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Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience

16 min read · Updated on February 13, 2024

Ronda Suder

No work experience? No problem.

The ol' catch-22: you need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. Either way, you need a resume, and what you don't need is to panic. 

Just because you don't have skills that are relevant to the job, or experience in a traditional work setting, doesn't mean you can't craft a convincing first job resume. Whether you're a high school or college student, you may be wondering: how do you write a resume with no work experience? Well, we'll tell you with these expert tips.

1. Choose the best format for a resume with no experience

There are a few dominant resume templates in use today:

Chronological

Hybrid - a blend of the chronological and functional formats

A  chronological resume format  lists a candidate's work experience in reverse-chronological order and a functional resume format focuses on highlighting the candidate's hard and soft skills and achievements, rather than work experience. While the functional and hybrid resume formats can be attractive options for job seekers with little relevant experience, most employers and hiring managers prefer a chronological format.

Aside from hiring managers preferring it, it's best to use a reverse chronological resume for two additional reasons:

It's the most used format in the US, making it easy for hiring managers to review and find the information they're seeking

It's the most liked by employers' applicant tracking systems, or ATS. If an ATS can't read your resume properly, it might not get into the hands of a human reader - even if you're the perfect candidate for the job

The primary sections of a reverse chronological resume are:

The heading (with your contact information)

Resume summary

Work experience (which will be substituted with other sections when you have no work experience)

Education 

2. Incorporate your contact information 

Now that you've chosen the best format for a resume with no experience, it's time to complete each section. The first section of your resume is the header section. This is the section that includes your name and contact information. In this section, you'll provide:

Phone number

Email address

Location and zip code

LinkedIn  or professional website URL (optional)

Your name should sit above your contact information in a larger font size than the rest of the information included in the header. You also want to ensure you use a professional sounding email address. Using something like “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” will likely come across as unprofessional and won't gain you any points for the “yes” pile. A good choice is to use your name (or a combination of your initials and surname), instead. 

Here's an example of how to list your contact information at the top of your resume:

Joseph Smith

555.555.5555 | [email protected] | WV 26250 | linkedin.com/in/jsmith28

3. Include a strong summary statement

The next section of your resume, your Resume Summary, will fall just below your contact information. Your resume summary is not to be mistaken for a resume objective. 

Resume objective statements , where you state exactly what career goals you wish to achieve, have mostly fallen out of fashion. This is largely because you want to focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you. A resume summary statement, on the other hand, sums up who you are professionally at the top of the page in two to five sentences and serves as the first impression you give a hiring manager to entice them to keep reading. 

For a resume with no experience, your resume summary can still pack a punch. Include some of the key skills you have relevant to the job, while emphasizing your major and any type of experience that speaks to your ability to succeed.

Here's an example of a resume summary for a recent grad with a human resources degree:

Human resources graduate with diverse knowledge base in employee relations, benefits design, employment law, and policy design. Avid learner with solid written and verbal communication skills and a strong desire to support all levels within an organization for improved employee morale and productive collaboration. 

4. Substitute the Work Experience section with other types of experience

Writing a resume with no experience can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, recruiters and hiring managers are seeking candidates that have a robust background, regardless of experience level. Here are some sections you can substitute in lieu of a Work Experience section:

Internships

Graduate assistantships, extracurricular activities.

Volunteer Work

Hobbies and Interests

When you include these additional types of experiences on a resume, you can include them as a standalone section or create a “Relevant Experience” section. Depending on the type of experience you're including, you might find it's best to use a section heading that aligns with the type of experience (“Internships” for internships, “Volunteer Work,” for volunteer work, and so on). 

Landing paid or unpaid college internships  are one of the best weapons you have against "experience required." Not only do they give you some real-world work experience, they also allow you to network and make connections that can put you in a job later. When applying for a job without experience, be sure to list any internships you've completed. 

If you haven't had an internship, consider applying for one as a step before an entry-level job.

Here's an example of how to include an internship on your resume:

Finance Intern

New York Secretary of State Office, New York, NY

Jan 2021 - May 2021

Reconciled budget sheets for quarterly processing

Supported accounting team in year end tax return audits 

Analyzed 15 budget reports over a two-month period to ensure accurate data reporting 

Similar to internships, a graduate assistantship secured during school is also a great way to gain valuable experience to include on a resume. Graduate assistantships are paid opportunities provided to graduate students. They typically involve part-time teaching or research within their field of study. 

Here's an example of how to include an assistantship on your resume:

HR Graduate Assistant

West Virginia University School of Business and Economics, Morgantown, WV

August 2020 - May 2021

Reviewed 100 collective bargaining agreements to identify and document similarities and inconsistencies throughout

Worked with academic Professors to develop research guidelines for future assistants

Volunteer work

When surveyed, the majority of employers say that they take  volunteer experience listed on your resume , such as being a soup kitchen volunteer, into consideration alongside paid work experience. So any volunteer work that highlights your talents or a new skill should be put on your well-prepared resume. 

You'll list volunteer work in a similar way to how you would list internships and actual work experience:

Animal Transport Volunteer

Friends for Life Animal Shelter, Philippi, VA

April 2022 - Present 

Working with local shelters to transport animals to and from shelters and foster homes

Assisting in cleaning kennels and common areas to support sanitation efforts

Spearheading animal supply drive, collecting $10K worth of supplies

Though it might not seem like it at first, extracurricular activities can add a lot of value to your resume in lieu of work experience, if you can relate them to the job you're applying to. For example, if you were an officer for a club during college or a captain of a sports team, these roles speak to leadership ability. 

In general, these types of activities show you have the ability to collaborate with others. It also shows you have the ability to keep up with school work while being involved in other areas outside of school, which speaks to time management and organizational skills. 

Here are some of the top extracurricular activities to include on a resume with no experience, as well of some of the skills they help to highlight:

Artistic endeavors: speaks to creativity, problem solving, perseverance, ability to learn 

Sports: speaks to teamwork, collaboration, hard work, problem solving, conflict resolution

Club leadership roles: speaks to leadership, organization, perseverance, time management

General club membership: speaks to time management, community involvement, prioritizing

Student government: speaks to leadership, public speaking, time management, problem solving, organization

Here's an example of how to list extracurricular activities on a resume with no experience:

Student Council Vice PresidentBelington High SchoolAugust 2020 - May 2021

Spearheaded clothing drive to support the homeless in the state of Virginia

Wrote and delivered 3 speeches to the student body focused on student wellbeing, fundraising events, and life beyond high school

Special Projects

If you completed job-related projects during high school or college, they can be a valuable addition to your resume. Personal projects are also game for a resume with no experience, if they're relevant to the job. 

