevant certifications . As your career progresses, you can bump your education section further down the resume to make room for more relevant professional experiences.

3. Include Relevant Experience and Activities 

Instead of focusing on the requirements you don’t meet, think about any transferable skills or experiences you might have gained from internships , extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, volunteering or school projects.

Jill Silman Chapman, director of early talent programs at Insperity , said she favors candidates who have a well-rounded set of experiences. It shows they are able to multitask, work in different types of environments and adapt to changing circumstances.

“In today’s workplace, we’re changing all the time,” she said. “That ability to adapt is critical.”

Internships

Internships are the best way to gain relevant work experience before entering the professional world. They offer an opportunity to apply the lessons you’ve learned in the classroom in real-world situations.

Part-Time Jobs

If you worked in a service industry job and you are seeking your first professional job after college, you could highlight soft skills , like time management skills needed to juggle school and work responsibilities. Customer service is an especially underrated skill, Silman Chapman said, because it translates to customer-facing roles and  interpersonal skills within the workplace.

Extracurricular Activities

This could include student government, fraternities and sororities or any number of campus organizations or community activities. Athletics is also a resume-booster in some industries, especially sales and other professions that tap into a competitive spirit. You might also note if you were an Eagle Scout, helped out at a peer tutoring program or volunteered your time in other ways that show you are engaged in your community.

Class Projects

Projects you worked on as part of a class or online certification program can also be incorporated into your resume. This could include your marketing class working on a semester-long campaign that culminated in a big presentation. If your class partnered with a company on a large project, that could be a relevant real-world experience for your resume.

Online certification programs are also a good way to gain professional experience, and often provide a chance to apply your learnings to a project, which can then be highlighted on your resume, said Karen Scully-Clemmons, assistant director of career services and employer relations at the  University of Texas at Austin . You’ll want to detail what you accomplished, what technologies you used and what you learned . If possible, you should also link to your project on your resume.

Related Reading How to Use the STAR Interview Method to Land a Job

4. Highlight Your Accomplishments

For each experience you list, showcase the results in bullet point format, and look for ways to quantify your results. For example, don’t just rattle off what you did as president of a school organization, highlight how many new members joined during your tenure or how much money you raised while leading fundraising efforts.  

These accomplishments don’t need to be groundbreaking, but you might have to reflect deeply and think creatively to recognize and articulate the value you provided in each role. Just be sure to align these accomplishments with the responsibilities in the job description. 

“Sometimes I think the hardest thing for students is to think of an achievement, because they think it has to be a super big deal,” Edwards said. “So much of it is a shift in mindset of what constitutes an achievement.”

5. Showcase Your Skills

For a skills section, you can include your software proficiencies, as well as soft skills like organization, time management, communication, adaptability to change and the ability to work as part of a team . If you are going to highlight soft skills, though, you should also include evidence of a role or situation in which you demonstrated those skills.

“It may not be numbers, dollars or percentages,” Edwards said, “but maybe you could talk about how you took a leadership role in a class project that was presented to a community organization.”

Related Reading 5 Things New Grads Need to Know About the Job Market

6. Don’t Include These Elements

You only have so much space on your resume, so be sure to leave off these unnecessary details. 

Objective Statement 

Don’t include an “objective” statement that lays out what you are looking for in a job. Instead of talking about what you want, use that space to describe what value you can offer the employer. 

Hobbies and Interests

While you might think a job is related to your hobbies and interests, Edwards said these are of little practical interest to recruiters and hiring managers. Leave them out of your resume.  

A GPA below 3.5 is not likely to win over a company, and a GPA below 3.0 could only hurt your chances. Only include your GPA if it’s above 3.5.   

Headshot or Photo

Recruiters and hiring managers don’t need or want to see what you look like. Unless you are applying for an acting job, don’t attach a picture to your resume because it could be potentially used to discriminate against you. 

Your Full Address

In the electronic age, there is no need to put your address on your resume. Providing your city and state is typically enough, unless an online application requires your full address.  

Graphics  

Don’t employ resume templates with fancy graphics: most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) , which can’t read resumes that are decorated with graphics, special fonts, columns and other formatting tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can i put on my resume if i have no experience.

In lieu of professional experience, you could highlight your education, skills, internships, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, volunteering experiences and school projects.

How to write a professional summary for a resume with no experience?

A well-written professional summary will draw upon the experience you’ve gained from school, internships and other extracurricular activities to demonstrate the impact you have made and the value you would bring to your desired role.

How do you say you have no experience but are willing to learn?

Employers are often willing to train entry-level candidates who have shown initiative and a hard work ethic in school, internships and extracurricular activities. You can emphasize your willingness to learn through your professional summary statement on the top of your resume or through the cover letter that accompanies the resume.

Do I need a resume if I don't have experience?

Yes, you need a resume when applying for a job, regardless of your experience. Most word processors, like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, offer free resume templates to get you started.

Recent Job Search Articles

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How to Write a Resume with No Experience [21+ Examples]

Background Image

It’s time for your first job hunt !

You need to write a resume , which can be nerve-wracking if you don’t have any real-life work experience.  

You don’t know where to start, what to include, or which resume format to choose.

On top of that, most advice you find online isn’t relevant because it focuses on emphasizing professional background.

Chances are, you’re straight out of college with no experience to speak of. 

Or maybe you're a high-school student applying for a part-time job.

Whichever the case may be, you’re probably having trouble filling in the blank space on your resume that’s supposed to be the work experience section.

Worry not, though. In this guide, we’re going to help you create an AMAZING resume, no work experience is needed.

  • How to format your resume with no work experience
  • 4 sections to replace work experience (that help you stand out)
  • 2 no-work experience resume samples (guaranteed to land you the job)

How to Format Your Resume [with No Work Experience + Examples] 

A resume format is the layout of your resume .

The ideal resume format usually depends on how much work experience you have. 

But what happens when you have none?

For a no-experience resume, we recommend that you use the reverse-chronological format . 

no experience resume format

It’s the most popular format amongst applicants and a recruiter favorite.  

The sections in your reverse-chronological resume will be: 

  • Header : Contact Information and Resume Statement
  • Internships, extracurricular activities, projects, volunteer work  (These sections will replace your work experience)

In this article, we’ll walk you through each of these sections, and explain how to write them in a way that you stand out from the crowd.

Let’s dive in.

Start With Your Resume Header

resume header example

Your resume header includes your contact information and your resume statement.  

Below, we’ll show you how to write both of these elements and how to include them in your header section.

Put Down Your Contact Information

Just like the name suggests, the first thing you add to your header is your personal and contact information.

It’s the easiest part to get right, just keep it short and to the point.

In your contact information section, mention the following:

  • First and Last Name
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • A link to a professional profile (e.g. LinkedIn ) or personal webpage (if you have one)

Make sure to use a professional-sounding E-mail.

I.e. something along the lines of “[email protected].” 

You’re sure to leave a wrong impression if you use an email you created back in preschool ( “[email protected]” ).

Make sure to double-check, triple-check your contact information. After all, the recruiter can’t contact you if you have a typo in your phone number.

(Optional) Write Your Resume Objective

A resume objective is a short heading statement in your resume, where you describe your professional goals and aspirations.

Fun fact - hiring managers look at your resume for 5-6 seconds max .

Yep, that’s right. In most cases, the hiring manager is literally drowning in resumes. So, they have a couple of seconds to skim each one.

Well, this section is your chance to catch their attention (and let them know you’ve got what it takes).

A resume objective is usually 3-4 sentences max and includes information on:

  • What your field of study is;
  • What your skills and experiences are (ones that are relevant to the job );
  • Why you’re applying for this position and/or this company.

As with contact information, you don’t need to label your resume objective with a title. Just write it underneath your contact information section.

Here’s an example of what a resume objective looks like:

“ Recent Communications graduate looking to apply for the role of Secretary at XYZ inc. Extremely organized with good writing and multitasking skills. Practical experience in management gained through several university projects, which involved coordinating tasks between different team members and ensuring that everyone was in sync with the latest information. ”

Emphasize Your Education

education section on resume no experience

In your average resume, the first section would be work experience.

Since you don’t have any, though, you’ll want to omit that and replace it with the education section.

This way, you bring a lot more attention to your education, which is one of your main selling points. 

What should you include in the Education section? 

List the following features in this order:

  • Name of the degree
  • Name of the institution
  • Years attended
  • Location of the institution (optional)
  • GPA (optional)
  • Honors (optional)
  • Relevant coursework (optional)
  • Exchange programs (optional) 

As a general rule, if you studied in a prestigious university, you can add the name of the institution before the degree . This way, you will catch the recruiter’s attention faster.

Now, let’s go through some real-life examples:

BA in Computer Science

Tufts University

Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts

10/2015 - 06/2018

Magna Cum Laude

  • Exchange Program in Greenville, NY

University of the Arts London

BA in Interior Design 

10/2017 - Ongoing

Westwood High

Boston, Massachusetts

Class of 2018 

career masterclass

Education Section Q&A

Still have some questions about the education section? Worry not, we’re about to give you all the answers!

Do I include my GPA?

  • The answer here is a “maybe.” We’d recommend including a GPA if it’s higher than 3.5. Anything lower than that, and you might be underselling yourself. Keep in mind, though, that most employers don’t care about your grades.

Should I include my coursework?

  • Yep, but just as long as it’s relevant. If you have no work experience, including courses can help establish your expertise in a field. Feel free to skip out on any basic courses, though. No one cares about your Maths 101 course.

Do I mention my degree if I dropped out?

  • If you studied for more than 2-3 years, yes. A half-finished degree is still better than no degree. If you dropped out after a semester, though, that doesn’t really mean much.

Do I mention my high school degree?

  • Only if it’s your only degree. If you have any higher education, your high school degree will only take up space.

4 Sections to Replace Work Experience [With Examples]

Now that you’ve listed your education, it’s time to fill that work experience gap in your resume.

You aren’t still worried about your lack of experience, right?

Because here are four sections you can use instead:

1) Internships

Have you done an internship that is relevant to the position you are applying for?

Now’s the time to mention it. 

Here is how you add an internship to your resume:

First , place the Internship section right after the education section. 

Title it: Internships

Second , write your internship title and role . Be specific.

If your internship was in the marketing department, instead of just “Intern”, say “Marketing Intern”. 

Third , put down the company name , location , and duration of the internship - in that order.

Marketing Intern

Full Picture

New York, NY

09/2019 - 12/2019

Easy and straightforward, right?

One more step:

Last , add a list of responsibilities you had as an intern in bullet point form. 

If you have any tangible achievements , even better! Write those in as well.

Finally, tailor both the responsibilities and achievements to the role you’re applying for.

Here’s how that looks in practice:

You used to be an Advertising Intern .

You’re applying for the position of Social Media Assistant . 

Here’s how you would put down your internship entry:

Internships

Full Picture Company

  • Analyzed various social media platforms for trending content
  • Managed company social media accounts
  • Posted interested content on company Facebook page, increasing engagement by 25%

The listed responsibilities and achievements are directly connected to the Social Media Assistant job requirements.

You’re applying for a Content Writer position. Take a look at the same entry now:

  • Assisted the Marketing Manager in writing press releases and new blog posts , which increased web traffic by 25%.

Notice how the internship title remains the same. 

But in this case you’re applying for a Content Writer position, so you are highlighting your writing experience instead.

For more examples, check out our full guides to an internship resume and how to write a cover letter for an internship .

2) Extracurricular activities

Still have a ton of empty space in your resume?

Extracurricular activities are always a great addition!

Whether they’re related to the job you’re applying for or not, they still show one thing:

You’re hard-working and motivated.

Imagine you’re the HR manager, and you can pick between these 2 candidates:

  • Josh Johnson. Studied at Massachusetts State. 4.0 GPA, but that’s all he did in college - no extracurricular activities, internships, or anything else.
  • Suzie Activeson. Also studied at Massachusetts state. 3.2 GPA. Vice-president of the business club. Served as a student government senator for 2 semesters. Organized several events as part of the marketing club.

Sure, Josh is probably qualified, but we don't know anything about him, other than that he studied a lot.

Suzie, on the other hand, can manage a team (business club VP), organize events (marketing club), and is passionate about making a change (student government).

So, which one would you pick?

Now, let’s explain how to list extracurricular activities on your resume:

  • Title of the section: Extracurricular Activities
  • Name of the organization and/or team 
  • Your role in the organization
  • Time period
  • Noteworthy awards or achievements

Extracurricular Activities

Public Speaking Club

Vice-President

09/2018 - 09/2019

  • Organized 10+ public speaking lectures
  • Brought in speakers from all over the state
  • Conducted public speaking workshops

3) Volunteering Experience

Volunteering shows dedication and passion to apply yourself. 

And there’s nothing recruiters love more than a committed employee.  

Whether you spend your free time in a soup kitchen, or you helped collect trash in the countryside, you can mention it in your resume!

But how do you list volunteering experience?

Well, it follows the same logic as your internship and extracurriculars:

  • Title of the section: Volunteering Experience
  • Name of the organization
  • Relevant tasks and achievements (bullet points)

Volunteering Experience

Grand Archive Library Volunteer

Washington, D.C

08/2017 - 02/2019

  • Performed secretarial activities, such as sorting mail, filing documents, answering phone calls, and taking messages. 
  • Led a poetry reading event twice a month. 

4) Projects

In this section, you can add any relevant projects you were part of during your time in school or at an internship.

Your capstone project, graduation thesis, or research project go here. 

No need for work experience!

You can also mention any other type of project you’ve worked on in school, including:

  • Business project for a real-life client
  • Mock website you created in Web Design 101
  • Fake magazine you created as a capstone project
  • Market research you did as part of your graduation thesis
  • Software you developed in Software Engineering class

...And so on!

Here’s how you put them down:

  • Title of the section: Projects
  • Project name
  • Project type
  • Related organization 
  • Relevant responsibilities and achievements (optional)

And now, for some practical examples. Here’s what a journalism student project could look like:

Online Privacy and Social Media: a Journalistic Study of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

Journalism Capstone Project

Harvard University

09/2018 - 11/2018

And here’s a law school example:

In-House Pro Bono Project

Columbia Law School

11/2018 - 03/2019

  • Completed a full petition for U nonimmigrant status, interviewed legal persons and drafted affidavits.

If you have anything physical to back up your project with, feel free to include a link.

For example, if you’re a developer, you could include a link to your GitHub profile.

Stand out with your Skills 

skills section no work experience resume

There are two types of skills you can include on your no-experience resume: 

Soft skills and hard skills. 

What’s the difference? 

Soft skills are attributes or habits that describe how you work. They are not specific to a job, but indirectly help you adapt to the work environment. 

Here are some of the most popular ones: teamwork, responsibility, leadership, creativity, etc.  

Hard skills , on the other hand, refer to specific tools, technical knowledge and training and other work-specific skills. They apply directly to the job. 

Technical writing, C++, financial accounting, etc. are all examples of hard skills.

So, which of these skills should you include? 

That depends on a lot of factors, but as someone with no work experience, you should opt more for hard skills .

See, you could write all the cool buzzwords like “Critical Thinking” and “Leadership,” but the recruiter won’t believe you.

Fun fact - that’s what 90% of students do.

Instead, you should focus on skills that make you stand out , and in most cases, those are hard skills.

