How to create a successful resume without any previous work experience

A student or fresh graduate biggest fear: not being able to get a job because of lack of work experience. I have good news for you! This is one of the myths that may prevent you from building a strong resume.

This one is based on the assumption that you hear it over and over again: employers want people with experience under their belts. You can’t get a job because you have no experience and you can’t get experience because you can’t get a job.  

Here’s the surprise. The assumption above is perfectly true. They want! But they cannot always get what they want. Why? The answer is simple. On one hand it’s because experienced candidates are promoted or they retire and on the other hand the demand for experienced workers may be greater than the supply.

Therefore, employers may adjust their hiring strategy accordingly by accepting candidates with minimum experience or no experience at all but that have lots of potential. They choose to invest to turn them into future workplace superstars. Prove that you are full of potential and you’re good to go! Having a strong resume is the first step. Look for the three guiding principles that you have to follow to build a powerful resume even with no work experience. 

1.   Highlight you objective.

The objective section on your resume is the place where you have the chance to demonstrate that you know what you want. A common mistake is creating a resume with a very unclear or too generic objective. Most resumes start like this: “Seeking a position where I can utilize my skills with a potential for career advancement …” and so on. Jobseekers make this mistake for fear not to be selected by using a very specific objective or maybe because they’re unsure about which career path they should pick, or for which industry or company they want to work.

Differentiate yourself from the other candidates by writing a clear and specific objective. State openly the industry you want to work in. Yes, this statement may exclude you from being selected for some interviews but it will open new opportunities for you.

2.   Focus on your volunteering activities and the results you brought.

Zero work experience doesn’t mean zero activity and zero results. Think thoroughly about what activities filled out your calendar. Maybe you attended certain meetings or conferences in your chosen field, maybe you participated in internship programs or you’re member of a professional association or maybe you’ve had academic or personal projects such as building a web site.

Once you identified specific activities, look for performance indicators that you can add on your resume. Maybe you volunteered for a fund raising campaign and you increased the budget by a certain percentage or maybe you created and trained a team of volunteers. It can be anything.

3.   Spend some time building your resume.

What would be your first impression of a candidate who wrote his or her resume in half an hour, with an unstructured construction?

Organize your information properly, make sure your resume is easy to read and emphasize facts and results that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

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