Here's how you might list a personal project on your resume:

Social Media Campaign

Sparkle and Shine Fundraising Event

February 2022 - Mar 2024

Created social media campaign to support fundraising efforts for local children's shelter, supporting education in underprivileged youth

Increased followers by 25% in two months

Generated leads that converted to $3,000 in donations

Here's how you might list school projects on your resume:

Beaumont University

Masters in Counseling and Development

Career counseling planning design for women with chronic fatigue syndrome

Group counseling proposal for friends and family members of those who have mental health challenges

Behavioral health program design to work with males ages 18 to 30 with adverse childhood experiences

Hobbies and interests

It's more common today than ever before to include hobbies and interests on a resume - they help to provide insights into who you are as a person, to enhance your resume story. Hobbies and interests require soft and hard skills, many of which are required to succeed on the job, and they can especially be useful to fill in gaps when you lack work experience.  

For additional information on how to list hobbies and interests on your resume with no experience, refer to “ How to List Hobbies and Interests on a Resume (With Examples) .”

An award can signal to an employer to take note, since they're a distinction that speaks to your skills, abilities, and accomplishments. Adding an Awards section is an excellent way to showcase your ability to succeed in lieu of work experience. 

When you list an award, include the award and issuing institution. For example:

2023 Science Olympiad Award recipient, Science Olympiad Foundation

Certifications

Acquiring certifications provides an excellent opportunity to add value and fill in gaps in terms of skills and work experience. There are a lot of opportunities to secure certifications for free through sites like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and  Grow with Google . Certifications not only highlight your skills but also show that you're focused on personal and professional development, which employers appreciate in candidates.  

You can list certifications in a standalone Certifications list or with your Education section. For more information on how to best include certifications on a resume with no experience, refer to “ How to List Certifications on a Resume (with examples) .” 

5. Include your education 

When you have work experience, it's common to include your Education section after your Work Experience section. However, on a resume with no experience, many opt to list and emphasize their education after the resume summary. This is largely due to the fact that your education is what's most relevant to employers when you're straight out of school. 

Also, in lieu of a Work Experience section, especially if you're running thin on any of the relevant experience options listed above, you can expand and focus on the  education section on your resume  to highlight the marketable skills you've developed. What can you do well that this job requires? What will be useful to the hiring company? What have you done in school and what have you studied that has prepared you for assuming this job?

This is generally a little easier if you're a college graduate with specialized education, but even a high school graduate can talk about their electives and relevant coursework, why they wanted to take them, and what they learned from the class. It's also acceptable to include any awards, scholarships, honors, or any student clubs and committees you participated in. For example, if you were on the Dean's list, include it. 

Many also wonder if they should include their GPA on their resume. The short answer is yes, if it's 3.5 or higher. This level of achievement highlights your potential and the hard work you're willing to put in for success. 

Here's the order to list items in your Education section, with items 5 to 8 being optional:

Degree issued

Issuing institution

City and state of institution 

Graduation date (or expected graduation date, if in progress)

Relevant coursework

Student committees

Here's how your education might look laid out on your resume:

Bachelors of Science - Psychology (3.5 GPA, magna cum laude)Maryland State University

Relevant coursework: human growth and development, assessment, treatment planning, abnormal behavior

6. Emphasize your skills

Even when you don't have actual work experience, you have definitely acquired skills to support you on the job, which can set you apart from the competition. Be sure to highlight both hard and soft skills on your resume. You can do this by including a Skills section near the end, or by adding a Core Competencies section just below your Resume Summary. 

You also might be wondering what the difference is between hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical skills that are measurable and learned. Softs skills are tangible skills that are difficult to measure. 

Examples of valuable hard skills on a resume include:

Mathematics

Computer skills

Data analysis

Project management

Social media

Language skills

Here are some common soft skills employers seek in their employees:

Communication

Problem solving

Organization

Interpersonal skills

Time management

Working well under stress

7. Add a cover letter

Even if one isn't required, it's generally a good idea to send a short cover letter along with your resume. Cover letters are where your personality comes out and you can use them to make the case for why you're the perfect candidate for this job. 

A standout cover letter can convince an employer to bring you in for an interview, even if your resume itself doesn't have all the things they'd like to see. Your cover letter provides you with the opportunity to show a bit of personality and express why you're interested in the job, as well. Be sure your cover letter uses the same font and style as your resume, for consistency. 

Elements you should never include on a resume

While there are many elements you should consider adding to your resume, career experts say there are a few things you should never include because they waste space, don't tell the employer anything relevant, or could damage your personal brand. This list includes, but is not limited to: 

Employment references

Writing samples

Photos  of yourself

Do not add this information to your resume unless an employer or recruiter asks you to provide it. 

Additional tips for a resume with no work experience 

As you develop your resume with no experience, here are a few more tips to consider. 

Take stock of your achievements and activities

Make a list of absolutely everything you've done that might be useful on a resume. From this list, you'll then need to narrow down what to actually include on your resume. Different things might be relevant to different jobs you apply for, so keep a full list and pick the most relevant things from it to include on your resume when you send it out. This will help you to identify which sections to include in lieu of work experience.

Pay attention to technical details

When editing your resume, make sure there are no punctuation, grammatical, spelling, or other errors that will make your resume look unprofessional. Then, have a friend or family member read it again to catch any mistakes you might have missed — you can't afford a typo or missing word as a candidate with no prior work experience. Also, be sure to vary your language and use action verbs throughout your resume to keep your reader engaged.

Keywords, keywords, keywords!

Most employers use some form of  applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan and sort resumes . This may seem unfair, but it's the reality of modern-day hiring. To combat this, you'll want to come up with, and include, a list of keywords in your resume when applying for any job. The best place to  find these keywords  is in the job post itself, or in ads for similar jobs. One caveat: don't use meaningless "buzzwords," such as "go-getter," "team player," and “detail-oriented." Unfortunately, sometimes these buzzwords are the only keywords listed in the ad. If that's the case, you'll need to sneak them in alongside your detailed accomplishments and academic achievements.

Customize your resume for each job you apply to

The last and most important thing to remember when creating a good resume is to  customize it for every job to which you apply . Different job postings are going to have different keywords, different job duties listed, and so on. Appealing to each individual employer's needs and job requirements is the best strategy for getting your application noticed and hopefully landing your first job.

Relevant experience goes beyond work experience

At the end of the day, the only perfect resume is the one that gets you the interview. Regardless of whether you have work experience or not, it's still possible to stand out by highlighting other types of experience that relate to the role. 

Even once you're comfortably employed, be prepared to tweak and update your resume to get noticed with each job application you submit. In the meantime, use any type of relevant experience to help you shine and land an interview. Sooner or later, you'll land that job - and gain that much-coveted relevant work experience.

Tackling this kind of resume isn't easy. If you've recently graduated or are in an entry-level job search, a  professional resume writer  can prepare you for success.

This blog was originally written by Riya Sand and has been updated by Ronda Suder. 

Recommended reading:

5 Things You Should Always Include on Your Resume

Should You Include Social Media on Your Resume?

