Preparing a resume for the first time can be a daunting task. This is especially since most employers prefer taking candidates who have experience in the fields, they are making applications.
Every employee once had no experience. However, some were able to convince the employer of their qualifications, while others were left overboard. The main tool that allows you to get a job is a correctly written resume. You will not believe it, but even without work experience, you can write an attractive resume that will set you apart from other candidates.
The main components of a resume are structure and content. The right structure helps the manager understand your advantages and features. This is your weapon of persuasion as you adjust the sequence of the text. As for content, you should describe your strong suits and omit the weaknesses. In theory, this sounds simple, but every second candidate fails the resume. Learn our advice to get the first job!
Find a Suitable Resume Structure
Most frequently used formats of the entry-level resume are:
- Chronological resume. This type is more suitable for workers with experience who want to change direction. Since you do not have work experience yet, this will not be a winning option.
- Skills-based resume. This is based on your skills and soft skills rather than experience. The resume highlights your strong suits and advantages.
- Hybrid resume. This is a combination of the previous resume types. While some emphasize work experience, while others emphasize attributes, you can put it together. Such resumes usually stand out from the general picture.
Professionally Written Summary
Most candidates with no working experience are left asking themselves questions like how do they clinch jobs that require experience if they do not have a job at hand from which they can gain experience. If this is the kind of situation, you find yourself in, no need to worry. There is a myriad of other relevant things that you can put on your resume that will convince your potential employers that you are the best-suited candidate for their job opening as is conveyed in this resume sample. In this context, we will discuss the various ideas and tips that will enable you to come up with a perfect resume stating your qualities that will capture the attention of your prospective employers and see you into your dream job.
The first relevant thing is a professionally written summary of your resume. Most individuals usually assume that a professional review is a reserve for individuals with professional experience which is a wrong assumption. The modern-day resume requires a professional review which is written directly after your contact information. Your professional summary should consist of things like your background, abilities, and interests. To cover up for your lack of work experience, the professional summary you write should have at least one or two adjectives that describe your relevant skills, the level of education you have achieved and your interests. You may also express your work ethic in this section. Please note that a professional summary should be tailor-made for the particular job you are applying. Do not fall into the trap of writing the same professional summary for different types of posts since some may not be in sync with the job you are applying. Below is an example of an excellent professional summary.
A proactive and detail-oriented aspiring accountant with a Bachelor of Accounting degree. Strong leadership skills and mathematical-minded as shown by the advanced college coursework in accounting and statistical work and interested in securing a working chance at any level of accountancy within the corporation.
How to Format a Resume
1.Length of a Resume
The resume should be approximately one to two pages depending on the experience of the candidate. To some hiring managers, the length of the resume doesn’t matter. Some, on the other hand, believe that the length conveys the level of experience for a candidate. However, ensure that to the extreme, your resume doesn’t exceed ten pages.
2.Resume Fonts, Text Size, and Color
The most preferred font for your resume is Times New Roman, 12 points size and black for the font color. Anything you want the hiring manager to pay special attention to should be italicized and made bold.
Consistency in the format you use is essential when it comes to writing your resume. For instance, if you choose to use a 13-point font size for the first heading, then ensure that you use the 14-point font size for all the headings in the document. This applies to the font type as well as font color. When you maintain consistency in your resume formatting, you paint a picture of keenness and responsibility in the eyes of your potential employer hence increasing your chances of getting the job.
Education Section: the Basis of Each Resume
Start with education. Add the full name of the school, college, and university. Indicate the faculty and specialization that you have chosen. Also, add a start and end date. Perform this section in chronological order.
Educational background section will consist of your certifications, training and any program that you are currently undertaking. If you halted your studies before completing a particular application, ensure that you include that in this section. The credit of hours you may have attained in the uncompleted program may give you a competitive advantage over the rest in the interviews. For each certification, list the institution, location, the accreditation, field of study, and the correct dates of when you attended. Academic honors awarded to you during your stay at these institutions should also be listed in this section. Here are examples of how you can record your educational background in a resume;
Montego Valleys University, Illinois, Chicago August 2017
Bachelor of Science in Physics; Major in Electrostatics
Also, add enough information about the courses or exchange programs in which you participated. Indicate the date and place of the course, as well as the topic or main goal. This will help you stand out among other candidates.
