How to Write a Resume With Little (Or No) Work Experience

Writing a resume can feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have much work experience. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take that will boost your chances of scoring an interview and getting hired, even if you are new to the professional world or making a career change. This article will cover how to write a compelling resume without work experience.

Write a Strong Personal Profile

Start off your resume with a personal profile section right under your name and contact information. A personal profile is an introductory paragraph that essentially sums up your entire resume, including your most impressive skills and qualities, any experience that you have, your biggest accomplishments, and a general outline of your personal and professional background.

This section is the first thing that most hiring managers will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Your personal profile should be a highlight reel that will convince the hiring manager to keep reading the rest of your resume.

Consider a Functional Resume Format

If you have little to no work experience, the classic reverse chronological resume format may not work in your favour. Instead, you might opt for a functional resume, which is sometimes also referred to as a skills-based resume.

The functional resume format places emphasis on your skills and achievements over your work experience, which can help accurately showcase your value to potential employers. Be sure to include both hard and soft skills, as many employers are looking for employees who have both.

To use this format effectively, place your skills section just below your personal statement. Break up your relevant skills into categories and under each heading, include the pertinent skills as well as brief explanations of how and where you gained or honed them.

Include Optional Resume Sections

You may also wish to include optional sections to help flesh out your resume, such as volunteer experience, extracurricular activities or hobbies and interests, languages, honours and awards, and so forth.

Be sure to relate each item that you include back to your target job by indicating how the skills and experience that you gained would be helpful in that role.

Tailor Your Resume

Finally, take the time to tailor your resume to each job that you apply for. While this can seem tedious, it will greatly improve your chances of being called for an interview.

To tailor your resume, start by reading the job advert carefully and noting any keywords that the employer uses to describe what they are looking for in a candidate. Then use these exact keywords throughout your resume to show that you are a good fit for the job. Additionally, be sure to mention the job title and the company that you are applying to by name in your personal profile.

Taking these steps can help your resume pass automated applicant tracking system (ATS) scans and ensure that your application actually ends up in the hiring manager’s hands.