Writing a resume when you have no work experience can be a bit tricky. This is often the concern of fresh graduates who are eager to land their first job after leaving the university. Entry-level jobs can be hard to get in this competitive market. So, the key is to start with a resume that makes you stand out for the right reasons whenever you are looking for that first professional job.
Here are the ways to stand out even when you don’t have the work experience.
1. Leverage your courses
As a fresh graduate, your first line of offense when applying for a job is your course itself. Make associations between the subjects you’ve taken up and the requirements of your target job. Review your transcript of records for specific subjects that are relevant to the job you’re applying to and incorporate them in your resume. By adding relevant subjects, you’re making the work of the hiring manager easier because she doesn’t have to second guess how your course is related to the job she’s trying to fill in.
2. Mention your leadership roles
In college, you might have assumed leadership roles that are worth mentioning in your resume. This shows that you’re capable of working with a team and relate with people well. Explain how you managed a team and used your strong interpersonal skills to add value to your organization. If you’re one of the members, showcase how you persuaded your team and won them over to your ideas without direct authority. This reflects how you effect change without being in a position of power.
3. Talk about your community involvement
As a student, share your volunteer experience while you were still in college or at present. Recall instances where you lent a helping hand to a fundraising campaign for a foundation or what community projects you’re currently involved with. This signifies your willingness to take initiative while building your skills beyond the classroom. This can also create some great talking points for the interview if the person has a shared experience or interest in the community.
These are just some of the many ways on how to make your resume work for you. Think about all the other ways that you put your skills to work for your education – like working at part-time jobs outside of your field to make ends meet while paying for your own education. Or, some of that great unpaid experience as an intern, extern or job shadow that may or may not have been formalized. All of these can be showcased in just a one-page resume, which is expected by hiring managers from fresh graduates like you.
Ready to take that experience to the next level? Focus on picking those keywords and results from your work. Keep in mind that your course, leadership roles, and community involvement will play a key role in your job hunting. Know that you already have that “experience” and putting it on your resume is simply connecting it to what you want to do next. It simply needs the necessary attention it deserves to help you out in your job search. And remember once your land your first job, build from there, and may you have a fruitful career ahead of you. We’ll be happy to be part of it.
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