Attach the Proper Experience
Yes, we remember that you have no work experience. However, you must have participated in charity festivals or were the head of the group, or led events at college. This shows the skills of management, organization, or communication with people of various types. Usually, every college student is responsible for something.
Maybe you were replacing the class teacher in his absence? Or did a theatrical production for a concert? Perhaps you were responsible for the budget and finances during the fairs and tenders? Remember what responsibilities you had that are relevant to the job.
Describe Your Key Skills
Make a list of the hard and soft skills you have. Do not write it commonly. Vice versa, try to make each item sound interesting and new. For example, write “Ability to contact young people, middle-aged people, and senior citizens, to convince them of the quality of the product” instead of “Establishing contact with people of different ages”. Be precise and specific so that the reader does not doubt the text.
Make sure your skills come out of the experience. For example, you led events and were responsible for hosting fairs. This means that your key skill is personnel management and delegation of duties. Therefore, put it in the first place. Sort your skills from the most powerful to the most obvious.
Нou need to list the critical skills you possess which are relevant to the job or position that you are applying. Most of the time, the skills that your potential employer requires are usually listed in the qualification or requirements section. Here, you may get skills that match your own which you can list down. Most people usually fret listing the abilities which they are yet to use in a professional setting. However, merely registering these skills (especially those learned during extracurricular activities) may give you a competitive edge over the rest. If you have less than ten skills listed, you can list them in a table with three or more columns for each ability. The following example shows how you can register your skills.
- Languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese
- Leadership: Team management, Budgeting, Resource Planning
- Professionalism: Natural leader, Punctual Time Management, Active listening
Many applicants overlook its importance, and this significantly decreases their chances of being selected for the job. The main reason why keywords are essential is since most employers today use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to sort out and scan the hundreds of applications that they receive. When you include keywords in your resume, you are in a better position to having your document tracked faster when keywords are searched compared to others who choose not to include the keywords. Thus, always make it a habit of looking up the list of keywords that best suit the position you are making application for and add them to your resume for easier tracking.
Here are examples of keywords per industry that you can include in your resume;
Nursing Keywords examples:
- Stress Management,
- Critical Analysis,
- Effective Communication
Computer Science keywords example:
- Machine Learning,
- Project Management,
- Databases, Testing,
- Unified Modelling Language.
Marketing Manager Example:
- Online Marketing,
- Google Analytics,
- Effective Communication Skills,
- Digital Marketing,
- Social Media.
Each company has a list of attributes that should be in a suitable candidate. All you need to do is research information about the company, its boss, and key employees. Here is a step-by-step instruction:
- Use social networks, mainly Facebook and LinkedIn. Find the boss and the hiring manager of the company.
- Analyze the pages of these people. Do they write long posts, or are they limited to a few words? How much attention do they devote to appearance? Do they go in for sports, and how often do they go on vacation?
- Write out key information. This includes marriage, a position in the company, and style.
In marketing, this is called a customer portrait. Based on this data, you will understand what attributes should be in you as a new employee. It also helps to understand that for each company, you should write a separate resume.
Additional Sections for the Maximum Strength
Think about what other benefits and useful features you have. Add information about sports activities and successes in competitions. Perhaps you have your developments or ideas on how to improve the work of the company. This will interest the manager, and you will be interviewed.
Indicate the number of languages that you speak. It is not worth mentioning the language that you learned in high school and remember only the words of greeting. Better let it be 2-3 languages that you can use for communication.
Add your certificates and licenses. Indicate the time and place of their receipt, as well as the duration of the training. Indicate the full name of the training or seminar. Such documents have a positive effect on managers.
Hobbies and interests
Write a short story about yourself. Indicate what you like to do in your free time. If you describe hobbies, mention both outdoor and indoor games. This will help you find common interests with the manager and find suitable topics for conversation.
Participation in volunteer projects can be divided into a separate section. Indicate the events in which you participated and the roles that you performed. Unpaid work experience shows your interests and motivations. Draw a parallel between the volunteer project and the job you want to get.