How to Be a Great Candidate Even If You're Under-Qualified for the Job

Related Articles:

How to Maximize Your Resume Action Words to Wow the Employer

Is Your Resume Inspirational? If Not, Here's How to Fix It

7 Ways You Try Too Hard in Job Applications

See how your resume stacks up.

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How to Write An Effective Resume With No Work Experience (with Templates and Examples)

A recruiter-backed guide to writing an effective resume if you don't have enough (or any) work experience - with downloadable templates and examples.

2 years ago   •   13 min read

Navigating the job market without professional experience can seem daunting, but you can still write a competitive resume with no work experience. The key is to present the experience you do have, and show a recruiter why it’s relevant to them.

Remember, a lack of work experience doesn't mean a lack of skills or potential. Unpaid roles, student activities, internships, personal projects, and volunteer work can all provide substance for your resume, showing your potential to employers and highlighting your transferable skills.

In this guide, we'll take you through crafting a compelling resume without formal work experience, covering how to quantify your skills, focus on education, and fill your resume with competitive keywords.

How to write a resume with no work experience

If you're writing your resume but lack enough (or any) professional work experience, here's a quick step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Include any internships, extracurricular activities , freelance, and volunteer work to supplement your experience.
  • List your education section at the top of your resume.
  • Use numbers and metrics to quantify your skills and explain how your experience is relevant, even if it's in a different field.
  • Include a skills list of relevant keywords and competitive skills.
  • Include in-progress education, training and qualifications relevant to your desired field, and consider enrolling in online courses that match the job description.
  • Write a resume summary to highlight transferable skills and career goals.
  • Stick with a standard reverse chronological resume format. (Not sure what that means? Don’t worry; we'll explain below.)
  • Run your resume through a free online resume checker for personalized advice on targeting your resume to your application.

Remember, just because you lack paid work experience doesn’t mean you lack skills! All you need to do is learn how to highlight those skills in a way that will grab a recruiter's attention. Here is an example of how you can create a well-rounded resume with limited paid experience:

Resume template if you don't have enough experience

Top tips for creating a resume if you have no work experience

Here are 8 top tips for creating a professional-quality resume, despite having little to no work experience.

Highlight transferable experience

The experiences you highlight on your resume should be relevant and tailored to the job you are applying for, but that doesn’t mean they need to be in the same industry. Many skills are transferable between jobs and industries; these are the ones you want to highlight.

Look carefully at the job description and consider what you’ve done previously that demonstrates those skills. Recruiters look for transferrable technical skills, as well as soft skills, so demonstrate these through any experience on your resume, paid or non-paid.

Focus on accomplishments

Once you have decided what experience to include on your resume (more on that in our sections below), remember to talk about your accomplishments , not your job duties. “Responsible for closing the store every night” is a duty — it tells recruiters what you were asked to do, but not what you actually did or how you’re likely to perform in the job you’re applying for. Narrow down the accomplishments most relevant to the skills listed in the job description and focus on those.

Include a resume summary

Adding this optional section at the top of your resume can benefit those with limited or no work experience. A resume summary outlines your essential skills, experience, and noteworthy accomplishments to highlight why you're a good fit for the job.

Use the job title of the job you're applying for, regardless of your past experience, and list 2-3 key skills that match the job description. Mention if you have relevant background experience in that field, paid or not, and highlight any standout accomplishments.

For example:

image.png

Quantify your accomplishments and skills

Including numbers and metrics can help any experience look more impressive. This is known as quantifying your resume ; start with an action verb and include a metric or result that demonstrates your achievement.

If you’re having trouble coming up with metrics, here are some questions to consider:

  • How many people have you worked with? Instead of saying that you worked in a team, specify the size of the team.
  • How many people attended an event you organized? If it was for charity, how much money did you raise?
  • How many customers did you serve on an average day? How many sales did you make?

Here is an example of how to quantify a previous job on your resume:

Including numbers and metrics is the best way to make your accomplishments stand out on a resume.

Use the right keywords

Most resumes nowadays go through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) , automated programs that scan your resume for certain keywords. This means you have to include the right words on your resume to make it past the filter.

Search our list of top resume skills and keywords to get an idea of the specific skills hiring managers are looking for. Being a match for the essential skills the job requires is much more important than having the perfect background or experience!

Keep your formatting simple

You don’t need a fancy-looking resume to impress. In fact, going overboard with creative elements like downloaded fonts, colors, and images can actually do more harm than good. Stick with an easy-to-read font, clear section titles, and standard one or two-column format, or download a free resume template that does the work for you.

Use reverse chronological format

Reverse chronological format simply means that your most recent experience and qualifications are listed first. This is the most common format for modern resumes and is what most hiring managers are expecting. That applies to work experience, but also to your education, projects, and extracurricular activities.

Use a cover letter

You can get ahead of most other applicants simply by writing a cover letter . A cover letter is a great opportunity to talk about why you’re interested in the job and what you would bring to the table, which, when you lack traditional work experience, may not always be obvious from your resume alone.

Pro-tip: Choosing the right examples

If you’re not sure if you have chosen the right examples of your skills for your resume, upload it to the tool below to get a detailed review of your resume and personalized suggestions on how you can improve your word choice, brevity, impact and style, and if there are any critical keywords missing from your resume.

Professional resume template with no work experience

If you have little to no work experience, you can still write an effective resume with only unpaid experience (internships, online training, volunteer work, etc.) by highlighting your most impressive and quantifiable accomplishments, and accomplishments that showcase transferable skills.Here is a professional resume template you can use to improve your existing resume or build one from scratch. You can download this template and more from our resume templates page.

Resume with no work experience with a focus on extracurricular activities

Pro tip: For students writing their first resume

As a student or recent graduate, you will likely have limited or no experience to fill your resume. But don’t worry. This template is also for you!

Notice how this template lists extracurricular, volunteering and personal experiences as 'Leadership and Work Experience', and the resume starts with an Education section. This is a good approach to take if you're a student just getting started in your career.

You can download this template for free here .

Writing a resume for a career change with no previous experience

Making a career shift without prior experience in your proposed field can seem daunting, but it's not impossible. Just like the template above, your resume should focus on transferable skills and competencies that could apply to your desired role and highlight relevant training and certificates. The goal is to convince potential employers that while you may lack direct experience, you have the aptitude and enthusiasm to excel in this new career path.

For more information, read this article on updating your resume for a career change in 2024 .

Pro tip: Gaining industry-specific knowledge

Although you may not have direct experience in your new field, showing that you have done your homework about the industry can go a long way. This could include enrolling in online training, such as Google Career Certificates or Coursera online courses, attending seminars or workshops, or self-study. Make sure to mention these in your education or training section to show your initiative and commitment to learning about the new field.

How to write each section of your resume when you have no previous experience

There are important key sections that should be part of every resume, such as education and qualifications, work experience, hard skills and a resume summary. But don’t worry if you don’t think you have anything to write.

Below, we will explain how to tackle each section of your resume if you have little to no work experience, including formatting options, what to include and the best way to showcase your skills.

