How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience

Whether you’re a student, you’ve just graduated, or if you’ve been with one company for a long time, creating a resume when you have little to no work experience can be a challenge.

However, though it can seem intimidating, it’s completely possible to catch a potential employer’s eye – with or without a great deal of professional experience.

Here are three essential job seeker tips perfect for new grads, students, and candidates changing their career paths that will help you land the interview without years of experience on your resume.

1. Write a Summary

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While objectives are a thing of the past, summaries work well for people who have limited work experience. They’re the best place you can explain why you should get the job on your resume, instead of listing an impersonal series of dates and places.

All you need to do is write a sentence or two about who you are as a potential employee and any relevant skills or achievements.

As well, if you recently graduated from high school or college, mention your new status in your summary. It will help explain why you have limited experience.

2. Highlight Your Skills

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While you may have little or no work experience to discuss on your resume, you’re sure to have skills that you may have acquired in school or while volunteering that qualify you for the job.

One way to highlight them is to break down these skills into individual lists of hard and soft skills for your resume. Draw employers’ attention to these relevant soft and hard skills as a heading and list achievements related to these skills under the appropriate heading.

Check out an example of a functional resume here.

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3. Don’t Forget Unpaid Work Experience

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Internships or volunteer opportunities can still count as work experience. If you worked as an intern or volunteered for a significant period of time, include the position on your resume.

Since you already listed your skills on your resume, you don’t need to rehash this information when you are listing internships and volunteer work. Just be sure that you mention the company or not-for-profit organization, the months and years you were in the position and your title.

If you earned any awards specific to one of these positions, it makes sense to list it under the associated position, as well.

Even With Little to No Work Experience…

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Building a resume when you have limited work experience can be tough, but it’s definitely possible to make it work. Everyone has to start somewhere, but you don’t have to send in a sparse resume when you are new to the job market.

Emphasize the hard and soft skills that make you the best person for the job with a resume summary and a functional resume template.

Plus, there are countless ways you can enrich your job application outside of your resume. Try building up your personal brand using social media or learn how starting a blog could help you get your dream job here.

Learn More

Just starting out in your career? Take advantage of’s free resume samples and resume templates for your resume to get your job hunt started successfully! Publishing your resume on will also allow employers search for your resume online! Don’t forget to check out our online job listings to get started on where to apply!

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