So, how do you decide which hard skills to mention? Easy! Just check the job ad you’re applying for.

Let’s say you’re applying for an entry-level creative internship, and you find these requirements in the job description: 

  • Video editing experience (Premiere, After Effects)
  • UI design experience
  • Photo editing experience (Photoshop)
  • Photography experience
  • Experience with Adobe Illustrator

You’d transfer this into your skills section:

  • Premiere & After Effects - Expert
  • Photoshop - Expert
  • UI Design - Intermediate
  • Adobe Illustrator - Intermediate
  • Photography - Intermediate

Not sure which skills to mention? Check out our article on 150+ must-have skills for all sorts of professions !

Other Sections You Could Include in a No-Experience Resume

A resume without experience does have one advantage: extra space . 

You can use this space to create other sections that highlight how awesome you are!

Here are some sections you could include:

  • Hobbies and Interests . Add flair to your resume by showing your genuine passion and interest in the industry.
  • Languages. Do you know a second language? Or even a third? Awesome! Most companies these days are pretty international and appreciate an extra language skill or two. Be mindful not to over-exaggerate your proficiency, though. Only knowing how to ask “¿Donde está la biblioteca?” doesn’t warrant a Spanish entry on your resume.
  • Awards & Certifications . Do you have any fancy pieces of paper that show you’re smart? Maybe it’s an award for a terrific essay in a competition, or a certificate from an online course . Whichever the case may be, awards and certifications show that you’re a winner, so definitely include them in their own respective section.

Need Inspiration? 2 No Work Experience Resume Samples

Do you still have questions or don’t know where to begin?

That’s when a resume sample comes in handy. 

It provides you with a predetermined format.

It also helps you picture how your no-experience resume is supposed to look like. 

As Picasso put it: Good artists copy; great artists steal! 

Here are 2 no work experience resume samples you can borrow ideas from:

Business Student Resume Sample

no experience resume sample

High-school Student Resume Sample

high school no experience resume sample

Create a Matching Cover Letter

All done with your resume?

It’s not over yet. You need to write a cover letter to go with it.

A cover letter is a single-page letter that accompanies your resume and is part of your job application.

Look at it this way: your resume describes your experiences, and your cover letter explains (in simple words) how they’re relevant to the job.

Now, here’s a quick infographic on what to include in a cover letter:

cover letter writing for no experience resume

Finally, as with everything else in your resume, make sure to keep your cover letter relevant, short, and concise.

The hiring manager doesn’t have time to read an autobiography, they’ll only review your cover letter for a few minutes. 

There’s a lot more to creating a good cover letter than what we just explained.

For a complete, all-you-need-to-know walk-through, check out our Complete Guide on How to Write a Cover Letter !

Key Takeaways

...and that’s a wrap!

At this point, you should know everything there is to know about writing a killer no-experience resume.

Just to keep things fresh, though, let’s quickly go through everything we’ve learned so far:

  • When creating your no-experience resume, use the reverse-chronological format.
  • You can create a killer no-experience resume by emphasizing your education instead. Include relevant internships, soft & hard skills, and projects.
  • Other sections you can include on your resume are hobbies & interests, languages, certifications, or achievements.
  • Keep all the content on your resume clear, precise, and relevant. Use bullet points for all your descriptions.
  • After you’re done with your resume, you want to write an awesome cover letter that goes with it. The cover letter is a one-page letter that tells the story behind your resume content and reemphasizes why you’re a great fit for the job.

Related Resume Examples

  • Internship Resume
  • High School Resume
  • Research Assistant Resume
  • College Resume
  • Students and Graduates Resume
  • Teacher Resume

Recommended Readings:

  • 43+ Resume Tips and Tricks to Land Your Next Job in 2024
  • 20+ One-Page Resume Templates [Free Download]
  • 35+ Common Interview Questions and Answers [Complete List]

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writing a resume without work experience

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How to Write An Effective Resume With No Work Experience (with Templates and Examples)

A recruiter-backed guide to writing an effective resume if you don't have enough (or any) work experience - with downloadable templates and examples.

3 years ago   •   13 min read

Navigating the job market without professional experience can seem daunting, but you can still write a competitive resume with no work experience. The key is to present the experience you do have, and show a recruiter why it’s relevant to them.

Remember, a lack of work experience doesn't mean a lack of skills or potential. Unpaid roles, student activities, internships, personal projects, and volunteer work can all provide substance for your resume, showing your potential to employers and highlighting your transferable skills.

In this guide, we'll take you through crafting a compelling resume without formal work experience, covering how to quantify your skills, focus on education, and fill your resume with competitive keywords.

How to write a resume with no work experience

If you're writing your resume but lack enough (or any) professional work experience, here's a quick step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Include any internships, extracurricular activities , freelance, and volunteer work to supplement your experience.
  • List your education section at the top of your resume.
  • Use numbers and metrics to quantify your skills and explain how your experience is relevant, even if it's in a different field.
  • Include a skills list of relevant keywords and competitive skills.
  • Include in-progress education, training and qualifications relevant to your desired field, and consider enrolling in online courses that match the job description.
  • Write a resume summary to highlight transferable skills and career goals.
  • Stick with a standard reverse chronological resume format. (Not sure what that means? Don’t worry; we'll explain below.)
  • Run your resume through a free online resume checker for personalized advice on targeting your resume to your application.

Remember, just because you lack paid work experience doesn’t mean you lack skills! All you need to do is learn how to highlight those skills in a way that will grab a recruiter's attention. Here is an example of how you can create a well-rounded resume with limited paid experience:

Resume template if you don't have enough experience

Top tips for creating a resume if you have no work experience

Here are 8 top tips for creating a professional-quality resume, despite having little to no work experience.

Highlight transferable experience

The experiences you highlight on your resume should be relevant and tailored to the job you are applying for, but that doesn’t mean they need to be in the same industry. Many skills are transferable between jobs and industries; these are the ones you want to highlight.

Look carefully at the job description and consider what you’ve done previously that demonstrates those skills. Recruiters look for transferrable technical skills, as well as soft skills, so demonstrate these through any experience on your resume, paid or non-paid.

Focus on accomplishments

Once you have decided what experience to include on your resume (more on that in our sections below), remember to talk about your accomplishments , not your job duties. “Responsible for closing the store every night” is a duty — it tells recruiters what you were asked to do, but not what you actually did or how you’re likely to perform in the job you’re applying for. Narrow down the accomplishments most relevant to the skills listed in the job description and focus on those.

Include a resume summary

Adding this optional section at the top of your resume can benefit those with limited or no work experience. A resume summary outlines your essential skills, experience, and noteworthy accomplishments to highlight why you're a good fit for the job.

Use the job title of the job you're applying for, regardless of your past experience, and list 2-3 key skills that match the job description. Mention if you have relevant background experience in that field, paid or not, and highlight any standout accomplishments.

For example:

image.png

Quantify your accomplishments and skills

Including numbers and metrics can help any experience look more impressive. This is known as quantifying your resume ; start with an action verb and include a metric or result that demonstrates your achievement.

If you’re having trouble coming up with metrics, here are some questions to consider:

  • How many people have you worked with? Instead of saying that you worked in a team, specify the size of the team.
  • How many people attended an event you organized? If it was for charity, how much money did you raise?
  • How many customers did you serve on an average day? How many sales did you make?

Here is an example of how to quantify a previous job on your resume:

Including numbers and metrics is the best way to make your accomplishments stand out on a resume.

Use the right keywords

Most resumes nowadays go through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) , automated programs that scan your resume for certain keywords. This means you have to include the right words on your resume to make it past the filter.

Search our list of top resume skills and keywords to get an idea of the specific skills hiring managers are looking for. Being a match for the essential skills the job requires is much more important than having the perfect background or experience!