Education and qualifications

If you’re new to the workforce or are changing careers, your education and training are likely the most recent and most relevant experience you have. That means you can list your education section at the top of your resume, which takes some of the focus away from a limited work history.

Capitalize on this by elaborating on your academic achievements. Anything from relevant coursework to study abroad can be listed in your education section.

If you're a current student or recent graduate

If you’re a current student or recent graduate, you can also list your education section at the top of your resume above your work experience. The more recently you graduated, the more detailed you can make this section.

Include the name and location of your school, university or college, your field of study and your graduation date (or expected date if you’re yet to graduate). You can also include relevant honors or awards, and significant coursework.

Here is an example of how this would look on your resume, using the template above:

image.png

If you didn’t complete your degree

If you didn’t complete your degree , that’s not a problem. You should still list an unfinished degree on your resume a) if it's relevant, or b) until you have more work experience.

Include the name and location of your university, the field of your degree and the dates you attended school. You can also include the number of course hours completed.

Work experience

This is the dreaded section for most people. How are you supposed to write a work experience section when you don’t have any previous paid experience? You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience!

The most important thing to remember is that experience doesn’t need to be formal or paid to be considered experience. Work experience can include volunteering, freelance work, internships, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, or personal projects. These all demonstrate transferable skills that hiring managers are looking for.

Internships

Internships and student placements are ideal experiences for your resume since they’re still professional settings. You can list internships under your experience section, especially if you don’t have other paid experience.

Include the name of the company, the dates of employment and your specific job title, and list your experience in 3-6 bullet points describing your duties or accomplishments.

Example of how to list internships on your resume if you have no work experience.

Volunteer work

Volunteer work is another excellent substitute for paid experience. Just like an internship, volunteering can be listed in your experience section or a separate volunteer work section .

Include the organization's name, the dates you volunteered and your role within the company. List 1-2 accomplishments in bullet point format, and include accomplishments to demonstrate your skills.

Example of how to use volunteer experience on a resume with no work experience.

Extracurricular activities and projects

Extracurricular activities or personal projects are great ways to demonstrate relevant skills, especially when you don't have traditional paid experience. Both can showcase leadership , teamwork , or other valuable attributes, even if they are not specifically relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Think about the skills you demonstrated in your activities and frame those skills as accomplishments. List the name of the activity or project, your role, and then 1-2 bullet points detailing your accomplishments. Remember to start each point with a strong action verb and highlight your essential skills and achievements.

For an extracurricular activity, your entry might look something like this:

Example of how to write a resume with little to no work experience

For personal or community projects, ensure to include the focus of the project and your specific role. Here's an example:

Example of how to list projects on a resume with no work experience.

Freelance work

If you’re still struggling to think of things to include on your resume, consider gaining additional experience by starting up a side project , like running a blog or picking up freelance work .

Include the name of the company you worked for, your role, your date of employment and the projects you completed.

Work experience or no, you should still include a skills section on your resume . This doesn’t mean you need to list every skill you possess, just those most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Look for the skills listed in the job description and list those if you have them. If you’re not sure what skills hiring managers are looking for, you can use Targeted Resume Tool and our skills and keyword finder to look for relevant skills to include.

How to list hard skills

Your skills section should only include hard skills . In other words, things you can prove and quantify, like proficiency with a software program or technical process. Good skills to list could include:

  • Software programs
  • Programming languages
  • Foreign languages
  • Certifications
  • Design skills
  • Data analysis
  • Specific types of writing, like proposal writing or SEO

If you have some experience with a skill but are not yet proficient, you can still include it on your resume. Consider arranging your skills by proficiency to show the skills you are currently improving.

How to show soft skills

Soft skills , like communication , leadership , and initiative , are great skills to have, but simply listing them isn’t going to impress a recruiter. Instead, consider a time you demonstrated those skills and include them in your bullet point accomplishments.

If you’re unsure which skills to include in your skills section, use the tool below to get a list of skills and keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Additional sections

When you’re just starting out, anything that gives hiring managers a better sense of who you are and what you’re capable of could be worth including.

Here are some examples of additional sections you could include on your resume:

  • Certifications and Courses : If you've taken additional courses or certificates that are relevant to the job you're applying for, this is the place to include them. For instance, if you're applying for a digital marketing role, you might list a Google Career Certificate or a course in SEO.
  • Languages : Proficiency in foreign languages can be a significant asset in many roles. Whether you're applying for a job at a multinational company or a position that involves communication with diverse populations, list your language skills here. Ensure to mention your level of proficiency (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or fluent).
  • Professional Associations or Memberships : If you belong to any professional groups or organizations related to your field, mentioning them can demonstrate your commitment to your industry.

Remember, when including additional sections, the qualities or skills you’re trying to highlight should be directly relevant to the job, even if the experience itself isn’t.

Common mistakes to avoid when writing a resume with no experience

When creating a resume with no work experience, it's easy to fall into certain pitfalls. Avoid these common mistakes to write a strong and impactful resume:

Over-inflating your experience

While it's important to highlight your skills and activities, remember to remain honest and genuine. Overinflating your experience can lead to awkward situations during interviews and may raise doubts about your credibility. If you've been involved in student activities or volunteer work, these are great to include, but don't make them sound like full-time professional roles unless they were.

Not tailoring your resume

Many job seekers make the mistake of sending the same generic resume to every job they apply for. Tailor your resume for each specific job posting by highlighting the skills and experiences most relevant to that position. This shows employers you've put thought into how you would fit in the role and makes your application stand out.

Overusing buzzwords or vague language

One of the common pitfalls in resume writing is the use of overused or vague language. Phrases like "hard-working," "team player," and "detail-oriented" are often overused and do not provide concrete evidence of these traits. Instead, demonstrate these skills through specific accomplishments or responsibilities from your past experiences.

Including too much irrelevant information

When writing a resume with limited experience, it can be tempting to include everything you have ever done. While it might be tempting to include all your experiences and accomplishments, it's important to remember that recruiters often have a large number of resumes to go through, so your resume should be as concise as possible.

Only include the experiences and skills that can be related to the job you are applying for, and leave out information that does not directly support your candidacy for the specific role.

Forgetting to proofread

This may seem minor, but a resume riddled with spelling and grammatical errors can create a negative impression. Always proofread your resume multiple times, and consider having someone else look it over too.

Is it worth applying for jobs that require experience even if I don't have any?

Yes, it's always worth applying for jobs that require experience, even if you don't have any. Job requirements are often a ‘wishlist’ from employers, and not having every requirement doesn't disqualify you. It's more about how you can convey your transferable skills, whether it's from your education, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities.

Are there any potential red flags to employers if a resume has no paid work experience?

While a resume with no paid work experience may initially raise questions for employers, it's not an insurmountable hurdle. The key is in how you present your other experiences and skills. Employers understand that everyone starts somewhere, and they are more interested in your potential, adaptability, and willingness to learn.

