How to Structure Your Resume When You Don't (Yet) Have Much Experience

Jul 26, 2022 6 Min Read
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Enhance your resume with these tips and tricks!

A great resume is the first step to getting the job of your dreams. It gets you in the door, and you can dazzle the hiring personnel in the interview. Hiring managers and recruiters often only have a minute to review your resume and return it to the pile on their desks.

This may interest you: 7 Resume Writing Tips for Those Without Prior Job Experience

Therefore, you must make the resume stand out as much as possible to get their attention. The resume's structure is vital for conveying professionalism. The following is how you should structure your resume when you do not have a lot of experience: 

Open With A Personal Statement

Little experience means you have little to list on the resume, but it should not mean that you have little to say. Therefore, you should try opening your resume with a personal statement that conveys to the reader who you are as a person and professional.

It is the first thing the reader will read, so make it excellent but concise, with 150 words being the ideal word count for the statement. Start with your educational level and top skills, followed by admirable characteristics.

It would be best if you also outlined what you are looking for in the job, which could be anything from career advancement to being the perfect candidate for the role in the organisation. 

List Skills Not Roles 

If you have little experience, you have not played many roles in organisations, so you should list your skills instead of your roles. The structure of a resume will be compromised if you put roles and only list one.

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Instead, outline the skills you have gained through school, work, and life. Employers are more likely to be interested in your skills than the menial jobs you have had, for example, being a cashier at Mcdonald's.

Therefore, come up with a list of skills that flatter you while being accurate and put them up high on your resume. 

Outline Extracurricular Activities

You may not have a lot of work experience, but you should have participated in extracurricular activities throughout school life or outside of school. It would be best to treat these extracurricular activities as jobs when drafting your resume.

Extracurricular activities showcase various qualities employers will undoubtedly be interested in, such as leadership and teamwork. You should particularly outline extracurricular activities that you did on a high level, for example, playing college football or running a business.

Many extracurricular activities are similar to entry jobs for which you will apply more than any casual work you did. For example, being a reporter for your college newspaper is a better extracurricular activity for a journalist position than bricklaying during summer. 

Promote Your Academic Achievements

If you do not have much work experience to brag about, you should promote your academic achievements in your resume. It would be best if you played up your degree because it is a source of transferable skills which can apply to a job.

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When writing a resume without job experience, your academic achievements are your most valuable accomplishments, and you should showcase them. Mention if you finished on top of your class, the class of your degree, and even the program's pass rate.

Supplementary reading: Academic Excellence Vs. Experiential Learning

Point out any skills you may have gained while in school, such as public speaking, organisation, or planning skills. The key is to put a shining light on your education to show the potential employer how well you can contribute to their organisation's success as you did the various academic institutions. 

State Any Internships

You may not have received any payment for your work, but internships can significantly impact your resume structure when you have little to no work experience. Internships are the best answer to the question of experience posed in every resume.

Read more: 5 Pros and Cons About Taking On an Internship as a Student

Therefore, you should state internships you may have had at any organisation from high school all through college and after. Internships give you real-life work experience even though it might not be in your chosen field.

They also help you make connections that you might use in your job search later or for references in your resume. 

Include A Cover Letter

A cover letter may not be mandatory, but it is a good idea to include a cover letter in your resume if you have little to no work experience. A cover letter will help you showcase your personality and set yourself apart from the competition, which is steep if you have no work experience.

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Use the letter to convince the employer you are the best fit for the job. An outstanding cover letter may be enough to convince an employer to give you a chance for an interview which you can use to dazzle them into giving you the job. 

Use an Online Resume Maker

If you are having trouble developing a structure for your resume, you should consider an online resume maker. Online resume makers have different templates and designs for resumes which can help set your resume apart from the competition.

With the right instructions, a resume maker can develop a creative structure that employers may not have seen before but will impress them, considering you have little to no work experience. Consider the resume maker for job applications from ResumeBuild.com. A resume maker will save you the time and effort of developing an original resume yourself. 

Customise Your Resume To The Job

Most experienced professionals have a ready resume with a structure that works for them. Since you have no work experience, it is a great idea to customise your resume to the job you are applying for. You should especially ask yourself what your resume says about you.

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It should showcase who you are as a professional but also your best qualities as a person. The job description will indicate how you should customise your resume to the job. It will also help you develop the best structure for your resume. 

There is no magical or one-size-fits-all approach to writing a compelling resume. You must be creative when writing a resume with little to no job experience.

Explore: Sell Attitude Instead Of Qualification To Your Future Boss

The tips above should be of great help and help you craft a resume that you are proud to send to potential employers. Remember, a great resume does not mean you will get the job; it only increases your chances of getting an interview.

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A growth hacker at heart, Jess helps SaaS companies rapidly scale their inbound leads through lean marketing strategies. She views content marketing and advertising as the perfect concoction of growth and loves to write about her insights and experiences.
 

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