So you have just graduated from college and are prepared to join the workforce to prove yourself as a productive member of society. Congratulations! You may be excited or even nervous as you get ready to start the job search, hoping that those four long years in school will finally pay off. Just one little problem - you have no work experience.
Here’s the challenge – how do you write an professional resume with absolutely no work experience?
If you have never worked for a single day in your life, then your resume will look pretty blank. Check out these 3 tips that will actually ensure your resume looks good even if you do not have any work experience.
1. Start with a Career Objective
When you lack professional experience, a career objective can be a great start for your resume. It focuses on your skills and personality traits which make you the perfect fit for the position. Starting your resume with skills which make you valuable to the company helps to snag the attention of the hiring manager. To write a solid career objective, start by identifying the specific skills and traits which the employer has emphasized in the job description. Add these qualities to your career objective and your employer will definitely watch you from a different perspective.
Further reading: Guide to a Perfect Career Objective Statement for a Resume
Including a career objective may face few criticism. Some people even see it as outdated, but the purpose is often misunderstood. The purpose of the career objective is not to tell the hiring manager what you are hoping to achieve out of the company, but rather to display the skills and abilities which will help solve the company’s needs. These are the same skills and abilities needed to successfully carry out the responsibilities of the position you are applying for. Beginning your resume with a career objective will help give your resume focus and target what your potential employer is looking for.
2. Highlight Your Education
For an applicant without any professional experience, the educational qualifications is the most important section. This section needs to be strengthened in order to make up for the absence of paid experience. The education section should include your GPA, affiliated clubs, athletics, academic awards, and relevant courses or publications.
Further reading: How to List Education on a Resume and Stand Out
By expanding this section, a fresh graduate can effectively highlight their qualities and skills. By adding participation in athletics or clubs, you are also exhibiting your potential to work as an enthusiastic team player. The employer gets to know about your work ethic and knowledge from your academic awards and relevant coursework. If you think that you weren’t that much active in college, just focus more on the relevant coursework. Even if you need to do some serious brainstorming, it’s crucial for the success of your resume to create a difference with your educational qualifications.
3. Include a Major Achievements Section
If you had any of the following experiences, these can be great additions to your resume.
- Worked for a student government.
- Organized an event.
- Presented at a seminar or conference.
- Volunteered for social services.
- Wrote for the newsletter at college.
A major achievements section works as an extension to your educational experience and helps to fill up your resume. It can be structured in the same way as a professional experience section with the name of the organization and the date range in which you have worked or participated. For each activity, you can prepare a list of points which indicate your accomplishments and responsibilities.
When you do not have any professional experience on your resume, there is no need to worry. Any CEO of a big shot company can tell you they started from zero, just like you! As a fresher, remember to emphasize your educational background and any activities or accomplishments you have done during your college years for your resume. Building up a distinctive personal brand with a tool like CakeResume can also be a very effective strategy to help start your career. As a final tip, write a strong cover letter that will complement your resume. Good luck with the job hunt!