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How to Write a Resume Without Work Experience

First-time job applicants frequently face a difficult situation because they have no previous work experience to show they’re qualified for the position. Hiring managers agree that work history is a good indicator of future job performance, so gaining experience is key to getting a full-time job. Unfortunately, you need to get a job to gain experience. Creating a resume that highlights your strengths is an important way to make an impression on hiring managers, even without previous work experience. Here are some tips for creating a resume without work experience to help you get started.

Create a Strong First Impression

The first impression is important because most hiring managers quickly glance at a resume to see if it’s worth their time to look at more closely. A clear objective at the beginning of your resume is one way to make a positive impression by showing that you’re focused and serious. Another method for creating a good impression is to include a summary of qualifications in your resume. This is a list of the strengths and skills you have that make you ideal for the position; it highlights the experiences described in the resume body. A summary of qualifications is put together after the rest of the resume and is a great way to minimise the fact that you have no previous work experience.

Demonstrate Your Abilities

Although work experience is the most desired form of experience on a resume, there are many other kinds that also show you are a good fit for the job. Keep the experience related to the job you are applying for, but otherwise, any experience is fair to include. School projects, volunteer experiences, achievements, awards, and promotions are a few ways to demonstrate your suitability for the job. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires strong customer service skills, then time spent raising funds for a sports team or school organization is good to include as an experience that developed your customer service skills. Be sure to show how each experience relates to the job and the way your participation contributed to the event or organisation. Even hobbies can be used to provide experience on your resume, depending on the situation. Be creative, but stick to the facts and keep the experiences related to the job at hand.

Highlight Your Skills

Adding skills to the bottom of your resume is a great way to draw attention away from the fact that you don’t have work experience. Include skills you’ve developed that make you qualified for the position. If you have spent time working with Photoshop, editing videos, or learning to code, these experiences can give you an advantage when applying for a job. Computer skills are an important part of many jobs today, so including the programs you are familiar with is a good idea in the skill section. If you are bilingual or multilingual, be sure to include which languages you speak as well.

Keep it Professional

A professional resume goes a long way toward proving you are qualified. Always carefully proofread to make sure your resume is free of errors, and maintain consistency throughout by using the same tense, font, and style. A resume builder can help you create a professional resume that demonstrates your qualifications. Try one of our carefully structured resume templates to get started with your professional resume.

Finding a job without previous work experience is challenging; by creating a strong first impression and showing the ways you are a good fit for the job, it's possible to overcome the challenges.

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.