Resume for Students: Writing a Resume with No Work Experience

Looking for a job when you have no experience can be a pretty negative experience at times, but you shouldn’t let it get you discouraged. Sure, you need experience to get experience, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any companies that are willing to give you a chance. You just need to know how to craft a resume that shows them what you are capable of, and make them want to hire you. Here are some tips on writing that resume.

  • Highlight Your Skills – In addition to highlighting your education, you do have skills you can highlight. You have learned how to do various things over the years. You may even have had an internship. Highlight any transferrable skills that you may have through everything from hobbies to summer jobs. Even if you just had a paper route, you can show that you have customer service skills, that you are prompt, and that you can handle working with money.
  • Never Lie – One of the most important rules to remember about writing a resume is to keep it completely honest. If you don’t, it is not going to end well for you. To begin with, you are not going to be able to deliver on your promises. Also, it is likely that eventually you are going to be found out. If you have been hired, chances are you will be fired if your employer discovers that you lied on your resume.
  • Highlight Awards – If you have won any awards while in school, make sure you make note of them on your resume. Awards will show that you have excelled in something, even if it is just a perfect attendance award. Any awards you have won will impress potential employers, and they will want an employee who works hard enough to win awards. Look at various resume examples online to see how to make your awards stand out.
  • Keep it Simple – There is no reason to pad your resume with things employers don’t care if they see or not. For instance, if you are not giving references on your resume, just leave that section out altogether. Don’t bother putting in “references available upon request” or anything similar. If the interviewer wants to see references, they will ask you during the interview. It is best to just take a list of references with you, which can include teachers, coaches, and other adults you have worked with in any capacity.
  • Proofread – You might think that an employer isn’t going to notice a little spelling mistake, but they are actually looking for mistakes in resumes. Employers are looking for people to hire who take the time to proofread and make sure that they have not made any errors. This shows that you are conscientious, and that you pay attention to the little details, which is going to be important if you do get hired. Employers want to know that their employees are going to pay attention to their jobs, and do things right the first time.
  • Review Your Resume – Before you start sending out your resume to potential employers, it is a good idea to have someone else to review it for you. Take it to a professor, a school counselor, or an alumnus who is working in your field of interest. They will let you know if there is anything there you don’t need, and if there is anything missing that they think employers will want to see. It also helps to have a second set of eyes to look for any spelling mistakes that you might have missed.


Jane Hurst is a writer, editor and avid traveler from San Francisco, CA. Find her on Twitter!



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