Sample Resume With No Work Experience
Choosing the Best Resume Format With No Experience
Before you can write your resume, you need to determine the best resume format to showcase your informal experience and skills. Most hiring managers are familiar with three resume formats: chronological, hybrid and functional. But, only the functional format downplays your lack of experience and prioritizes the skills you developed in school, volunteering and day-to-day activities.
Although we consider the functional the riskiest format thanks to custom headers that don’t align with most online application tracking systems (ATS), this skills-based resume is the friendliest resume for you because it deprioritizes your non-existent work history. Instead of describing your previous jobs, it uses examples of your technical knowledge to demonstrate how you can adapt your skills to complete job-relevant tasks. We strongly recommend submitting this type of resume at in-person job fairs or recruitment events.
A functional resume is always going to follow this order:
- Contact information
- An objective statement
- Summary of qualifications
- Professional skills
- Work history
We typically recommend the hybrid format if you have three or more years of relevant experience, but this ATS-friendly layout showcases your skills and work history equally. This strategic balance of skills and working knowledge makes it the second best option for a resume with no experience.
The chronological format is for senior-level professionals with 10 years or more of work experience. The chronological format lays out a steady work history by organizing experience and credentials in a neat timeline. Since this format favors job seekers with a decade of experience or multiple promotions, it’s the worst option for a no-experience resume.
Wondering how to make a resume for your first job with no experience? Check out how other fresh grads market their best abilities with our sample resume for students.
Writing Your Resume Objective With No Experience
If you’re looking for your first job, start your resume with a killer resume objective. A resume objective focuses on which transferable skills and work ethic you can provide an employer, making this a great strategy for teens, students or job seekers without experience. It allows you to focus on what you can do for the company, not what the employer can do for you.
Think of your objective section as the introduction to your resume. Your resume objective will be the first thing recruiters will read about you. Follow these four simple steps to writing an attention-grabbing objective.
- Be straightforward. Employers are reading piles of resumes at a time to determine whose qualified. Make your resume objective concise and keep it to only two or three sentences long.
- Make the objective statement a perfect match. Use the job post to find the specific skills and requirements they’re looking for in a candidate. Use those keywords in your objective to let the employer know you have what they’re looking for.
- Use power words. Peak the interest of recruiters with strong, powerful keywords and actionable descriptions. For example, “Attentive to detail” and “driven,” “Team player” and “reliable” or “Problem-solver” and “leader.”
- Describe what you bring to the table. Clearly state how you bring value to the company’s success. Add skills such as work ethics and communication.
By integrating these tips into your objective, you shift from lack of experience to how your goals can help the company!
Here’s an example of an objective statement for a no experience resume.
Highly motivated law school graduate seeking a full-time position in the Office of Inspector General where I can lend my investigative abilities to help improve profitability.
Adding Your Education Section
If you don’t have any work experience, your academic achievements add to build a picture of your credentials for the job. The education section helps you outline your academic training as qualifications in place of your zero experience.
In this section, name the college you attended, the degrees you completed and the honors you received. If your highest level of education is a high school diploma, include it in the education information. Otherwise, leave it out and start with your highest degree earned.
Here’s a quick checklist of what to include in your education section:
- Your degree or education in progress
- The name of your school
- The school’s location
- Dates attended and graduation date or expected graduation date
- Your field of study and degree major
- Your GPA — only if it’s above 3.5
- Any academic honors and relevant courses
- Relevant extracurricular activities or programs
Include Relevant Experience (Volunteer, Internships and more)
Impress recruiters even without paid experience.
Not sure what experiences you can list that would benefit your application? Here are the top ten experiences you may consider for your first resume:
- Jobs like babysitting or mowing lawns.
- Extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports.
- Internships or apprenticeships.
- Translating or interpreting projects.
- Volunteer work.
- Service-learning experiences.
- Military experience.
- Student organizations.
- Leadership experiences.
Once you’ve narrowed down your most relevant experiences, use bullets to list the skills you’ve developed in each role and the tasks you performed. Not sure how to start? Use the job description as your guide to match your skills, activities and abilities with the keywords mentioned in the post. Once you have identified these, use bullet points with action verbs to list your qualifications.
For instance, if you were applying for a teaching assistant role, you might compose your experience like this:
Design lesson plans for the students.
Assess a student’s level of progress.
Create a schedule for further education and development in subject areas.
Assess student’s knowledge of a subject and identify areas for improvement.
Opened and prepared the club for daily activities.
Ensured the safety and security of 20+ kids a day.
Planned games and outdoor activities
However, if you don’t have relevant experience and will be writing a functional resume, select your top skill categories and list how you’ve used each skill set. In other words, when listing your duties, instead of listing tasks you’ve completed by job, list the activities you’ve done by skill category or by theme. And, remember to include the results you delivered by applying your skills by adding concrete numbers wherever possible.
For example, a Professional Skills section for someone interested in a social media specialist role in the academic field would look like this:
Achieved over 1,000+ followers in the first 30 days of launching the profile with successful conversion rates.
Wrote copy for social posts and ran advertising campaigns to drive engagement with original content.
Applied attention to detail to monitor the brand on all social media platforms, quickly replying to any mentions.
Top influencer impacting 100+ followers daily with valuable academic advice.
Avid planner for marketing campaigns to create brand awareness and market the company’s services.
Analytical and mathematical skills to identify trends.
Prepared lessons for 20 students a day about upcoming assignments specific to math and science.