How should I handle gaps in my resume due to a lack of work experience?

When you have little to no work experience, it's normal to have gaps in your resume . Instead of worrying about these gaps, focus on activities you undertook during these periods. You can include volunteer work, courses, personal projects, or relevant hobbies.

If the gap is due to education or training, that information should be clearly stated in your education section. Remember, employers are more interested in seeing a continuous journey of learning and development rather than a timeline filled solely with traditional employment.

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First Resume With No Work Experience Example

What to include on a resume when you don't have work experience

resume for no experience template

Writing Your First Resume

What to include in your resume.

  • Tips Preparing Your First Resume

Resume Template and Example

More resume examples and templates.

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Writing your first-ever resume can be a challenge. How do you sell yourself to an employer when you’re a student who doesn’t have any experience in your targeted field?

When writing your first resume with no formal work experience, it's appropriate to include casual jobs like babysitting, pet sitting, lawn mowing, and shoveling snow. You can also include volunteering, internships, and school and community activities.

All experience counts, and the best way you present yourself, your skills, and your assets to a hiring manager is to provide them with a strong resume that showcases your own unique talents.

Here's how to write your first resume, what to include, how to show employers the skills you have, a sample resume to review, and a template you can use to get started writing your resume.

To get started, review information on the  different parts of a resume  and what is included in each element. It's a good idea to review high school resume examples to get an idea of what is appropriate. Even if you've never held a formal job, you still have important life experience that's applicable to the job search.

Don't forget to look at volunteer work, civic groups, and youth organizations (for example, the Scouts or 4-H). The skills you have developed doing these things have given you valuable experience that will impress employers.

The bottom line is that you actually have a lot more experience than you think you have.

Writing your first resume  can seem intimidating, but if you take it step-by-step, you will be able to put together a document that will highlight your abilities and show the hiring manager that you’re worth calling for an interview.

Start by mining your life experience and academic achievements to show that you'll be an asset to the company, despite the fact that you don't have any related job titles to show off at this stage in your career.

For your first resume, take the soft skills (also known as “people skills”) you have and show how they translate into success where you choose to apply them. Include volunteer experience, school achievements, sports, clubs, and organizations you belong to.

Scan the job descriptions for the positions to which you're applying. Look for keywords that indicate what the hiring manager values in a candidate.

For example, the job listing might say, "Successful candidate will be a self-starter who delivers on time and on budget." In that case, despite the fact that you don't have relevant work experience in the same field, you can get the hiring manager's attention by being sure to include (and emphasize) projects that you've successfully led, such as high school clubs in which you held a leadership role that required you to manage both your time and the team's money.

Other “ people skills ” that employers often seek in entry-level job applicants include traits like dependability, good communication and organizational skills, a solid work ethic, and teamwork.

If you start with the job listings instead of with the blank page, the hiring manager's keywords will guide you, and help you focus on which of your academic or after-school experiences have prepared you for this first step in your career.

Once you've compiled a list of what you need in your resume, it should include:

  • Contact information
  • Experience (casual work, volunteering, clubs, youth organizations, teams)
  • Skills (related to the job)
  • Awards and Achievements (academic and extracurricular)

Tips Preparing Your​​ First Resume

  • Don't lie.  No matter how tempting it might be to stretch the truth, lying on your resume is always a bad idea. You might make it through this round of interviews and even get the job, but you won't be able to deliver on the promises your resume offered. Plus, you'll probably be caught—and fired.
  • Don't pad.  You don't need to include the line "references upon request," or personal information beyond your contact information, or a bunch of unrelated hobbies. In fact, there's a lot of  stuff you don't need to put on your resume , even when it's your first one.
  • Proofread.  Nothing is less persuasive than a resume full of typos and inconsistencies. Have a trusted friend or family member  proofread your resume  before you submit it.

Download the resume template  (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) to use as a starting point for your own resume.  

Resume Example (Text Version)

Michelle Washington 18 Sunnyside Boulevard Arlington, NY 16543 mwashington@email.com 111.123.1234

EDUCATION Arlington High School, Arlington, NY CLASS OF 2022 (3.9 GPA)

Pet Sitter — Arlington, NY JUNE 2020 - PRESENT

Established and run successful pet sitting business including dog walking, feeding, and yard care. Responsible for obtaining clients, scheduling and attending visits, organizing visits, and maintaining client relationships.

Soup Kitchen Volunteer — Arlington, NY SEPTEMBER 2020 - PRESENT

Act as weekend/holiday volunteer manager at local soup kitchen, scheduling volunteer time slots, managing intake of donated food, and assisting with preparation and distribution of meals on Sundays and holidays including, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Child Care Provider — Arlington, NY JUNE 2018 – JUNE 2020

Provided child care for several families after school, on weekends, and during school vacations.

SKILLS                                                  

Customer service Hospitality Microsoft Office Google Drive

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS

National Honor Society Honor Roll President of high school Volunteer Club MVP, Arlington Varsity softball team

Here are more examples that you can use to get ideas for your own resume:

  • Entry-Level Resume Example
  • High School Student Resume Example
  • High School Student Resume Template

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Computer science resume templates

Cover a lot of territory with an IT resume. Whether you work with big data or crank out code to build and debug apps, these templates give you a flexible layout to talk about academic and personal projects, relevant hobbies and interests, and—most importantly—your measurable impact in the world of information technology.

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Education & student resume templates

If you’re writing an education resume for your next teaching position or you’re on the other side of the classroom searching for a student resume template to highlight class projects, extracurriculars, and volunteer efforts, you’re in the right place. With these resume templates, you can make the sample job description bullet points your own.

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Office administration and support roles are careers not for the faint of heart! Your dedication to boosting workplace efficiency won’t go unnoticed in our best resume templates. With our support, you’ll have a head-turning resume in no time that gets you hired to overhaul organization and communication for the better in your next role.

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Healthcare is one of the most important industries out there, and you selflessly dedicate your time to each job shift. Our popular resume templates will help you save precious time, so you can get back to work faster and to the countless patients who depend on your care, compassion, and expertise.

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You wouldn’t be in the sales industry if you didn’t have trust in your product and believe in its benefit to others. When it comes to convincing hiring managers why they should take a chance on you, let your sales resume market your track record. Choose a sales and marketing resume template that best reflects your style of confidence and charisma.

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When getting the numbers right matters this much, any ol’ resume template won’t pass muster. Our attractive but simple resume templates are a visual dashboard for you to demonstrate an immaculate track record of crunching numbers, giving wise financial advice, and uncovering and correcting discrepancies that pop up from time to time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A job resume is a short, sweet, and to-the-point document that spotlights your professional experience. It’s basically a summary.

Whether you’ve been in the workforce for 15+ years, have no job experience, or are somewhere in between, resumes have been sparking fear and dread in job seekers since approximately 1482 when Leonardo De Vinci drafted what became known as the first resume .

