Don’t let your lack of experience daunt you. There are many companies that are happy to employ students with no work experience. But you can be sure that before doing that, they’ll want to have a look at your resume. But what if you never worked anywhere yet? What should you put in your resume in this case?
Things you must always include on your resume
1. First of all, it’s general information about you. Your full name, a photo, contact details, and position you are applying for. This introductory information is usually followed by a description of your work experience. However, if it’s non-existent, that’s exactly what you should write.
2. Another piece of important information that you should put there is your skills. Remember that employers pay attention to both professional skills and personal (soft) skills. In fact, you can show these soft skills even during an interview. It’s how you talk, how capable you are of building understanding with someone you talk to, and how fast you are when it comes to decision-making.
3. Next, comes education, classes/courses, and foreign language competency. It’s important to tell them as much as you can about your formal education. Where did you study? When? What was your major? What is your degree? Add everything about the informal education that you received: masterclasses, courses, etc., in case it’s relevant to the position you are applying for. And remember to attach any certificates to prove all of the above.
And one more thing that’s quite important: pay special attention to your resume style and layout. Don’t forget to check it for any grammar and/or spelling mistakes.
So what do you put in the “work experience” section?
Resumes exist to let an HR specialist or an employer know what kind of experience you’ve got. It helps them understand if you have the skills required for the job.
Don’t let this discourage you. Even if you don’t have any work experience, there must be something that helped you gain the skills you have. Did you try freelancing? Were you engaged in volunteering at any point? Did you ever work on projects that helped you build some useful skills? If you did, let them know about it.
What qualities do employers look for in students?
No matter what position you are applying for, an employer will always appreciate proactivity, readiness to learn, and desire to grow. Among other important qualities, they normally look for the ability to get your ideas and opinions across to people you talk to, social skills, and the ability to work in a team. Your ability to give a presentation might be taken into account as well.
Apart from that, they look for an employee that’s easy to work with. Be genuine and honest. This way you’ll understand whether you’ll feel comfortable working with these people.
Things you must include on your resume to make it stand out
If you are really interested in drawing their attention to your resume, don’t forget about the following:
- choose a good photo where they can see your face well;
- specify which position you are applying for;
- be honest, don’t exaggerate. Whatever information you put on your resume must be accurate and relevant;
- try to avoid cliches;
- attach a short cover letter.
Why is a cover letter important?
Your cover letter is an ace up your sleeve. It’s this short message that will help an HR specialist answer the question of why they should single you out. A perfect cover letter must not be too long or too formal and shouldn’t repeat the information you’ve already laid out in your resume.
Structurally, a cover letter must include the following parts:
1. Introduction. Introduce yourself and tell them why you decided to write this letter. Are you applying for an existing position or just want to offer your services to the company?
2. Body. Tell them about your current professional status and list your skills. Avoid emphasizing your lack of experience. This might make an HR specialist or an employer think that experience is all you’re after.
Tell them about your motivation. Why did this position interest you? What do you imagine your work at this company will be like? How can you be useful?
3. Conclusion. Thank them for their time.
Don’t forget that a job search is a job in and of itself. Its result depends on how you do that job. Don’t let your lack of experience stop you. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have what it takes to be a valuable professional in your field. Good luck!