When you’re getting ready to launch your career, figuring out what to include in your resume can be challenging. After all, work experience is one of the most significant sections. When you don’t have much (if anything) to discuss, it can be disheartening.
While landing a job without much experience can be tricky, it’s important not to panic. After all, everyone started their career in the same position you’re in now, with little to no experience under their belts.
If you need to write a resume and have little or no job experience, here’s what you need to do.
Start with Your Name and Contact Details
First and foremost, your name and contact information should always be at the top of your resume. Ideally, you want to include a professional-sounding email address – such as one featuring your first and last name, your initials, or something similar – and a phone number.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, an online portfolio that showcases your skills, or a personal website that focuses on your professional capabilities, you can include the URL, too. However, only do this if the information is relevant to your career.
Write a Compelling Professional Summary
Even if you don’t have much or any work history, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add a professional summary to your resume. You can use that section to showcase your enthusiasm for your chosen field, relevant skills you acquired during your time in school, volunteering achievements, or anything else that shows the hiring manager the value you bring to the table.
Consider Leading with Your Education
If you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job, you may want to lead off with your education instead of your professional experience. A degree, diploma, or certificate is a worthwhile credential to feature, particularly if it is a major must-have for the role or could separate you from other candidates.
In cases where your education correlates strongly to your target job, you can even go beyond listing the school and the degree you earned. Treat it like a work history listing and discuss achievements, such as a standout project or involvement in a relevant club.
Feature All Relevant Experience, Even Unpaid
Many people assume that only paid work experience should end up on your resume, but that isn’t the case. Volunteer positions and internships have a place there, as well, especially if the skills you acquired and used in those roles align with your target job.
When you include an internship or volunteer position, make the nature of the role clear. If your job title wasn’t just “volunteer” or “intern,” you can list the job title and put “Volunteer” or “Intern” in parentheses after, for example.
Volunteer positions can include much more than many people realize. For instance, involvement in student organizations may qualify, as well as experience in a workplace as part of a capstone project.
You can also discuss any freelancing or gigs. At times, even personal projects or hobbies are okay to include, as long as they relate to the role.
Ultimately, by using the tips above, you can create a compelling resume regardless of whether you have any job experience. If you’d like to learn more about how to land your first position, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us today.