Consider this scenario – to get your dream job, you’ll need some experience. But to get that experience, you’ll also need a job. That’s the dilemma that many job seekers face today when writing their first resume with no work experience. The truth is, you can leverage your relevant experience to get the job you want, even when you don’t have an employment history.
The secret lies in taking the right steps and understanding what to include in your resume. Read on to learn more.
1. Choose the Right Resume Layout
When writing a resume with no job experience, you need to choose the right layout. What comes first? Is it the introductory paragraph or the objective? What should you add under the experience section, since you don’t have any relevant job experience?
According to Resume Build, using an online resume builder to choose the right resume layout can help you avoid these questions and make this process easier. Then, you focus on highlighting other areas such as education and work from there.
2. Highlight Your Education
When writing a first-time resume with no experience, your education is your main strength. For instance, if you’re a college or university graduate, highlight the information regarding your completed studies, relevant coursework, achievements, extracurricular activities, and study abroad programs you participated in. Stick to what matters most in the context of the job description.
3. Focus on Relevant Experience
Recruiters want to hire the candidate who can get the job done better than the rest. They’ll want to see what you did in the past to get an idea about what you can do. This is where your relevant experience comes in. Your internship, student society membership, and volunteering experience play a vital role in this. Highlight your duties, perks of the position, and skills gained as relevant experience. Then, know how to write an ATS-optimized resume that will be recognized both by an AI and by the hiring manager.
4. Emphasize Key Skills
You have to convince the recruiter that you have the skills needed to be successful in the role you’re pursuing. With no work experience, highlight your skills as much as possible. Go through the job offer and make a list of skills needed, and pick those you have and can prove. Then, highlight achievements that can testify to those skills, and roles played that could demonstrate the skills. Include language skills, certifications, and hobbies too.
5. Compose a Powerful Introductory Paragraph
Once you have your education, relevant experience, and skills highlighted, write a precise intro paragraph that highlights the outstanding parts of your resume. Pick three things from your resume that you would like recruiters to read immediately. Make this your objective statement – who you are and what skills you can provide to the company.
6. Format Your resume for Maximum Readability
Now, here comes the crucial part – formatting your resume for maximum readability. Check your resume for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, section the headings for easy navigation, use the right font & size, single-line spacing, and ensure your resume is in PDF format unless requested otherwise.
Your resume is now ready to send. You can also increase your chances of landing an interview by composing a great cover letter. Your cover letter shouldn’t repeat the content on your resume, but fill in the gaps to convince the recruiter that you’re the best candidate for the job.