If you’re just graduating from high school or college, a work experience resume will be a challenge to create.
You’re faced with applying to positions, even entry-level positions, that list a number of requirements and you might feel a resume without work experience will render you unable to compete in the workplace.
The Student Resume – No Work Experience
Think about it, everyone starts somewhere, so how is that done? Employers want to see resumes with work experience because it gives them confidence that you will be able to do the same or similar tasks for them without much difficulty. It proves competency.
Little work experience on a resume can be overcome, however, by showing your potential.
Here are some examples:
• Use youth to your advantage.
- Yes, today’s job market is flooded with experienced professionals, but they also have more demands and are often not on the cusp of upcoming trends and technologies. In your cover letter and resume highlight a willingness to be flexible. Highlight skills that relate to current technology. Also include any experiences, such as international studies, that will make you stand out. More and more businesses are working on an international level and young people who have a more global perspective are desired in the workplace.
• Research needed skills/experience and acquire them.
- If most of the jobs you are seeking require a certain skill you are lacking, there’s no time like the present to find a way to acquire it. You don’t need to wait for your first full-time job to get experience. You can sign up for classes, volunteer, intern, even shadow someone else that has the job. Let employers know that you are currently committed to fulfilling these requirements. They’ll see your effort and feel confident in hiring you.
• Show a clear direction on your resume.
- Even though your resume isn’t chock full of experience, it is very important to show you know what position you are looking for. You can show employers your committed direction by writing a clear objective statement. Tailor your resume to each position. Don’t send a generic resume to different positions (for example, the resume you use for
- should look different than the one you send out for marketing jobs).
• Show an interest in the field.
- If you joined clubs or organizations in college that relate to your field, you did yourself a favor for your resume. If you didn’t do this, find an organization to join now. Your education and degree shows a great deal to an employer, but someone who takes an extra interest in their industry will be even more desirable.
• Make sure what you do have is perfect.
- Sure, you don’t have a lot to speak of on your resume, but what you do present should be perfect. No spelling mistakes, no grammar mistakes, clean, formatted for easy reading, and, well, perfect! Don’t let careless errors take you out of the running.
Your Job is to Stand Out
It is important to consider what employers are looking for in order to fulfill what they are looking for. Always research the position and company so you know how to tailor your resume and cover letter. As you search for a job, try to fill in those gaps by gaining experience, even in small ways.
Remember, employers understand that you’ve just graduated college and have little experience. It is up to you to stand out among other graduates just like yourself.
Lynn Mattoon is a Career Writer for a Beyond.com career community. You can follow her on Twitter at BeyondCareers.
Further reading, refer to: