Writing a Resume With No Experience

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 27, 2023

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Writing your first resume is a crucial stage in the career of every new professional. This is your chance to illustrate why you're a great candidate who is ready to enter the workforce and how you've prepared to succeed in your first job. When you're initially entering the job market and writing a resume with no experience, you'll want to emphasize other incidents that have helped you create a professional skill set, convey your most prominent qualities and highlight your education.

In this article, we provide you with some pointers and examples to help you create a solid and attractive resume even if you have no prior work experience.

How to write a resume with no experience

You're about to write a resume with no work experience, which implies you've never written a resume before. Follow these tips to help you write the first resume that stands out from the crowd to your future employer.

Most jobs require experience, but you need experience to land your first job! If you've found yourself in this position, you're not alone. The good news is that you do not necessarily need three to five years of work experience for every job. All you need to show is that you have the relevant knowledge and skills required to take on your first professional role, which you can express in your resume.

Here is what you should include in each section:

  • Header: your contact information

  • Objective: a brief paragraph that summarizes your skills

  • Education: information about your schools and what you have studied

  • Experience: any relevance from your past

  • Skills: where you list your abilities

  • Optional sections: such as languages, interests and hobbies

Related:

  • A Guide on How to Write a PSW Resume with No Experience

  • Resume Format Guide (With Tips and Examples)

1. Start with a header and objective

The header is the simplest bit of your resume. It should include your contact information, including your email address. Your objective section is less straightforward. The objective is an introduction to your resume and yourself, so it needs to be compelling enough that the employer wants to read more. A simple way to do this is by picking three things you possess that you think the employer is looking for in an employee.

Do this once you've finished filling in the rest of your resume. This way you can pick out your best strengths and those most relevant to your career path.

Here is an example of what that would look like for an electrician: A talented electrician with extensive knowledge and ability to handle complex technical tasks at ABC Technologies Firm, to offer quality leads to team members of electrical engineering in conducting custom electrical hardware verification and designing. The vast skills in Digital Sub-Systems are critical to producing quality results in the electrical field.

Related:

  • How to Write the Best Resume Header

  • Resume Objectives (With Examples and Tips)

2. Add education details

For someone new to the job market, your education section is probably your resume's key strength. This section typically comes in after your header and objective. Remember to highlight just what is most relevant to the job you're applying for or the career path you're pursuing. The education section helps your future employers see that you're motivated, eager to learn and ready to overcome challenges. List your education in reverse chronological order with your latest educational pursuit at the top, even if you have not completed it yet.

If you feel your education is your greatest strength in your resume, consider putting it higher than your other sections. Doing so ensures your resume starts with your strengths. Here is an example:

The University of Toronto
Major: Computer Science
Expected Graduation Date: September 2021
GPA: 3.9
Awards and Honours: Dean's List Fall 2017 through Spring 2020
Clubs: Debate team and French club

Related:

  • Education Resume Examples (With Template and Steps)

  • Guide to Writing a Professional CV

3. Talk about your experience

Yes, this may seem paradoxical considering you don't have any work experience, but you may be surprised. Employers are looking for a candidate who can work independently and complete the work to a high standard. Although you may not have any work experience in the particular field you are interested in, you can show relevant life experience. This means that you have specific soft skills you've gathered throughout your life that are useful in the job that you want.

You can learn what your employers are looking for by skimming the job description requirements and responsibilities. Look for keywords like communication, attention to detail and organization, and compare them to what your strengths are. You may have developed some of these skills through your internship, volunteer work or while pursuing your hobbies.

Write in Application Tracking System (ATS) friendly language. Many employers use ATS software to comb through resumes that have the relevant experience quickly. So, if you want your experience to count, make sure you frame it correctly by using some keywords that the employer is looking for in a candidate.

For example, “Used leadership and communication skills to work effectively with a team to achieve a 100% grade on the end-of-term project.”

Related: 14 Resume Writing Tips to Help You Land a Job

4. List your skills

Listing your key skills convinces the employer that you have what it takes to succeed in the position. This is especially true if your resume shows little to no employment experience. That's why you must emphasize your abilities as much as possible. You can achieve this by making a list of capabilities that fit the employer's requirements that you possess.

Most employers are looking for soft skills in comparison to hard skills. So bear this in mind when filling out this section. Doing so shows your future employers that you have the relevant skills that come with experience.

Here is a list of some common soft and hard skills:

  • Microsoft Office

  • Email management

  • Organizational skills

  • Time management

  • Customer service

  • Active listening

  • Problem-solving

Read more: What to Include in Your Resume Skills Section

5. Include extra sections

These sections include languages, hobbies, interests and certifications that make you more personalized. After all, your employers want to know what you are like and what makes you, you.

There is no concrete way of filling out these sections because everyone is different. However, you can use this as an opportunity to show your employer that you're a great fit for the company culture. Everything that you think is relevant to your job should be on your resume.

Here are a few examples:

Languages

  • English - fluent

  • Spanish - novice speaker

  • Japanese - beginner

Certifications

  • Business 101, Coursera

Hobbies and Interests

  • Hockey, soccer and lacrosse

  • Art and music

  • Travel

Related: How to Write About Interests on Your Resume

6. Make your resume look professional

The only thing left now is going through it and making necessary changes. Edit and proofread your resume to ensure it's polished and professional. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Follow reverse-chronological order

  • To make the document easier to navigate, use section headings

  • Make use of professional-looking fonts that are easy to read for the recruiter

  • For ordinary text, use a font size of 11–12 pt. Increase the size of the headers by up to four points

  • Set the resume margins to one inch all the way around

  • Single-line spacing

  • Save your resume as a PDF (portable document format) unless instructed otherwise

Related: The Best Fonts for Your Resume

7. 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 how you've prepared for the workforce and why hiring you would benefit their company. You'll be able to expand on your resume as your talents and expertise increase and as you progress through your career.

Tips to help you write your first cover letter

It's important to remember that your cover letter shouldn't be a repeat of your resume. Use it as a tool to fill in the gaps that you have in your resume and motivate your employer to pick you. Here are a few tips that can help you write your captivating cover letter:

  • Make sure your cover letter meets all the professional correspondence formatting guidelines

  • Create an engaging cover letter introduction that introduces you to the reader and motivates them to continue reading

  • Describe your abilities and how they can assist the business

  • Explain why you're a good fit for the company's culture

  • Always include a call-to-action at the end of your cover letter

Read more: Writing a Cover Letter (With Tips and Examples)

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