Writing a Resume in the Absence of Strong Work Experience

A good quality resume is a prime tool to apply for a job and what to do when you have no work experience to show? You don’t have to panic as everyone has to start from somewhere.

A fresh college graduate out of college and looking for a suitable job will of course not have a perfect resume to pitch. But that does not mean that you cannot make your resume impressive. Here are some tips and tricks to make your resume remarkable even if you lack work experience:

  • Start with a Good Objective: A resume should start with a crisp objective statement. While writing an objective line for your resume, keep in mind that you do not have to talk about what you are expecting out of the company, rather write how your skills and abilities are a perfect match to the required position and how they can contribute to fulfilling the responsibilities which will be assigned to you.

    The objective statement must reveal your key career focus and how effectively can you visualize your long term and short term career aspirations and articulate the same impressively. The objective statement must follow the SMART acronym: S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Achievable, R-Realistic and T-Time Bound.

  • Your Academic Background: when you have no experience to show, expand your educational background. Write your marks (if it is more than 60%) and the name of institute and year of passing. If you have done any other vocational course, you can include them in this section.

    During Academics, if you have won any award/accolade, do not hesitate to mention them. Focus more on the academic achievements and meritorious recognition as this would play a crucial role in providing you a competitive advantage.

  • Talk about Internship/Trainings: Internships and training are the best way to tell a recruiter that you have not only earned your degree but have also applied them in practical life.

    Experiential learning in the form of internships or industrial training is always advantageous as you get an opportunity to apply your learning into practice and you experience the complexities as well as the challenges of an actual work environment.

    During internships, you also get a chance to get along with other people who are also budding professionals willing to carve their way forward. You get to meet with like-minded people, and this is the good time to network with other people.

    Even if you have done a part-time job or freelance job to earn your pocket money, you can mention them. It will show that you have worked and have some experience of outside world.

    Recruiters look for your quick learning capabilities and how proactively can you apply the theoretical learning at work, how much flexible and adaptable you are in coping up with the work related pressures and contributing as high-performance leaders.

  • Projects that You Have Done: You can also talk about the projects that you might have undertaken during your academics. This could be a mini project or a major project.

    Talk about how you have worked within a team, show your research skills, your coordination skills, your ability to gel well with the team and act as a part of the team. These are some of the skills which is very much required and sought after skills. Elaborating them in your resume will be an add on to whatever you have mentioned in your profile.

  • Knowledge Purview Section: Thought you might not have long work experience to show, but you might have gained significant knowledge while undertaking an academic project, or undergoing and industrial training. You might have done an industrial visit or did an internship after college. During these times, you must have learned something which might be useful. So, think of ways that you can elaborate them a bit.

    You can dedicate a separate section in your resume regarding your knowledge purview or areas of exposure. If you have done a technical course or computer course, write the languages that you have hands on. Write the operating system you can work upon. Make this section rich, as it can act as a catch area for the recruiter.

  • Add Extra-Curricular: For a senior professional it might be irrelevant details that he has played a Captain role in his college Football team. But for a person who is having no or very limited work experience, these details can show his/her leadership qualities.

    If you have organized a college fest or any other college event, make sure to mention them in your resume. These points will make a hiring manager understand about your ability to organize, coordinate and lead.

    So, add a little bit of your extra-curricular activities, but do not detail out each and everything as it might make the resume lengthier than required.

  • Volunteer Work: Generally in a professional resume, we suggest not to elaborate much on volunteer experience. But when it comes to writing a person’s resume with less experience, it is important to mark these points as well.

    So, think of the events when you have volunteered a campaign, or if you are associated with any NGO, mention them. You never know which skills would match a recruiter’s job posting. So, do not hesitate from showing off your volunteer experience. It talks a lot about you and your personality.

  • Temporary Job: Some people do shy away from mentioning a temporary job which he/she might have taken up during summer holiday or may be between the jobs if any. But according to me even if you have done a part-time job, you can mention them in the profile.

    If you look at it from the other angle, this might show that you were not sitting idle during the period but have taken a wise decision to exercise your skills and polished them meanwhile. People have different views, though.

  • Family Business: of my friend was involved in her family business of handling a boutique but was not at all willing to show this experience in her resume. Now she wants to get into a corporate world and want to work in the field of client servicing. If we take it as a case, what do you think? Should she mention this experience or not? Think about it.

    As far as I could, I was in favour of mentioning this experience in her resume as I could found a unique similarity of her boutique family business and her prospective field of work. Since this friend of mine wanted to work in a client servicing field, her background of dealing with different clients day in and day out could be of much help. This somehow shows that she is not entirely new to this field and does not have to learn client servicing skills from scratch.

    Then I came to the conclusion that she should mention this family business of her as an entrepreneurial experience separately in her resume. This not only talked about her familiarity with the chosen field but also shows an entrepreneurial drive within her own self. This experience shows her ability to complete a task independently, dealing with client, understanding their requirements, handling their queries and complaints and resolving them in a timely manner.

After all, these skills are quite in demand these days. Don’t you think so ?

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