Keep your formatting simple

You don’t need a fancy-looking resume to impress. In fact, going overboard with creative elements like downloaded fonts, colors, and images can actually do more harm than good. Stick with an easy-to-read font, clear section titles, and standard one or two-column format, or download a free resume template that does the work for you.

Use reverse chronological format

Reverse chronological format simply means that your most recent experience and qualifications are listed first. This is the most common format for modern resumes and is what most hiring managers are expecting. That applies to work experience, but also to your education, projects, and extracurricular activities.

Use a cover letter

You can get ahead of most other applicants simply by writing a cover letter . A cover letter is a great opportunity to talk about why you’re interested in the job and what you would bring to the table, which, when you lack traditional work experience, may not always be obvious from your resume alone.

Pro-tip: Choosing the right examples

If you’re not sure if you have chosen the right examples of your skills for your resume, upload it to the tool below to get a detailed review of your resume and personalized suggestions on how you can improve your word choice, brevity, impact and style, and if there are any critical keywords missing from your resume.

Professional resume template with no work experience

If you have little to no work experience, you can still write an effective resume with only unpaid experience (internships, online training, volunteer work, etc.) by highlighting your most impressive and quantifiable accomplishments, and accomplishments that showcase transferable skills.Here is a professional resume template you can use to improve your existing resume or build one from scratch. You can download this template and more from our resume templates page.

Resume with no work experience with a focus on extracurricular activities

Pro tip: For students writing their first resume

As a student or recent graduate, you will likely have limited or no experience to fill your resume. But don’t worry. This template is also for you!

Notice how this template lists extracurricular, volunteering and personal experiences as 'Leadership and Work Experience', and the resume starts with an Education section. This is a good approach to take if you're a student just getting started in your career.

You can download this template for free here .

Writing a resume for a career change with no previous experience

Making a career shift without prior experience in your proposed field can seem daunting, but it's not impossible. Just like the template above, your resume should focus on transferable skills and competencies that could apply to your desired role and highlight relevant training and certificates. The goal is to convince potential employers that while you may lack direct experience, you have the aptitude and enthusiasm to excel in this new career path.

For more information, read this article on updating your resume for a career change in 2024 .

Pro tip: Gaining industry-specific knowledge

Although you may not have direct experience in your new field, showing that you have done your homework about the industry can go a long way. This could include enrolling in online training, such as Google Career Certificates or Coursera online courses, attending seminars or workshops, or self-study. Make sure to mention these in your education or training section to show your initiative and commitment to learning about the new field.

How to write each section of your resume when you have no previous experience

There are important key sections that should be part of every resume, such as education and qualifications, work experience, hard skills and a resume summary. But don’t worry if you don’t think you have anything to write.

Below, we will explain how to tackle each section of your resume if you have little to no work experience, including formatting options, what to include and the best way to showcase your skills.

Education and qualifications

If you’re new to the workforce or are changing careers, your education and training are likely the most recent and most relevant experience you have. That means you can list your education section at the top of your resume, which takes some of the focus away from a limited work history.

Capitalize on this by elaborating on your academic achievements. Anything from relevant coursework to study abroad can be listed in your education section.

If you're a current student or recent graduate

If you’re a current student or recent graduate, you can also list your education section at the top of your resume above your work experience. The more recently you graduated, the more detailed you can make this section.

Include the name and location of your school, university or college, your field of study and your graduation date (or expected date if you’re yet to graduate). You can also include relevant honors or awards, and significant coursework.

Here is an example of how this would look on your resume, using the template above:

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If you didn’t complete your degree

If you didn’t complete your degree , that’s not a problem. You should still list an unfinished degree on your resume a) if it's relevant, or b) until you have more work experience.

Include the name and location of your university, the field of your degree and the dates you attended school. You can also include the number of course hours completed.

Work experience

This is the dreaded section for most people. How are you supposed to write a work experience section when you don’t have any previous paid experience? You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience!

The most important thing to remember is that experience doesn’t need to be formal or paid to be considered experience. Work experience can include volunteering, freelance work, internships, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, or personal projects. These all demonstrate transferable skills that hiring managers are looking for.

Internships

Internships and student placements are ideal experiences for your resume since they’re still professional settings. You can list internships under your experience section, especially if you don’t have other paid experience.

Include the name of the company, the dates of employment and your specific job title, and list your experience in 3-6 bullet points describing your duties or accomplishments.

Example of how to list internships on your resume if you have no work experience.

Volunteer work

Volunteer work is another excellent substitute for paid experience. Just like an internship, volunteering can be listed in your experience section or a separate volunteer work section .

Include the organization's name, the dates you volunteered and your role within the company. List 1-2 accomplishments in bullet point format, and include accomplishments to demonstrate your skills.

Example of how to use volunteer experience on a resume with no work experience.

Extracurricular activities and projects

Extracurricular activities or personal projects are great ways to demonstrate relevant skills, especially when you don't have traditional paid experience. Both can showcase leadership , teamwork , or other valuable attributes, even if they are not specifically relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Think about the skills you demonstrated in your activities and frame those skills as accomplishments. List the name of the activity or project, your role, and then 1-2 bullet points detailing your accomplishments. Remember to start each point with a strong action verb and highlight your essential skills and achievements.

For an extracurricular activity, your entry might look something like this:

Example of how to write a resume with little to no work experience

For personal or community projects, ensure to include the focus of the project and your specific role. Here's an example:

Example of how to list projects on a resume with no work experience.

Freelance work

If you’re still struggling to think of things to include on your resume, consider gaining additional experience by starting up a side project , like running a blog or picking up freelance work .

Include the name of the company you worked for, your role, your date of employment and the projects you completed.

Work experience or no, you should still include a skills section on your resume . This doesn’t mean you need to list every skill you possess, just those most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Look for the skills listed in the job description and list those if you have them. If you’re not sure what skills hiring managers are looking for, you can use Targeted Resume Tool and our skills and keyword finder to look for relevant skills to include.

How to list hard skills

Your skills section should only include hard skills . In other words, things you can prove and quantify, like proficiency with a software program or technical process. Good skills to list could include:

  • Software programs
  • Programming languages
  • Foreign languages
  • Certifications
  • Design skills
  • Data analysis
  • Specific types of writing, like proposal writing or SEO

If you have some experience with a skill but are not yet proficient, you can still include it on your resume. Consider arranging your skills by proficiency to show the skills you are currently improving.

How to show soft skills

Soft skills , like communication , leadership , and initiative , are great skills to have, but simply listing them isn’t going to impress a recruiter. Instead, consider a time you demonstrated those skills and include them in your bullet point accomplishments.

If you’re unsure which skills to include in your skills section, use the tool below to get a list of skills and keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Additional sections

When you’re just starting out, anything that gives hiring managers a better sense of who you are and what you’re capable of could be worth including.

Here are some examples of additional sections you could include on your resume:

  • Certifications and Courses : If you've taken additional courses or certificates that are relevant to the job you're applying for, this is the place to include them. For instance, if you're applying for a digital marketing role, you might list a Google Career Certificate or a course in SEO.
  • Languages : Proficiency in foreign languages can be a significant asset in many roles. Whether you're applying for a job at a multinational company or a position that involves communication with diverse populations, list your language skills here. Ensure to mention your level of proficiency (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or fluent).
  • Professional Associations or Memberships : If you belong to any professional groups or organizations related to your field, mentioning them can demonstrate your commitment to your industry.

Remember, when including additional sections, the qualities or skills you’re trying to highlight should be directly relevant to the job, even if the experience itself isn’t.