Resumes are what just about any place of employment requests when you apply for a job. Companies—big and small—wanna know:

◉ What skills do you bring to the job? ◉ Do you have relevant work experience for the role? ◉ Do you want to work for them?

A good resume answers those questions—and isn’t so unlike De Vinci’s resume that honed in on how he could meet the specific needs and challenges of the Duke of Milan.

Happy dance! Yes, our BeamJobs templates are absolutely free.

You can download our eight resume templates at no cost in Word and Google Docs formats. Edit BeamJobs-created resume templates for free in our builder. Only pay for premium features if you like what you see (hey, we gotta make a living, too!).

We also update our site from time to time with fresh Google Docs resume templates and Word resume templates , which will always remain free for you.

The best resume template is the one that complements your personality and allows the space you need to highlight your finest work, top achievements, and job skills.

Every resume template you see on this page has been thoroughly vetted by hiring experts to ensure they include everything you need to help you land your next job. Whether you’re applying to a funky tech startup or looking to join the ranks of a reputable law firm, you’ll find a professional resume template that speaks to you.

Hunting for a new job is incredibly stressful as there’s a lot of uncertainty in the process. And while these resume templates won’t alleviate all stress, they’ll ensure your resume has everything you need to sail through an applicant tracking system (ATS) and impress hiring managers.

Try saying “applicant tracking system” 10 times fast, and you’ll know why it got shortened to ATS.

At its core, an applicant tracking system puts the gas on hiring. Typically, when folks think about ATS software, they think about it weeding out resumes that don’t include the right skills or qualifications.

That’s certainly true enough, but the ATS also helps HR and recruiters organize and sort job candidates, keeps track of communication with job seekers, sets up interviews, and does a host of other not-so-fascinating things.

Basically, when you choose an ATS-friendly resume template from BeamJobs, you can rest easy knowing that the document itself will make it through the software.

When it comes to your resume, it will house these staple sections:

◉ Contact info (Triple-check the spelling of your name; see the question about “how to make a resume” for a cringe-worthy BeamJobs blunder.) ◉ Work experience ◉ Skills ◉ Education

Depending on your occupation and years of experience, you could add these optional resume sections:

◉ Resume summary or resume objective ◉ Hobbies and interests ◉ Projects (an umbrella term for things like volunteer experience, academic or personal projects, etc.)

The more relevant job experience you have, the longer the “work experience” section of your resume should be since that’s what employers care about most. On the other hand, when you’ve recently graduated and don’t have much (or any) experience, things like education and projects can take up more real estate on your resume.

Whatever your professional background, our resume maker lets you re-arrange, remove, and add sections as needed to your resume template.

Not to blast our own horns, but we’ve reviewed tens of thousands of resumes in the last few years. Would you believe we’ve actually seen resumes without a name ?! Besides discovering disheartening news like that, we’ve figured out  how to make a good resume .

There are plenty of resume tips we could give you, but here are three that, when followed, will most increase your chances of snagging an interview:

1. Use numbers to showcase your impact in past roles. Your work experience should focus on your measurable accomplishments, not on job responsibilities.

2. Tailor your resume for each job you apply to, which means reading each job description carefully. As you read, see if any prior work projects come to mind. Include those projects on your resume.

3. Avoid grammar and spelling errors. We know, you’ve heard it before. But you’d be aghast (fun word) at the number of folks rejected for a job because of this. (Cough cough We won’t say his real name, but one of our team members whose title rhymes with re-bounder once sent out 20 resumes with his name spelled ‘Stepen.’)

One page—plain and simple.

While you might get away with a two-page resume if you’ve got 10-plus years of experience under your hat, keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers aren’t giving your resume the time of day it deserves anyway.

The most painful part of building a resume is editing yourself. How can your entire career fit into four or five bullet points for each job you’ve had? Here’s some good news: if you’re a senior engineer, it’s totally cool to drop from your resume the server job you had in college.

Even if you whittled the jobs you’d include down to three or four, try starting with a basic  resume outline . Fill it to your heart’s content; then, review every job experience bullet point individually and ask, “Does this point show my expertise and say something new?” If the answer’s no, exclude it. Before you know it, you’ll have a polished one-page resume.

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Status.net

Impressive Resume with No Work Experience (for Students)

By Status.net Editorial Team on November 8, 2023 — 8 minutes to read

  • Key Components of a Professional Resume Part 1
  • Resume Formatting Tips and Tricks Part 2
  • Example Resume for High School Students Part 3
  • Example Resume for College Students Part 4
  • Tailoring Your Resume Part 5

Part 1 Key Components of a Professional Resume

Contact details.

Start your resume by providing your full name, phone number, and email address. This ensures potential employers can easily contact you. A professional email address (for example, [email protected] ) is recommended. Keep your address and other personal details out of your resume.

Career Objective

As someone with no work experience, your career objective should focus on your abilities and motivation to succeed in the position you’re applying for. State your goal and highlight relevant skills you possess. Be genuine about your enthusiasm and commitment to work hard and learn.

Here, you’ll showcase your transferable skills, demonstrating how they’re applicable even without formal work experience. Group your skills into categories (such as communication, technical, and project management) and provide examples of how you acquired and applied those skills in school, extracurricular activities, or personal projects.

Education Details

Outline your educational background, including the school name, degree or diploma obtained, and graduation date. If your GPA is impressive, consider listing it. Describe relevant coursework, projects, and achievements that demonstrate your competence and abilities related to the job you’re applying for.

Volunteer Work

Showcase any volunteer work you’ve done, describing your role, the organization, and the dates when you volunteered. Focus on the tasks you performed and the skills you gained during this time. Volunteering demonstrates your willingness to learn, commitment, and eagerness to contribute to a cause.

Certifications and Training

Lastly, list any relevant certifications, training, or workshops you’ve attended. These demonstrate your dedication to continuous learning and professional development. Public speaking workshops, leadership programs, or certificates in technical skills, for example, can be valuable additions to your resume.

Related: How to Email a Resume to an Employer (Examples)

Part 2 Resume Formatting Tips and Tricks

The importance of consistency.

Consistency is key when formatting your resume. Choose one font and stick with it throughout the entire document. Make sure your headings, subheadings, and body text are all the same size and style. This will give your resume a polished and professional look.

Making Use of Bullet Points

Bullet points are a great way to break up your text and highlight important information. When listing your skills, education, or other relevant information, consider using bullet points to make the content easier to digest. Not only do they help add structure to your resume, but they also draw the reader’s attention to essential details.

Including Action Verbs

Start each bullet point or description in your resume with a strong action verb. This will show potential employers that you are proactive and capable of achieving results. Examples of powerful action verbs include “managed,” “created,” “implemented,” and “optimized.” Using these types of verbs will give your resume a more dynamic and engaging feel.

Limiting Resume to One Page

Keep your resume concise and limit it to one page. This ensures all your relevant information can be easily scanned by hiring managers. Be selective about the information you include, focusing on your most significant achievements and skills that relate to the position you’re applying for. A well-organized, one-page resume is often more impactful than a long, detailed document.

