Selling yourself to an employer when you do not have any experience can be a challenge. The first thing they typically look in potential candidates is experience, right? But what to do if you`ve just graduated? Can you put your life experience and academic performance as a work experience?
Let`s answer these questions in this article.
Where to Start
- Do not lie! You should not lie about anything on your resume. Even if you somehow make it through all the interviews and testing, you will inevitably fail during the first week on the job. A failure to deliver on your promises will get you sacked immediately because the employer will realize you cannot do the job. So, to avoid wasting your time and time of your employer, just do not do it. Bad idea to lie.
- Do proofread. An employer who notices an error in a resume won`t be impressed, to say the least. This resume will be immediately put away and never looked at again, and for a good reason. Who needs an employee who was lazy enough to check the resume for mistakes (plus no experience)? That`s right, no one.
- Leave out unnecessary information. There are a lot of things that you should not include in your resume, including physical characteristics, photos, personal data beyond contact information, low GPAs, unrelated work experience, criminal record, and unrelated hobbies. For example, people who will be looking at your resume do not care about your hobbies (in rare cases, they might be interested in a hobby that relates to the company).
Start following these rules by using tools:
- A Guide To The Hobbies And Interests Section – for learning what hobbies are suitable for resume
- Assignment Helper – great tool for proofreading
What Skills to Focus On?
Now that we know the ground rules, let`s proceed to impressing hiring managers. Begin by reading and analyzing the job descriptions for the positions you wish to apply. Search for specific keywords that the company looks for in a candidate.
For example, a job description might say:“the candidates who have great skills in time management will be preferred.”
Clearly, the company is looking for a person who mastered time management. Perhaps, they want someone who always delivers on time. That`s great! You can get the attention of the hiring manager in this case even without a lot of experience.
Include all projects that you have managed successfully to draw the manager`s attention. Even college and high school projects will be suitable here. Emphasize that all of them were delivered on time under your leadership. Make these projects stand out by using visual resume building tools like:
How to Write a Summary?
Summary is one of the first things recruiters see in a resume. Given that they spend around 6 seconds reviewing the entire document, you must make a good impression right away. Since you have no experience, let`s focus on the skills employers are looking for (as defined in job descriptions).
“Recent graduate with a Bachelor`s Degree in Business Management. Outstanding skills of evaluating case studies and problem-solving skills. An organized person with a remarkable ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.”
Be sure to tailor the summary to the job description (as described above). And always remember to avoid including skills you do not have! Here are helpful resources for tackling job descriptions:
What about Experience Section?
This section comprises more than a half of all resumes of people who have experience. However, even if you lack it, it is not a reason to leave this section out. A common mistake many students make is filling the section with irrelevant jobs such as waitressing. If it`s not relevant to the target position, it should be removed.
It is generally recommended to focus, once again, on your skills. Restate and expand your summary by including more information about the projects you`ve worked on in college or high school. Here`s an example:
Time Management Skills
- Managed publication of the college newspaper and met weekly deadlines
- Successfully completed several business-related college projects and managed a small team
Here are some helpful resources to get it done:
- How to Reference Course Projects on Your Resume – Tips from PennState
- Ways to Incorporate Classroom Projects on Your Resume – A guide from the University of Wisconsin
- Highlighting Research on Your Resume – Tips for including educational experience from the Mississippi State University
Should you include Volunteering?
Let`s proceed to life experience. You should have some that could be applicable to your job search. For example, think about your work as a volunteer. Employers value those who volunteer because many of them have entire departments dedicated solely to philanthropic work. If you`re volunteering, you wish to give back to the community. A lot of companies share this vision.
There`s also proof that volunteering really helps to get employed. A recent study completed by the Corporation for National and Community Service reported that people who volunteered had a 27 percent higher chance of finding a job than those who did not.
Check out these guides for further info:
- How to Include Volunteer Work on Your Resume – Tips from the Balance
- Volunteer Resume Examples – Three excellent samples of volunteers` resumes
Hope that these tips will help you to find your dream work!