No experience? No problem! Crafting the perfect resume can be a challenge for anyone, but if you’re a student with little-to-no experience, it can be a nightmare. You want to stand out, you want to get hired, but you’ve got nothing to show that you can do the work. So, what do you do?
Before we start, it’s important to remember that recruiters hiring for student and entry-level positions aren’t expecting a world of experience. They know that you’re just starting out. But that doesn’t mean they want blank resumes. So, here’s what you can do:
Introduce Yourself With a Summary
Traditional “objective statements” are pretty outdated, especially if you’re sharing with them that your goal is to obtain a summer job to beef up your experience. They already know.
Instead, use this time and space to introduce yourself in a professional manner. In fact, the perfect thing for this space is a written version of your elevator pitch. A quick introduction to who you are and what makes you unique.
Talk About School
When you’re early in your career, using post-secondary projects is totally fair game, so long as they’re relevant. When I was doing my bachelor’s degree, I worked in the faculty newsroom and you can bet that my writing and editing experience was on my resume.
Chances are there are a few relevant projects that you’ve worked on in class that are relevant to the position you’re applying to. So describe your project, and if you can, share some work product. But make sure the project is your project or you have permission from your other group members to share it!
Talk About Volunteer Experience
Volunteer experience is invaluable. Not only can you often help out in ways that will help your career (I helped plan events and built a marketing plan all before my degree was finished) but it shows that you’re invested in your community.
Take a look at your volunteer experience and share what’s relevant on your resume. And if you don’t have any, go get some. Find an organization you’re passionate about and ask them if they need help in an area that you’re studying, chances are they’ll take you up on your offer.
Tailor What Experience You Have to the Job You’re Applying To
Any job you have held, whether at school or a part-time gig, has transferable skills! Were you a part-time retail associate? Customer service and time management. Have you been involved in any fundraising activities for school? People skills and sales.
Chances are anything you’ve done in the past has some sort of relevancy to your future. And, if you’re just starting out in your career, using these transferable skills on your resume is totally fair game.
Make Your Own Experience
The internet is a glorious place. It has endless opportunities for you to create your own experience that can help make your resume shine. And the best part is, starting now is not too late!
If you want a future career in fashion, why not start your own fashion blog where you can show your astonishing knowledge of fashion trends and highlight your personal style? Dreaming about rocking a marketing career? Start analyzing the best and worst commercials on television.
Just because the future is, well in the future, doesn’t mean that you can’t start working on it now. Build the future you want by showcasing your expertise, and then highlight it on your resume so future employers know about it!
Your resume, along with your killer networking skills, is your ticket into new grad employment. So, use what you have to make it stand out amongst the crowd. You don’t need years of experience to get that next job!