Many students believe that they can’t get a job because they don’t have suitable “work experience”. You shouldn’t let that dash your hopes. Experience isn’t the only factor considered by an employer. They are looking for so much more. You can still write a mind-blowing resume even if you don’t have the exact skill set or level of experience required for a job. With these great tips, you’re going to be writing a resume that will end up with the employer dialing your number.
Choose a format
There are a variety of formats you can use. However, the most popular formats in use today are the functional, chronological, and hybrid (a mix of the first two) templates.
The functional template is used when the job seeker doesn’t want to put the focus on work experience but their skills and achievements. The chronological template shows work experience from the most recent to the least, that is, in reverse-chronological order.
Candidates with little experience tend to prefer the functional template. Although, employers lean more towards the chronological or hybrid templates. The most important thing is that you remain consistent with the format, irrespective of the one you choose.
Have an eye for detail
You need to have a keen eye for detail when writing your resume. It’s very easy to make mistakes with your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Such mistakes will give your resume an amateurish look. Make sure to go over your work again and again so you don’t miss anything. As a job seeker with no experience, a missing detail is not in any way going to help your cause. Try to use a tone that keeps your reader engaged and still maintains the required formality.
Begin with a summary
Nothing beats giving a good first impression, and a good summary at the top end of the resume is a fantastic way to do that.
The summary should be a brief account about you profession-wise to make sure your prospective employer keeps reading. Now, as a student, you might be wondering what you can possibly hope to write here, but don’t worry about that, we’ve got you covered.
Education and Relevant Skills
As you have “zero” work experience, you should put more time into developing the education and skills section of your resume. What skills do you have that correlate with the job? What can you offer to the employer? Is there anything you have studied or done in school that may help with the job? As a high schooler, you can even talk about the coursework you have done that would be relevant to the job and what you learned.
Don’t leave out volunteer work and extracurricular activity
A lot of employers place high value on volunteer work. So, if there’s any volunteer experience you have that showcases your skills (including new ones you may have picked up), you should put it on your resume. You should include only extracurricular activities that have given you transferable skills for the job you’re applying for.
Most students grow cold feet when it’s time to fill the “work experience” field. However, internships, whether paid or unpaid, can also be considered as work experience. Apart from being a great source of experience, internships are a fantastic way to build connections that may help you find a job later. Before applying for a job, it is advisable to do an internship or two to better your chances.
Employers usually scan through resumes using an applicant tracking system (ATS) or some other method. As unfair as this may seem, it’s just the way things are. To help with this, you should draw up a list of specific words to include in your resume.
You could easily google keywords that match the job your applying for, but it’s best to source these keywords from the ad for the job or similar jobs. Take care to avoid catchwords like “go-getter” and “team player”. If these are the only kinds of words you can find, you should fit them together with your achievements.
Send a cover letter
It’s a great idea to send in your resume accompanied by a cover letter. A good cover letter could be a defining factor in convincing prospective employers to bring you in for an interview. This is why they are especially vital to a student applying for a job without any experience.
Showcase your personality
Employers are not only out to find candidates with great work experience, but are also interested in finding people with personalities that match what the company is all about.
Showcasing your personality in your resume can put you in pole position to be selected for the job even if you don’t have exactly what the company is looking for.
Think outside the box and consider the personal traits that the employer thinks every employee at the company should have. Remember, at the end of the day, employers are looking to employ a person, not a piece of paper.
When writing a resume: No experience, no problem
After reading through these strategies, you should be able to craft a great resume that’s unique and compelling regardless of experience. As a student, it’s important to have a nice resume to keep your name high on employers’ lists.
Author: Tobias Foster
Tobias is a journalist and editor with more than 5 years of experience including, a stint at BrillAssignment. He has also worked as a contracted college paper and thesis writer. Philosophy, marketing, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He is a master of his craft.