Resume with No Work Experience: Templates and Examples

When creating your resume with no work experience, templates can save you time and help you focus on showcasing your strengths.

Part 3 Example Resume for High School Students

[Your Name] [Contact Information]

Objective : Motivated high school student aiming to apply strong work ethic and teamwork abilities to a part-time retail position.

Education : [High School Name], [City, State] (Expected) Graduation Date: [Month, Year] GPA: [Number]

Skills: – Excellent communication and interpersonal skills – Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) – Detail-oriented and organized – Bilingual (English and Spanish)

Experience:

Volunteer, [Local Organization], [City, State], [Duration] – Assisted with organizing and executing community events – Collaborated with other volunteers to improve team efficiency

Participated in the [School Club/Project], [High School Name] – Contributed to successful projects and events – Enhanced leadership and teamwork abilities

Activities:

– [High School Club], Member – [Sport], Varsity team – [Volunteer Organization], Regular participant

Objective: Motivated high school student seeking a part-time [position] role at [Company Name] where I can apply my strong work ethic and dedication to learning new skills.

  • Expected graduation: [Month Year]
  • GPA: [X.XX/4.0]
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Able to work independently or in a team

Activities & Honors:

  • [Student Club/Organization], [Position/Role], [Year]-[Year]
  • [Community Service/Volunteer Experience], [Organization], [Hours/Date Range]

Remember to fill in your information and customize the template for the job you’re applying for. This example puts emphasis on education and focuses on the skills and activities that showcase your abilities as a high school student with no work experience.

Part 4 Example Resume for College Students

Objective : Driven college student with strong analytical skills seeking a data analysis internship to apply coursework and gain hands-on experience.

Education : [University Name], [City, State] (Expected) Graduation Date: [Month, Year] Degree : [Bachelor’s or Associate’s] in [Major] GPA: [Number] Relevant Coursework: [List relevant courses]

– Proficient in Python, R, and SQL – Strong problem-solving and critical thinking abilities – Excellent written and verbal communication – Familiarity with basic statistical concepts

Experience :

Research Assistant, [University Name], [City, State], [Semester, Year] – Collaborated with a faculty member on a research project – Gathered, organized, and analyzed data using statistical software

Title: [Project name] – Developed a [project description] using [tools or programming languages] – Presented findings at [relevant event or conference]

Extracurricular Activities:

– [University Club], Member – [Volunteer Organization], Regular participant

Objective: Driven college student pursuing a [Major] degree at [University Name] seeking an internship in the [Industry] field to expand my knowledge and gain real-world experience.

  • [Major], Expected graduation: [Month Year]

Relevant Coursework:

  • Proficient in [Programming Language/Software]
  • Strong research and analytical abilities
  • Effective time management skills

Projects & Volunteer Work:

  • Brief description of the project and your role.
  • [Volunteer Opportunity], [Organization], [Hours/Date Range]

Make sure to customize this template, focusing on skills and experiences relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Part 5 Tailoring Your Resume

  • When applying for a specific job, be sure to demonstrate how your strengths, abilities, and past experiences, even if they are not directly related to the job, can benefit the company. Read the job description and requirements thoroughly; carefully study which skills, keywords, or requirements stand out. Then, make sure to integrate them into your resume.
  • For example, suppose the job description emphasizes good communication skills. In that case, you can mention any relevant experience that contributes to your communication skills, such as group projects, being part of a club, or participating in volunteer work where you had to interact with others. Don’t forget to highlight interpersonal skills like teamwork and leadership, as they are often essential in every workplace.
  • When it comes to organizing your resume, consider using functional or combination formats, as these tend to place more emphasis on your skills rather than work experience. At the top of your resume, include a strong objective statement or a summary that highlights your career aspirations and the applicable abilities you possess. Use this statement to communicate your enthusiasm and dedication to potential employers.
  • Using action verbs or phrases can also help bring your resume to life. As you describe your skills, achievements, or educational experiences, consider using words like “achieved,” “managed,” “created,” or “implemented.” These verbs convey a sense of accomplishment and initiative, which will surely impress your potential employer.
  • Lastly, don’t be afraid to showcase your accomplishments outside of traditional work settings. Include any accomplishments that demonstrate your resourcefulness and skills, such as completed projects, awards, or certifications. Make sure to highlight any volunteer work or internships, as these can showcase your dedication and willingness to learn in real-world situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i create an impressive resume without work experience.

To create an impressive resume without work experience, focus on your relevant skills, education, projects, volunteer activities, and personal interests. You can also emphasize your achievements in these areas, showing how they make you a good candidate. Use a clean and professional template that highlights your strengths and keeps the reader engaged.

What should I include in my first resume as a college or high school student?

As a college or high school student, your first resume should include the following sections:

  • Contact Information: Include your full name, phone number, email address, and mailing address.
  • Resume Objective: Write a brief statement about your goals and the value you can bring to a potential employer.
  • Education: List your most recent educational experiences and degrees, and any relevant coursework.
  • Skills: List relevant hard and soft skills you possess, such as computer programming, public speaking, or leadership.
  • Experience: Include any unpaid experiences like internships, volunteer work, or school projects.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Mention clubs, sports, or organizations you participate in and any leadership roles you’ve held.

What skills and achievements can I highlight on my resume without any job history?

To highlight skills and achievements without job history, consider the following:

  • Academic achievements: Include high GPA, academic awards, or being on the honor roll.
  • Volunteer work: List any relevant community service and the impact you had.
  • Projects: Mention school or personal projects that demonstrate your skills and abilities.
  • Certifications: Add any certifications you’ve earned, such as first aid, coding, or foreign languages.
  • Skills: Showcase both hard and soft skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for

What are some tips for writing a resume summary when I don’t have any work experience?

When writing a resume summary without work experience, focus on your skills, education, and other experiences that highlight your strengths and potential to excel in the position. Emphasize your professional attributes like dedication, adaptability, or problem-solving abilities. Tailor your summary to the specific job you’re applying for, incorporating keywords from the job posting. Keep it concise (2-3 sentences) and focused on what you can offer to the employer.

  • How to Write a Resume With No Experience (Examples)
  • List of 21 Important Technical Skills (with Examples)
  • Technical Skills Examples for Resume
  • Resume Summary: Smart Examples
  • Communication Skills: Performance Review Examples (Rating 1 - 5)
  • Can a Resume Be 2 Pages? Common Practices

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Expert Reviews

Oana Vintila

Career Counselor

For over 10 years now, I've been on both sides of the fence, career counseling, and recruitment, and let me tell you, the writer's block hits hard when it comes to drafting your resume.

Novorésumé not only offers you a smart and modern template for you to fill in, but their team has also crafted a winning combo of aesthetics and functionality that will inspire you to apply for the job you thought was out of your league. Give it a try!

