How to Make a Resume With no Experience (Examples Included!)

Professional on a computer, illustrating how to make a resume with no experience

Pexels

Profile Picture
Lorelei Yang718
Wonky consultant with a passion for words
May 30, 2024 at 12:45PM UTC

Not sure how to make a resume with no experience? We've all been there. Filling an entire page as an entry-level candidate can indeed feel like a daunting task—and the classic “you need experience to get experience” paradox doesn't help. But don't worry, there are ways to work around this challenge. 

Internships, volunteering, and even personal projects can serve as great alternatives to standard work experience. Plus, highlighting your skills and interests can give recruiters a sense of your potential fit with the company culture.  

To help you overcome the no-experience barrier, we’ve prepared the ultimate guide on how to write a resume with no experience, including tips for each section and examples. 

Another dose of encouragement: No Experience? Here’s How To Find a Job Anyway

What to put on a resume with no work experience? Focus on these sections

If you're writing a resume with no work experience, you'll obviously want to omit a “Work Experience” section because you won't have anything to put in it. Instead, you should have the following sections:

Header

No matter what point you're at in your career, your resume should always have a header. This is where you put your contact information. Make sure it includes:

  • Your first and last name 

  • A professional email address

  • Your phone number 

  • Your LinkedIn URL 

For certain types of opportunities, you could also consider adding a link to your professional portfolio (for technical roles) or your social media (for social media management or agency roles).

Summary

One or two sentences at the top of your resume can make a big difference. The summary section helps recruiters understand who you are very quickly. Plus, it takes up page real estate—which can be valuable when you don't have much to put on your resume yet.

Not sure how to write your summary for a resume with no experience? Examples here:

#1: 2023 graduate of Columbia University with social media management and video editing skills. Seeking an internship as a social media assistant in order to apply my expertise and grow professionally as I help YZX company achieve its goals. 

#2: Creative and motivated marketing graduate looking for a social media assistant entry level position at Marketing Inc. My goal is to leverage my creative writing skills and storytelling to help the company achieve its content marketing goals.

#3: Communicative and critical thinker high school graduate, eager to use my coding experience and web development skills as a junior Web Developer at Company X. Skilled in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Python.

Not quite there yet? Check out 11 more resume summary examples to help you craft the perfect resume

Education

If you're relatively young, odds are that you're in school or recently graduated. In either case, put your educational qualifications front and center. (Unlike an older employee with more professional experience, your educational credentials are quite important). 

Include in this section your school's name and location as well as the degree you're seeking (or that you earned) and your GPA. For example:

BA in Economics

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Graduation date: January 2024

3.8 GPA

Relevant coursework: Econometrics, Statistics, and Financial Economics

Skills

Even if you don't have full-time work experience yet, you still have plenty of skills to offer prospective employers. Putting key skills on your resume helps an employer understand what you bring to the table as a prospective hire.

Consider adding both soft and hard skills. Soft skills are behavioral and interpersonal attributes, while hard skills are technical expertises. 

Some examples of hard skills to put on a resume with no experience:

  • Programming

  • Social media

  • Writing

  • Customer service

  • Design

  • Video editing 

And some examples of soft skills to put on resume with no experience:

  • Teamwork

  • Critical thinking

  • Time management

  • Adaptability

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

Keep in mind that you shouldn't lie on your resume—it isn't worth it, and there are other things you can do instead if you're feeling insecure. Only add skills you truly have and are confident you would perform well.

Internships

Although you don’t have full-time work experience, you may have internship experience. Highlighting these close to the top of your resume helps prospective employers understand where you've worked in the past, as well as what you've learned from those experiences. 

Here's an example of an internship section:

Content Marketing Intern

Marketing Inc.

New York, NY

June 2023—February 2024 

  • Wrote content for social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter

  • Managed the company's social media accounts, being responsible for the daily updates

  • Created a new content strategy increasing engagement and following and 13%

Extracurricular activities and volunteer experience

If you're a student or recent graduate, you probably have a wealth of extracurricular activities and volunteer experiences that have taught you workplace-applicable skills. Having these on your resume can be very valuable, especially if the extracurriculars or volunteer experiences you've had are directly related to the job you're applying for. 

This is how you should write it to grab the recruiters attention:

Coordinator

Theatre Club

January 2023—June 2023

  • Lead the casting section for new cast members

  • Managed the rehearsal schedule

  • Recruited 15+ new cast members for the club, increasing students and parents attendance in our plays

City Library 

Administrative Volunteer 

New York, NY

January 2023—June 2023

  • Performed administrative tasks, such as answering associate's emails and phone calls, scheduling poetry readings events, and sorting documents

  • Learned and developed data entry skills by being the sole responsible for keeping track of lent and returned books

Special interests

While you don't need to have this section, some people choose to include special interests on their resumes. You might choose to list an interest in sailing, for example, or professional clubs and associations, sports, art, music, or travel. Including this information can add some personality to it and help recruiters evaluate your cultural fit for an organization.