Common mistakes to avoid when writing a resume with no experience

When creating a resume with no work experience, it's easy to fall into certain pitfalls. Avoid these common mistakes to write a strong and impactful resume:

Over-inflating your experience

While it's important to highlight your skills and activities, remember to remain honest and genuine. Overinflating your experience can lead to awkward situations during interviews and may raise doubts about your credibility. If you've been involved in student activities or volunteer work, these are great to include, but don't make them sound like full-time professional roles unless they were.

Not tailoring your resume

Many job seekers make the mistake of sending the same generic resume to every job they apply for. Tailor your resume for each specific job posting by highlighting the skills and experiences most relevant to that position. This shows employers you've put thought into how you would fit in the role and makes your application stand out.

Overusing buzzwords or vague language

One of the common pitfalls in resume writing is the use of overused or vague language. Phrases like "hard-working," "team player," and "detail-oriented" are often overused and do not provide concrete evidence of these traits. Instead, demonstrate these skills through specific accomplishments or responsibilities from your past experiences.

Including too much irrelevant information

When writing a resume with limited experience, it can be tempting to include everything you have ever done. While it might be tempting to include all your experiences and accomplishments, it's important to remember that recruiters often have a large number of resumes to go through, so your resume should be as concise as possible.

Only include the experiences and skills that can be related to the job you are applying for, and leave out information that does not directly support your candidacy for the specific role.

Forgetting to proofread

This may seem minor, but a resume riddled with spelling and grammatical errors can create a negative impression. Always proofread your resume multiple times, and consider having someone else look it over too.

Is it worth applying for jobs that require experience even if I don't have any?

Yes, it's always worth applying for jobs that require experience, even if you don't have any. Job requirements are often a ‘wishlist’ from employers, and not having every requirement doesn't disqualify you. It's more about how you can convey your transferable skills, whether it's from your education, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities.

Are there any potential red flags to employers if a resume has no paid work experience?

While a resume with no paid work experience may initially raise questions for employers, it's not an insurmountable hurdle. The key is in how you present your other experiences and skills. Employers understand that everyone starts somewhere, and they are more interested in your potential, adaptability, and willingness to learn.

How should I handle gaps in my resume due to a lack of work experience?

When you have little to no work experience, it's normal to have gaps in your resume . Instead of worrying about these gaps, focus on activities you undertook during these periods. You can include volunteer work, courses, personal projects, or relevant hobbies.

If the gap is due to education or training, that information should be clearly stated in your education section. Remember, employers are more interested in seeing a continuous journey of learning and development rather than a timeline filled solely with traditional employment.

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How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience in 2024 (+Examples)

  • December 5, 2023
  • In Resumes & Cover Letters

How To Write A Resume With No Work Experience

Writing your resume with no work experience can be tricky. You need to impress the hiring manager even if you have no relevant experience. When creating your first resume, focus on skills that are unique and valuable. Appropriate experience may include causal jobs, volunteering, or school activities.

Creating your first resume or applying to jobs without experience can be scary. How do you write a resume with no work experience? It may even be your first time having to write a resume, put eye-catching resume objectives, list your job skills , or choose a resume format. But at the end of the day, there is a first for everything, and hiring managers know it.

Do you want to save time and create your resume in just a few minutes? Try our premade Microsoft Word resume templates that will help you save time on designing and formatting so you can focus on highlighting your skills and expertise.

How to write a resume with no experience (with examples)

1. identify your goals for writing a resume with no experience, 2. choose a suitable resume format for a no-experience resume, 3. write a strong resume objective.

  • > The objective for the resume with no experience examples:
  • > Resume Objective for Students with No Experience

4. Create your education section 

5. list your relevant experience , 6. highlight your skills on a resume with no work experience, 7. include your volunteer work .

  • > Volunteer work on resume with no experience examples:

8. Tailor your resume for each position even with no experience 

9. write and attach a strong cover letter , sample resume with no work experience.

There are several steps you should take before starting to write your resume . One of the most important ones is identifying your career objectives and finding the positions and industries you want to apply for. This is crucial to success because it will help you determine what aspects of your skillset and experience to focus on and what to highlight.

No matter how good of a fit you might be, you won’t see much success if your resume doesn’t stand out. So, remember that your resume should show that you can bring value to the company and are knowledgeable about the position. To achieve this, it’s vital to find out what your potential employer is seeking in an employee in two easy steps:

  • Begin researching the job listings that align with your career goals and interests.
  • Take note of and write down the keywords that appear repeatedly. These may be requirements, certifications, or skills that most of the job descriptions mention. You will want to include these throughout your resume to truly stand out.

Writing a resume with no work experience can be nerve-wracking, especially if it’s the first time writing a resume altogether. To get started, remember that a resume should always include the following five sections:

  • A header with your name, job title, and contact details
  • A resume summary/objective that presents your skills and achievements in a short paragraph
  • An education section with the degree(s) or diploma(s) you have earned
  • Your work experience, which can include even volunteering or similar experiences
  • A skills section that summarizes all of your best abilities and talents that are relevant to the job

For a resume with no experience, you can also include extra sections for your hobbies, language skills, or academic projects.

But what’s the best way to organize these sections? That depends on the resume format you choose. There are three popular resume formats: functional, chronological, and hybrid. The functional format highlights skills and achievements and focuses less on work experience. On the other hand, a chronological resume format lists the work experience in reverse chronological order.

Finally, a hybrid format combines the other two, illustrating work experience and skills. While many employers prefer a chronological format, the other two are often better for resumes with no work experience. This way, hiring managers will see your achievements and skills immediately. Whichever format you decide to use, make sure to stick with it throughout your resume.

Read more:  “What’s the Best Resume Format for 2024? [Pros vs Cons]

A resume objective is a brief introductory statement that describes your professional goals. Unlike a resume summary , a resume objective is suitable for a resume with no experience because it focuses on the value you could bring in the future. On the other hand, a resume summary presents existing achievements and expertise.

Most of the time, the recruiting manager is flooded with resumes. Thus, they only have a few seconds to scan each one. This paragraph is your opportunity to grab their attention and convey your abilities.

A resume objective should be no longer than three to four sentences and include the following information:

  • Your field of study and highest education
  • The skills and experiences that are relevant to the position
  • Your motivation for applying to this particular position

Just like with contact information, you don’t need to give your resume objective a separate heading. Instead, you can place it under your header.

Example #1: Resume objective for freshers:

Example #2: resume objective for students with no experience.

Read more:  “Resume Objective Examples for 2024 [+How-to Guide]

In your education section, show the degrees, training, and certifications that align with your professional goals without appearing over-or under-educated.

To do this, begin by documenting your educational and training background. This should be just an outline of what you’ve collected, so don’t stress about it not being amazing yet.

What should your education section include?

  • Degrees and certifications earned
  • Name of the degree
  • Name of the college, university, or training school
  • Years attended
  • Optionally, you may also include:
  • GPA if it is 3.40 or above
  • Specific relevant coursework
  • Exchange studies
  • Extracurricular interests and online education/training

Creating your experience section may seem daunting since you most likely lack formal work experience. However, you still have much to include in this resume section, even with no work experience. Depending on your background, you can include:

  • Academic projects –  The easiest experience to include is academic projects. Whether it’s software you made in a programming class, a marketing campaign, or a website you created, they’re all experiences that show you have the skills to succeed. Overall, this is an excellent opportunity to add value to your resume without experience if you are a high school or college student. You can also include interests and hobbies if they relate to the work and have provided you with transferable skills. Extracurricular activities prove you’re dedicated and driven, so don’t be afraid to include them!
  • Internships –  Next, paid and unpaid college internships are one of the best weapons you have against the phrase “experience necessary.” They provide real-world work experience and help you network and develop contacts that may lead to a career later. So if you’re a college student writing a resume with no experience, include any internships you have undertaken.