Create a Strong Resume Objective
Write a few lines about your skills that are considered key to the company. Use keywords and phrases to convince the manager. This way, you will be included in the list of people for the interview.
Make Your Resume Coherent and Easy to Read
Again, pay attention to the structure of your student resume. This should be logical and consistent so that reading does not take much time. Edit and proofread the resume to correct some possible mistakes. Ask your friend or next of kin to evaluate the paper. Do not mention that it is your first resume because a person will check it indulgently. Vice versa, you can even omit the information that the resume is yours.
Add a Cover Letter to Stand Out
Remember the college entrance process. You most likely wrote a cover letter and sent it along with the rest of the documents. Well, nothing has changed. A cover letter can help you get a place in the company. However, you need to carefully proofread the paper and make it engaging. Consider ordering some writing help from professionals.
Step-by-Step Guide on Creating the Student Resume with no Experience
We don’t see the point of adding a full sample first resume, because we don’t know what structure you will adhere to. Instead, we compiled an outline to show you the process of building a resume.
- Create a resume objective. Do not limit yourself in time to write a quality objective.
- Record the sequence of sections, starting from the education section. Make short notes to add your strong suits. Remember that your student resume should teem with your advantages and skills.
- Use brainstorming to record your skills and relevant experience. Review school records or ask classmates to describe you from the side. This will help determine what you are good at.
- Check your student resume. You must rule out inaccuracies and breaches of causation. Do not let carelessness affect your future.
Remember, this is your first resume. Do not try to write it in one go. Take breaks to distract and clear your head. Be sincere – and you will boost the resume.
Extracurricular Activities or Volunteer Work
When it comes to including your extracurricular activities or volunteer work, it is essential that you prepare this section the correct way. Otherwise, the application might be declined. You may put pretty much anything that you are passionate about in this section as long as it will have a civil appeal to an employer. Employers are usually very keen on this area. They are particular about this area since this is what makes most of the candidates to stand out. Hence, stating the extracurricular activity, you participated in may give you the competitive edge and set you apart from the rest of the candidates. For instance, indicating that you usually babysit twice each week will paint the picture of responsibility in the eyes of any employer. However, it will not be strategic to say that you spend four hours a day playing video games. No employer would stomach this since it is a sign of idleness unless you are making application for a game testing job. For each extracurricular activity or volunteer work, list the name of the activity and then add a brief description on it. Here is a brief description of how you can list these activities.
- Swimming- Professional award-winning swimmer with multiple silver and bronze medals in national competitions.
- Community Volunteer- An active volunteer of state-initiated community service projects.
- Keyboard- Has actively played the keyboard for ten years for an average of six hours each day.
- Music: Has a particular interest in classical music. Participated in five international jazz festivals.
Common Mistakes for No-Experience Resumes
One of the most common mistakes made by applicants with little or no experience in the field of application is coming up with a resume that trims down to nothing. The fact that you have no working experience does not mean that you should reflect it openly in your resume. Such a resume usually gives employers the impression that you did not engage in anything productive throughout your time in school or even after. To avoid creating this impression, do not be hesitant to think outside the box by being creative around the little things you are passionate about. For example, you can state how your experience as a summer camp volunteer has helped build your leadership skills or how participating in community service has improved your management and communication skills. Pen down that you are a punctual and organized individual, a gifted speaker or a natural speaker especially when such skills are vital to the field in which you are hoping to acquire a job. Let your resume be inclined as much as possible to the position that you are applying. For instance, if the company you are tailoring your resume for is a construction company, you may mention teamwork and your love for outdoor activities as the key features as for why you feel you are the right person for the job.
Structuring your resume in this manner will ensure that the lack of a working experience does not deter you from clinching the job of your dreams. By merely focusing on your skills and talents, you can make a good impression before the employer. The simple activities that you participated in while in school or the volunteer jobs that you took up in your area can make a whole lot of difference in an interview set-up. Therefore, inexperience should not be a hindrance from getting a job once you have all these qualifications. You have the power to make your resume colorful and attractive to any employer out there as illustrated in this article.