Formatting tips for a no-experience resume:

While you're writing your resume, it behooves you to keep a few tips in mind to ensure that you're putting your best foot forward. Following these three simple tips will help maximize your resume's odds of success.

1. Keep your formatting clean and your organization clear

With the huge number of resumes that come in for many jobs, no one has the time to puzzle through a confusing, poorly organized resume. Be sure that your resume is easy to skim and concise. 

2. Check spelling, grammar and punctuation

Since it's the first impression you're giving a prospective employer, it's incredibly important to ensure that your resume is perfect. Misspelled words, stray or missing commas and poor grammar will stick out in a single page document—and could cost you your dream job.

3. Customize your resume for each job you apply to

Taking a few minutes to customize your resume for each job you apply to can help you reap huge rewards. Tailoring your resume and cover letter, if you're writing one, to different jobs' keywords, responsibilities and requirements is much more effective than sending the same generic resume out to every single employer.

Don’t forget to include relevant keywords

Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to store, scan and rank job applications. These systems have become increasingly common, even at smaller companies; they were originally used almost exclusively by big corporations with massive numbers of applicants, but have made their way into the mainstream in recent years. So it's very important to ensure that your resume has the right keywords to get picked up by the ATS.

To figure out what keywords you want to include in your resume, review the job descriptions for the roles you're applying for to look for common words, phrases and competencies (both soft and hard skills) that employers are looking for. Those words should be included somewhere in your resume because the ATS will look for them to help find applicants who have the right skills for the job.  

Your summary statement is a great place to include ATS-optimized keywords. You can use those sentences to present yourself as an applicant with the right skills, experiences, and competencies and ensure the ATS recognizes that in your resume. 

Example of keywords use on a resume with no experience:

Let's say the job description of the role you're applying for emphasizes the need for customer service skills and clear communication by phone and email to process information related to health insurance plans. Here's how you could use these clues in your summary section:

SUMMARY

Highly motivated and outgoing college graduate, eager to leverage my customer service skills and clear communication abilities in a customer service representative role at CS Company. I'm used to handling communications over the phone and email, as well as processing and reporting complex information.

Resume with no experience: Examples

OK, you know the basics of what to put on a resume with no experience. Now, let's put it all together and see how it should look. Below, you'll find two samples: the first one is for someone applying for a customer service job, and the second one is for a marketing internship candidate.

#1 No-experience resume for first job

ANNE SMITH

[email protected] | 555-123-4567 | linkedin.com/annesmith

Motivated and outgoing high school graduate. Excited to use my communication skills and problem-solving abilities as a customer service representative at XYZ Company. I'm used to handling communications over the phone and email, as well as interacting with the public.

EDUCATION

Boston City High School 

Boston, Massachusetts

Graduation date: January 2024

GPA: 3.8

Relevant coursework: Communication Skills, Business Management

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

City Library 

Administrative Volunteer 

Boston, Massachusetts

January 2023—December 2023

  • Performed customer service tasks, such as answering associate's questions and information requisitions via emails and phone calls

  • Scheduled poetry readings events and welcomed 50+ participants in one year

  • Learned and developed data entry skills by being the sole responsible for keeping track of lent and returned books

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY

Coordinator

Book Club

January 2022—January 2023

  • Handled the club's communication with students via email and social media

  • Used problem solving skills to negotiate the use of the theater room for meetings

RELEVANT SKILLS

Email management, Phone etiquette, Communication, Public speaking, Conflict resolution

#2 Resume for internship with no experience

HANNAH HARRIS

[email protected] | 555-123-4567 | linkedin.com/hannahharris

Creative and motivated marketing graduate looking for a content marketing entry level position at Marketing Inc. My goal is to leverage my creative writing skills and storytelling to help the company achieve its content marketing goals.

EDUCATION

BA of Marketing

New York University, New York, NY

Expected graduation date: June 2024

GPA: 3.8

INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

Content Marketing Intern

Marketing Associates

New York, NY

January 2023—December 2023 

  • Wrote content for social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter

  • Managed the company's social media accounts, being responsible for the daily updates

  • Created a new content strategy increasing engagement and following in 13%

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

City Library 

Marketing Volunteer

New York, NY

June 2022—January 2023

  • Managed the library's social media and email accounts

  • Developed creative communication strategies, increasing engagement in 10%

  • Handled the poetry readings, capturing and editing videos to promote the event, increasing participation in 12%

SKILLS

Social media management, Content creation, Creative writing, Storytelling, Video editing

Key takeaways

To craft the perfect resume with no work experience, make the most of your internship, extracurricular, and/or volunteer experiences to highlight your strengths. Don't forget to include some relevant skills for the role you're applying for, incorporating keywords from the job description.

As always, be sure to spell and grammar check your resume before hitting send. Typo errors can leave a negative impression and hurt your chances of landing an interview. Keep your resume clear and straightforward to avoid any confusion or readability issues.

Why women love us:

  • Daily articles on career topics
  • Jobs at companies dedicated to hiring more women
  • Advice and support from an authentic community
  • Events that help you level up in your career
  • Free membership, always