To include an internship on your resume, first, write the title and function of your internship. Instead of simply “Intern,” use “Sales Intern” if your internship was in the sales department. Then, write down the name of the firm, the location, and the length of the internship – in that order. After that, provide a bulleted outline of your intern tasks and achievements. Finally, tailor your duties and accomplishments to the position you’re applying for.

Work experience example:

Marketing Internship YXPic, LLC. Miami, FL 2017 – 2019

  • Managed firm social media accounts.
  • Analyzing different social media outlets for viral content. 
  • Posted engaging content on the company’s Facebook page, which resulted in a 25% increase in customer interaction. 

Lawn mowing and trimming Miami, FL 2015 – 2017

  • From early spring until mid-fall, mow, edge, and trim lawns. 
  • Maintained seven lawns weekly throughout the season. 
  • Developed customer service skills to earn referrals and get more clients.
  • In six months, I went from having 2 to having 10 clients. 
  • On lawn service, I earned and kept a five-star-rated page on Facebook  

When creating your skills section, it’s crucial to focus on relevant, transferrable skills. The first step is to go through the job description and list the key required skills and qualifications you can meet. Employers value both soft and hard skills, so keep that in mind.

Team leadership, verbal communication, and self-management are soft skills that apply to every role. Hard skills , such as industry-related software or a foreign language, are gained through specialized education or training.

Because soft skills are harder to teach, most businesses focus on them when recruiting for entry-level employment. It’s okay if you haven’t yet developed all the hard skills required for a job. Nowadays, most companies will recognize your worth as a possible new employee if you prove to be a fast learner.

Still, make sure that you only include skills that are relevant to the position. For example, if you’re applying for an administrative assistant position, coding or trade skills won’t be very helpful.

Hard skills, soft skills examples:

Hard skills: Microsoft Excel ,  Cloud Computing ,  CRM Systems ,  Email management ,  POS Software ,  Programming Languages ,  Customer service ,  SEO

Soft skills:  Interpersonal Skills ,  Collaboration ,  Problem-solving ,  Communication ,  Time management ,  Adaptability ,  Organizational skills ,  Active listening

Read more:  30 Top Skills for a Resume (With Examples)

Volunteering demonstrates your commitment and desire to put your skills to use. And nothing makes a recruiter happier than a dedicated employee. You may include it on your resume whether you volunteered at a soup kitchen or helped gather rubbish in the countryside. Most employers consider volunteer experience alongside paid professional experience. Thus, you should always aim to include volunteer work that displays your abilities or where you learned a new relevant skill on your resume.

Volunteer work should be stated in the same way as your employment experience section on your resume. So mention the organization’s name, location, the time you worked there, and a bulleted description of your responsibilities.

Volunteer work on resume  with no experience examples:

Freelancing & Volunteering Phoenix, AZ 2017 – 2019

  • Designed posters and created a Facebook page to assist a local community in promoting a series of garage sales events. 
  • Wrote promotional pieces and 20+ professional product evaluations for a small technology website.
  • Converted a family member into an Apple customer by convincing him of the benefits of iOS over Android-based on his needs. 
  • Supervised a team of two regular news and content writers for a musical band’s fan site mentioned in a local newspaper. 
  • Planned and led games and activities for groups of elementary school students. 
  • Completed a course on the basics of efficient marketing on Udemy.

Nursing Volunteering Experience American Pulmonary Disease Association 2018 – 2018

  • Provided patient education to 8 patients weekly.
  • Performed an average of 13 health checks per week.
  • Received praise from facility management for outstanding patient contact.
  • Oversaw physical therapy sessions for 5 patients bi-weekly.

Customizing your resume for each position you apply for is the last and most essential aspect of developing a strong resume. If you lack experience, your greatest chance of landing an interview is to tailor your resume to the position you seek. Examine their job description to determine the skills they require. Then, take the skills you possess from the list and add them to your skills area. Different job advertisements will include different keywords, work responsibilities, etc. Adapting your application to each employer’s demands and job requirements is the best way to get your application noticed.

Most businesses utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen and organize resumes. So, when applying for any job, you must include a list of keywords on your resume to combat this. The best place to find these is in the job listing itself or in advertisements for related positions.

About half of applicants include a cover letter with their job application. So even with the lack of professional experience on your resume, you can increase your chances of success by preparing a strong cover letter.

A cover letter is a one-page letter sent with your resume as part of your application. Essentially, your resume describes your experiences, while your cover letter explains how they relate to the position. Here are the steps you need to take to compose an outstanding cover letter:

  • Ensure that the format of your cover letter adheres to all professional correspondence formatting requirements.
  • Create an engaging introduction to your cover letter that presents you to the readers and motivates them to continue reading.
  • Describe your skills and how they may assist the organization.
  • Explain why your cultural fit is exceptional.
  • Always include a call to action at the end of your cover letter.

Also, ensure that your cover letter is the appropriate length. As with the rest of your resume, your cover letter should be relevant, simple, and brief.

Read more:  How to Write a Great Cover Letter in 6 Steps

Example of a resume with no work experience 

Sarah Brown 58 South St, Phoenix, AR [email protected] (123) 456-7890

An independent and driven business administration student with demonstrable proficiency in business, procurement, sales, and marketing. I am eager to use my theoretical knowledge and introduce the most current industry standards to the company.

EDUCATION Phoenix High School Phoenix, AR Class of 2020 (3.9 GPA)

EXPERIENCE Sales Intern ABC Company 2021-Present

  • Assisted the sales regional sales manager in ad hoc tasks.
  • Took notes and shared them with attendees at weekly team meetings.
  • Prepared monthly reports for 7 international clients.
  • Uncovered a bookkeeping error, saving the department 5% of yearly expenses.

Soup Kitchen Volunteer Phoenix, AR 2020 – 2021

  • Acted as weekend/holiday volunteer manager at a local soup kitchen.
  • Organized volunteer shifts and monitored the input of donated food.
  • Aided with preparing and delivering meals on Sundays and major holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Pet Sitter Phoenix, AR 2018-2020

  • Established and operated a profitable pet sitting service.
  • Offered services including dog walking, feeding, and yard maintenance to locals in a 5-mile radius.
  • Acquired and maintained 13 clients, arranged and attended visits, coordinated appointments, and managed client relationships.
  • Collaboration
  • Bookkeeping
  • Attention to detail
  • Microsoft Office

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS

  • National BA Honor Society
  • Volunteer Club President and Treasurer of the Phoenix High Cheerleading team

Writing your first resume can be daunting, especially if you have no work experience. So, get ready to edit and tweak your resume until you get the desired results. Using these simple tips, you will create a resume demonstrating your strengths and getting you noticed. This is your chance to show prospective employers how you’ve prepared for the job and why employing you would benefit their company.

Resume With No Work Experience

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Best Things to Put on a Resume When You Have No Experience

In this ‘Best Things to Put on a Resume When You Have No Experience’ article:

  • Professional summary (even if you have no experience in your resume)
  • Key skills you’ve learned in school and other experiences
  • Education and academic achievements
  • Classes, training and certifications
  • Personal or academic projects relevant to the job
  • Awards and accomplishments
  • Extracurricular activities, sports and clubs
  • Volunteer work and activities

How to format a resume with no experience

The best things to list on your resume if you have no experience.

No professional experience on your resume? No problem – as long as you read this guide on how to write a resume when you have no work experience.

There are plenty of reasons why you may not have any previous work experience to list on your resume. There are many other things you can add to your resume to show employers that you are the perfect candidate for their open job post.

When you don’t have work experience, it’s important to highlight past activities, skills and other experiences you’ve had to show you have unique skills, professionalism and competency. When managers are hiring entry-level employees, the top two characteristics they are looking for in your resume are attitude and aptitude.

  • Attitude – a positive, hardworking, and likable personality
  • Ability – aptitude to get up to speed quickly on the job

Keep these two traits in mind while writing your resume and add any relevant experiences that show that you have the attitude and aptitude for the job.

1. Professional summary (even if you have no experience)

Modern day resumes call for a professional summary instead of a career objective. Your professional summary should come immediately after your name and contact information and will include two or three sentences giving a broad overview of your background, interests and abilities.

Since you don’t have work experience, your professional summary should include one or two adjectives describing your work ethic, your level of education, your relevant skills and your professional passions or interests. Each professional summary should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for.

Professional summary example #1: Proactive and personable aspiring restaurant server currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality from Coral Springs University. Collaborative, team player who strongly believes that the customer should always come first. Passionate about Italian food and strongly interested in working in a fast-casual restaurant setting.

Professional summary example #2: Analytical and detail-oriented aspiring Data Entry Clerk possessing an Associate of Arts degree. Mathematical-minded as demonstrated by advanced college coursework in mathematics and statistics. Interested in obtaining an entry-level position in the data analytics field.

2. Key skills you’ve learned in school and other experiences

After your professional summary, list your skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for. To get a good idea of the skills required for a job, simply browse job descriptions for that specific job title. Typically, within the requirements or qualifications section, there will be many skills listed that you can copy.

Don’t be afraid to list skills that you haven’t used in a professional setting. If you have learned about them in school or if you have practiced these skills during an extracurricular activity, list them! Just make sure you are honest during an interview about your level of competency.

Example of how to list less than 10 key skills in a resume:

  • Time Management
  • Professionalism
  • Public Speaking
  • Organizing and Filing

Example of how to list more than 10 key skills in a resume:

  • Leadership: Team Management, Resource Planning, Budgeting
  • Math: Data Entry, Data Analytics, Statistics
  • Professionalism: Active Listening, Office Etiquette, Professional Communication, Time Management
  • Languages: English (native), Spanish (basic proficiency)

3. Education and academic achievements

After your key skills, create a resume section for your education. List any degrees you have obtained or any degrees you are currently pursuing. If you stopped going to school before obtaining a degree, you can list the credits or hours you have completed.

For each degree, list the school, the location, your degree, your field of study and the dates you attended. You should also include academic honors and awards, such as graduating Cum Laude.

Example of how to list education in a resume #1: Coral Springs University, Coral Springs, Florida                        August 2018 Bachelor of Science in Biology; Minor in Psychology Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Example of how to list education in a resume #2: Coral Springs University, Coral Springs, Florida                        In Progress Associate of Arts

Example of how to list education in a resume #3: Coral Springs University, Coral Springs, Florida                        Aug 2010 – May 2016 Bachelor of Arts in Art History; 200 Credit Hours Obtained

4. Classes, training and certifications

Now it’s time to list any relevant classes, training, or certifications that are relevant for your resume.

For classes, include coursework that you took through school that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Just list the class title instead of the class number, such as ECON101. You can also write a brief description that is one to two sentences long to describe the course, if it is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For every training session and certification on your resume, list where you received the training, the type of course taken, the date you received it, and the date it expires (if any).

Example of how to list a class in a resume: Intro to Hospitality – Introduction to the hospitality industry, including various types of career paths. In-depth lessons on the food and beverage sector, including the categories of restaurants and the different types of food service.

Example of how to list training and certifications: Coral Springs University, Coral Springs Florida                        Valid 9/2018 – 9/2021 First Aid & CPR Certified

5. Personal or academic projects relevant to the job

You can also list personal or academic projects relevant to the job you are applying for, such as a group project at school or a neighborhood summer bake sale. You just need to relate your projects with how you are a good fit for a company’s position. Before writing a project down, think about how you will explain its relevance during an interview.

Personal project relevant to a job:

For example, let’s say you hosted a bake sale in your neighborhood and are now applying for a job as a cashier at a grocery store. You could explain that while selling your baked goodies, you practiced your customer service, money handling, and food service safety skills.

Example of how to list a personal project in a resume: Summer Bake Sale – Hosted a summer bake sale in my neighborhood every weekend from April to August 2018. Created and handed out flyers, took and fulfilled customer orders, handled cash payments, and home baked all products. Skills learned include customer service, money handling, and food service safety.

Academic project relevant to a job

Including an academic project in a resume is straightforward. Include where the project took place, what class it was a part of, the title of the project, the date it was completed and a short summary of its purpose.

Example of how to list an academic project in a resume: Coral Springs University, Coral Springs, Florida                        August 2018 Intro to Hospitality Course – McDonalds Restaurant Analysis Group Project Worked within a team of 4 to analyze data on the revenue, size, and customer base of a popular fast-food chain in Florida. Created and presented findings during a course presentation. Was personally responsible for collecting data on McDonalds’ revenue and creating a PowerPoint presentation.

6. Awards and accomplishments

After relevant projects, create a section for awards, achievements, and accomplishments. You can list academic or school accomplishments, like ‘Best Presentation’ in a class or ‘Highest Grade’. You can also list any personal achievements, such as winning a medal in sports or coming in second place during a spelling bee.

For each award, achievement, and accomplishment, list where you received the award, the name of the award, the date you achieved it and a brief description, if necessary.

Example of how to list awards and accomplishments #1: Green Valley State, Green Valley, Michigan                        Spring 2018 Intro to Hospitality – Best Group Presentation (McDonalds Restaurant Analysis)

Example of how to list awards and accomplishments #2: Big Paws Swimming, Green Valley Michigan                        August & October 2018 100 Meter Butterfly – U18 Gold Metal

Related article: How to add academic achievements to a resume  

7. Extracurricular activities, sports and clubs

After you awards and achievements, create a section for extracurricular activities. List anything you are passionate about that shows your positive attitude and aptitude for the job you’re applying for, such as playing a musical instrument, clubs, sports and other activities. In your resume, list the relevant activity and include a brief description.

Example of how to list extracurricular activities, sports and clubs: Piano – Has played piano for 8 years and practices, on average, 4 hours per day. Babysitting – Babysits neighbors, 8 and 3 years old, twice a week. Swimming – Competitive swimmer, having won multiple gold and silver medals in state competitions.

8. Volunteer work and activities

Lastly, create a section for volunteer activities. This could be formal or informal volunteering, such as serving food at a local homeless shelter or helping your neighbor rake leaves. For each volunteer activity, include who you volunteered with, what your role was, the dates and hours you volunteered and a brief description.

Example of how to list volunteer work and activities in a resume: Coral Springs Soup Kitchen, Coral Springs, Florida                        January 2018 – Present 25 Hours – Meal Prep and Serving Prepares, serves, and cleans up after meal service at a local homeless shelter on a bi-weekly basis.

A clear, easy to read, and consistent format is essential for grabbing an employer or hiring manager’s attention, especially when you have no formal work experience.

How long should your resume be?

Your resume should be one page long if you have no experience. It is important for your resume to fill one entire page though, so you may need to add more detail in your resume or experiment with formatting so that it is a full page-long resume.

Related article: How long should my resume be?

The best fonts for a resume

Choose a traditional font like Times New Roman or Arial throughout your resume. Do not use more than one font type on the same resume.

Related article: Best fonts for a resume

The best font size for a resume

The size font you use on a resume will depend on how much you have written, as you need your content to fill up one entire page. A good place to start is using 16pt for your name, 12pt for your section headers, and 11pt for the body of your text. Experiment conservatively until your one-page resume looks complete.

The best color scheme for a resume

When you do not have a lot of work experience, it is usually better to use a simple black and white color scheme. Using plain black text on a white page is a safe choice on a resume.