Maintained communication with parents regarding student’s progress.
Researched learning materials and resources to use during lessons.
What about if you have internship experience? The following entry-level job and internship resumes can help you see how other job seekers write a resume with little to no experience. Check out these internship resume examples to inspire you:
As you complete internships, add them to your experience section as part of your work history.
Listing Your Skills for the First Job
For candidates new to the workforce, spotlighting a variety of critical skills can ultimately impact a hiring decision. There are two main types of skills that let recruiters determine whether you are fit for the job: hard and soft skills.
Hard skills are technical abilities that require specific knowledge to accomplish your job assignments, such as accounting or graphic design.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are not tangible. They define your traits, such as friendliness and a strong work ethic.
Employers look for candidates with a mix of soft and hard skills that relate directly to the job. These skills become part of the keywords used in the job description and by recruiting software like the applicant tracking system (ATS).
Let’s break down the most in-demand soft and hard skills to optimize your resume:
- Time management
- Organizational skills
- Active listening
- Communication skills
- Logic-based reasoning
- Customer service
- Computer proficiency
- MS Office
- Design skills
- Book keeping
- Graphic design
Make Sure Your Resume Is Easy to Read
Even if you’re qualified for the job, having a resume that is hard to read will immediately get you overlooked! In fact, Harvard shares eye-tracking research that shows recruiters spend about six seconds on their initial decision to determine whether a candidate is qualified. If your resume is cluttered and unorganized, you will most likely get passed over.
As someone who’s making a resume for the first job, you might not have thought that taking the time to format your resume well is a crucial step in getting your resume noticed. Here are expert tips to ensure your resume is easily readable and gets attention.
Division of sections
Differentiate your sections by labeling each in bold or italics such as your Header, Education and Work Experience. By doing so, your resume looks organized and easy to read.
Keep the spacing consistent and align your text to the left. Since the eye naturally returns to the left, this is the most natural and readable format. However, align dates and locations to the right, which helps to separate that information and makes it easy to scan.
Use clean, minimalistic fonts, such as Calibri, Times New Roman, Georgia, Garamond, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma or Cambria. Keep your font size between 10-12 points for the content and 12-14 points for headers.
Use bullets to break up long text. Using bullet points also draws attention to your accomplishments, which is the information you want to highlight.
Use white space
Using plenty of white space is much easier on the eyes than large, dense chunks of text. It creates a clean, well-designed look that’s appealing to the reader.
We Can Help With Your First Resume
Having writer’s block? JobHero features an online Resume Builder as the ultimate hack for creating your first resume.
It’s a convenient and easy-to-use interactive tool, loaded with resume templates that help you create a professional resume with the latest design styles.
Our online builder takes you through each part of your resume, generating industry-specific phrases and keywords to help you create a powerful resume.
Remember, you have to customize your resume for each job. All jobs have their unique postings with different keywords and requirements.
Appealing to each job post can be a hassle, luckily the Resume Builder lets you generate powerful resumes in just minutes! We also feature sample resumes for a first job.
Remember to match your resume with your own cover letter, even if it’s not required. Cover letters are where your personality shines through! It also creates the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that you’re a qualified candidate for the job.
First Job Resume FAQ
Is it hard to get a job without any experience on a resume?
You can impress recruiters even without any experience on your resume. Writing a resume with no formal work experience means showcasing your skills and putting a spotlight on your education, extracurriculars and volunteering activities.
When you start putting together a resume, you might feel like you don’t have any relevant experience. However, you can demonstrate community involvement, abilities and willingness to work.
Perhaps you worked part-time in school, tutored or babysat kids — be sure to include these experiences. You can also include extracurricular activities that help polish and develop new skills.
Can you skip the experience section on a resume?
Instead of skipping the experience section, use the opportunity to create a skill-based resume. Also known as a functional resume, this type of format shifts the focus onto your skills and abilities instead of professional experience.
It lets you connect with the employer and show them what you can contribute to the company despite having no formal experience yet. The biggest flex of a functional resume format is that it focuses on your relevant skills so you can market your best abilities.
How do I pass ATS without any experience on a resume?
Employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to track qualified candidates. However, an ATS does more than just track applications — it selects qualified candidates for a hiring manager or recruiter to assess.
Luckily, getting past the ATS is easier than you might think. To get past the ATS even if you don’t have experience, follow these tips:
- Use the job description to identify the keywords that match what the employer is looking for in their next hire.
- Place these relevant keywords throughout each section of your resume — as long as you actually have the skill they listed, that is. By doing so, you are ensuring your resume has what the ATS is scanning for.
- Use an ATS-friendly resume template like the ones JobHero offers. Simply customize them with your information.
Should my resume focus on skills if I have no work experience?
Yes. The key to a job-winning resume with no experience is to focus on the professional skills that you have learned at school or in extracurricular activities.
If you have no experience, skills will represent your qualifications to perform a duty or job. For this reason, having the right balance of skills is critical.
There are two main types of skills: hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills refer to skills that can be developed and improved through experience and certifications, such as learning to code or to create marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, soft skills are personality traits that give you the ability to be a team player or stay organized while multitasking.
Demonstrating that you have a mix of both types of skills will help you in your job search.
What is the best resume format if you don’t have work experience?
The best resume format, if you lack experience, is the functional resume format. Functional resumes are excellent for students, recent graduates or candidates changing careers.
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 sections.