The best paper to print a resume on

When printing your resume, print it on a crisp white page of printer paper. There is no need to spend extra money on fancy thick paper or colored paper.

A good resume is a consistent resume

Consistency is important for creating an impressive resume. This means all similar items on the page need to be aligned and formatted the same way. For example, if you decide to write your dates out in long-form and italicized, they need to be long-form and in italics every place there is a date on your resume. If you decide to put your school name in bold, every school name needs to be in bold.

Formatting sections on a resume

Clearly separate resume sections by formatting them in underlined and bold using a size that is one or two points larger than the rest of the text. This helps a hiring manager easily scan through your resume and pick out the important information fast.

When creating a resume, especially when you have no experience, it saves a lot of time to use a resume building template. Using a free resume template allows you to focus on writing the content without spending too much time on formatting.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Resume With No Experience (Plus Examples)

    Here's how to write a resume when you have no formal work experience, step-by-step: Build My Resume. Our free-to-use resume builder can make you a resume in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you. 1. Choose the best format and style for your resume.

  2. How to Make a Resume With No Experience: Examples & Tips

    How to format a resume with no experience: Follow the reverse-chronological order (i.e. put the most recent info up top). Add section headings to make your first-job resume easier to navigate. Use professional-looking fonts that are easy on the recruiter's eyes. Stick to the 11-12pt size range for regular text.

  3. How To Write a Great Resume With No Experience

    Volunteer work; Writing a resume with little or no experience doesn't have to be frustrating. Focusing on transferable skills that you've developed is the best way to create a resume that gains the recruiter's attention. Think about nontraditional ways you have gained experience through volunteering, hobbies or school projects.

  4. Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience

    4. Substitute the Work Experience section with other types of experience. Writing a resume with no experience can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, recruiters and hiring managers are seeking candidates that have a robust background, regardless of experience level. Here are some sections you can substitute in lieu of a Work Experience section:

  5. How to Write a Resume With No Experience (First Job)

    A functional resume highlights your skills and matches them to the job posting, allowing you to increase the chances of getting an interview, even without experience. For a no-experience resume, instead of starting off with a work experience section, a functional resume format allows you to demonstrate your relevant skills in three distinct ...

  6. How to Make a Resume With No Experience (+Examples)

    But first: Here's a job-winning formula for a good resume profile: Start with a personality trait that says you're a great employee, such as "dedicated," "goal-oriented," "personable," etc. Follow with the desired job title, field of study, or education level, e.g., "third-year BBA student" or "personal assistant.".

  7. How to Write a Resume with No Experience: 5 Tips

    If you have no experience you can point to in your resume, highlight your education, include relevant non-work experience, list your skills, and include a summary. Get started by using a template. 1. Highlight your education. If you have little work experience, emphasizing your education is a great way to showcase your strengths, interests, and ...

  8. How to Write a Resume With No Experience: Template & Example

    Below, we've outlined tips on writing a resume without experience, including a resume template and an example resume, as well as common resume questions posed by entry-level job seekers. Note : FlexJobs is the longtime leader in helping job seekers find the highest-quality remote, work-from-home, hybrid, and flexible jobs .

  9. How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience in 2021 (With Examples)

    7) Leadership. Taking on leadership roles oftentimes comes with hefty responsibilities. Showing employers your ability to handle and succeed as a leader can greatly impact their impression of your work ethic and ability to work well with others. Incorrect: Grew leadership skills in military training.

  10. Building a Standout Resume with No Experience: A Step-by-step Guide w

    When writing a resume without work experience, the education section becomes a highlight. As a result, your education section needs to be insightful. In addition to listing the institution name, attended year, and your major, you can also use honors to show your hard work or add relevant courses from your studies.

  11. How to Make a Resume With No Experience

    Making a resume early in your career feels like a classic catch-22: A good resume highlights relevant work experience, which you don't get until you land a job.. The truth is you don't always need professional experience for entry-level jobs. By highlighting your existing skills, coursework and extracurricular activities, you can craft a resume that will impress employers — even without ...

  12. How to Make a Resume With No Experience in 2024 [+ Examples]

    3. Add contact info to the header. When you write a resume without experience, your mission is to get an employer's attention and get called for an interview. That makes your contact info extremely important and something you should highlight at the top of your document in the header.

  13. How to Write a Resume with No Experience [21+ Examples]

    It's the easiest part to get right, just keep it short and to the point. In your contact information section, mention the following: First and Last Name. Phone Number. E-mail Address. A link to a professional profile (e.g. LinkedIn) or personal webpage (if you have one) Make sure to use a professional-sounding E-mail.

  14. How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience

    It will help explain why you have limited experience. 2. Highlight Your Skills. While you may have little or no work experience to discuss on your resume, you're sure to have skills that you may have acquired in school or while volunteering that qualify you for the job. One way to highlight them is to break down these skills into individual ...

  15. How to Write An Effective Resume With No Work Experience (with

    Include the organization's name, the dates you volunteered and your role within the company. List 1-2 accomplishments in bullet point format, and include accomplishments to demonstrate your skills. For example: Example of how to use volunteer experience on a resume with no work experience.

  16. How to Write a Resume Without Work Experience

    How to write a resume without work experience 1. Share your volunteer experience. Many high school and university students with no work experience often have volunteer experience under their belt. To graduate from school, some volunteer work is required to graduate at some schools, allowing you to build that relevant work experience, even if ...

  17. How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience in 2024 (+Examples)

    Identify your goals for writing a resume with no experience. 2. Choose a suitable resume format for a no-experience resume. 3. Write a strong resume objective. > The objective for the resume with no experience examples: > Resume Objective for Students with No Experience. 4.

  18. How to Write a Resume with No Experience

    Pick the right no experience resume format. Before writing your resume, think about how you want to write your resume. There are several different types of resume formats: chronological, functional, hybrid/combination. When you have little-to-no work experience, consider using a functional resume format.

  19. How to Make a Resume with No Experience

    Make a no experience resume skills section. Emphasize your education in your beginner resume. Add a section for licenses and certifications if needed. Add relevant experience to your first job resume template. Add optional sections to enhance your no experience resume. Proofread and save your first resume.

  20. Resume with no work experience example (plus tips and guidance)

    Step 3: Outline your resume. Next, you'll want to create a rough outline for your resume. A resume with no work experience should include the following, from top to bottom: Your contact ...

  21. Writing a Resume with No Experience (2024 Guide)

    Updated 17 April 2024. Writing your first resume is a major step in any new professional's career. This is your opportunity to showcase why you're an excellent candidate and how you've prepared yourself to succeed in your first job. When you're entering the job market for the first time and creating a resume with no work experience, you ...

  22. Writing a Resume With No Experience

    Write a cover letter. Cover letters boost your chances with your employer, especially at entry-level jobs. This is because it gives you an excellent opportunity to stand out, particularly if you have no work experience. As a new professional, writing your first resume is a thrilling experience. It's an opportunity to show prospective companies ...

  23. Best Things To Put on a Resume With No Experience

    Ability - aptitude to get up to speed quickly on the job. Keep these two traits in mind while writing your resume and add any relevant experiences that show that you have the attitude and aptitude for the job. 1. Professional summary (even if you have no experience)

  24. Writing a resumé with no experience: template & examples

    Here's a simple beginner resumé example for contact info: Name: your first and last name - include your pronouns in parentheses after your name, if desired. Email: triple-check for accuracy and make sure it's a professional-sounding address. Phone: phone number with area code.

  25. Top 8 Free AI Resume Builders in 2024

    Mariusz is a career expert with a background in quality control & economics. With work experience in FinTech and a passion for self-development, Mariusz brings a unique perspective to his role. He's dedicated to providing the most effective advice on resume and cover letter writing techniques to help his readers secure the jobs of their dreams.