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The software also makes it easy to enter your info and handles all of the formatting for you, so you can get your resume ready to send out as quickly as possible. I recommend these templates whether you're a recent graduate or experienced candidate.

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When I consult people on resume writing, the most common question that I am asked it is about the content and what components to add or avoid, when they have less than 5 years of work experience.

On this platform, you not only have access to many options, but you get guidance on what to choose and why. When the work experience is less than 5 years, the other components such as languages, projects, volunteering experiences, hobbies etc, make a huge difference.

Resume Resources

What is a resume.

A resume is a brief summary of personal and professional experiences, skills, and education history. Its main purpose is to show off your best self to potential employers.

When applying for a job, you’re (in most cases) going to be asked for a resume accompanied by a cover letter.

If you manage to create a “good” resume, you’re going to 2x your chances of getting hired . Want to learn how? Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume .

How to Write a Resume for Your First Job?

The process of writing a resume might seem super scary to you. After all, most resume examples you see on the web are 80% about work experience. So, what the heck can you include in your resume if you have none?

Well, here’s some good news. If you’re applying for an entry-level job or an internship, no one expects you to have ANY work experience.

Instead, you should focus on what you DO have: education, projects, volunteering experience, hobbies & interests.

For a complete guide on how to make a resume with no work experience stand out, check out our article.

What to Put on a Resume?

The most common sections on a resume are:

Contact information

Resume summary or objective

Work experience

If you want to personalize your resume a bit more, you can also include the following sections:

Volunteering experience

Hobbies & interests

For more information on how to place these sections on your resume, check out our article on what to put on a resume .

How to Format a Resume?

There are 3 typical resume formats:

Reverse-Chronological Resume

Functional Resume

Combination Resume

In 99% of the cases, you’ll want to go with the Reverse Chronological resume format. That’s the format most resumes you’ve seen follow - its main focus is your work experience, written down in reverse-chronological order.

Unless you’re looking to create a career change resume , we’d recommend sticking with this format.

If you want to learn more about resume formats , check out our comparison guide.

How Long Should a Resume Be?

Ah, the most popular resume question in the world: “how long should your resume be?”

Short answer: one page. If you have a lot of work experience (10 years +), sometimes it makes sense to make it 2 pages MAX if everything you mention is super relevant for the position you’re applying for.

Long answer: check out our guide on how long should a resume be .

P.S. all of our templates are one-page resume templates, so you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble sticking to the one-page limit!

How to Write a Resume Summary?

Your resume summary is a “hook” that goes on top of your resume. Think of it as an introduction to the rest of your resume. It should, in 2-4 sentences, explain what your background is, and why it’s relevant for the position you’re applying for.

Want your resume summary to stand out? Use this proven formula:

“Professional [job title] with X+ years of work experience in [job responsibility] . In the past Y years, I have [your top 1-2 achivements] . Seeking a position of [job title] at [company name] ”

To learn more about how to create a resume summary that excels, check out our guide.

On the other hand, if you’re a student or just don’t have a lot of work experience, read our article on how to create a resume objective instead.

How to List Work Experience on a Resume

Work experience on a resume is one of those things that’s easy to learn, hard to master.

Each work experience entry should contain the following:

Position title

Company name/description/location

Achievements or responsibilities

Dates employed

Now, if you want to create a work experience section that stands out , you want to focus on quantifiable achievements. What this means is, instead of creating an entry like:

“Carried out sales operations”

You list an achievement:

“Hit and exceeded monthly sales KPIs for 5 months in a row.”

This shows the employer that you’re not just a random candidate, you’re an A-player! To learn more about how to list achievements in your work experience (and land the job), check out our article.

How to List Skills on a Resume?

Simply create a ”skills” section on your Novorésumé resume template, and list your top skills. We usually recommend going for a mix of hard and soft skills.

Not sure what skills to include in your resume? Check out these 101 essential skills for any resume .

How to Make a Cover Letter For a Resume?

Every job application asks for a cover letter (in addition to your resume). Here are some of our tips on how to do this right:

Customize your cover letter to the employer. The more personalized it is, the more likely it is for the recruiter to like you

Outline your general background (work experience, profession, etc.) and mention your top 2-3 achievements to show off your skills

If you really want to stand out, create a cover letter that matches your resume template. To do this, you can use one of our cover letter templates here.

If you want to learn more about how to write a convincing cover letter , check out our comprehensive guide.

What is the Best Resume Template?

There’s no such thing as “the best resume template” - every recruiter/employer has their own personal preference. Our general recommendation is to do your research on the company and what their values are.

For example, if you’re applying for a position at a bank, you’d want a more professional resume template. On the other hand, if you want a job in a startup where they value innovation more, you should stick to a creative resume template .

Finally, if you’re still not sure which type of template is right for the job you’re applying for, you can just use a simple resume template just to be safe.

Get Inspired with Our Resume Examples

Resume templates faq, how to make a resume with novorésumé.

Follow these simple steps:

Choose one of our top resume templates above

Follow the tips & tricks built-in our resume builder

Fill in your work history and other experiences

Hit download and start applying to jobs!

What If I Am a Student?

All of our resume samples are student-friendly! If you’re looking for something a bit more tailored, we’d recommend picking the “college resume template”

Or, if you want to learn how to create a convincing student resume , check out our guide.

Are These Resume Templates Free?

Yep, all of the templates listed above are free resume templates.

However, our resume builder comes with a ton of premium features. So if you want to personalize your resume and make it truly yours, you can upgrade!

Who Created These Resume Samples?

At Novorésumé, we put extensive care in creating each resume template.

We interviewed recruiters and analyzed applicant tracking systems to create resume samples that will maximize your chances of getting hired.

Then, our professional graphic designer worked his magic to make the resume samples compelling, well-designed, and easy to read!

Are These Resume Templates ATS-Friendly?

Yes! All Novorésumé resume templates are created with applicant tracking systems in mind.

Keep in mind, though, that using the right template is step #1. You should also optimize your resume content for applicant tracking systems. For more on that, check out our guide to creating an ATS-friendly resume .

Do You Offer One-Page Resume Templates?

Yep. All the templates you see above are one-page resume templates. They are, however, pretty flexible, so if you decide to go for 2 pages, our templates will get the job done!

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Acting No Experience Resume Examples and Templates

Acting is a competitive industry, and breaking into acting when you have no experience is tough. You’ll need an acting resume to get started, but it isn’t easy to create an impressive resume when you don’t have any previous roles. Acting resumes shouldn’t contain any non-acting experience, so you may not have much you can use to fill up a page.

Fortunately, you can still land auditions when you have no acting experience. Everyone has to start from nothing. As long as you follow the standard acting resume format, attach a good headshot, and showcase the right skills, you can have your no-experience acting resume ready in no time.

Film Acting Instructor Resume Sample and Template

What is an acting resume?

An acting resume is a little different from a standard resume. In an acting resume, you list your acting credits and education only. You don’t include dates, job descriptions, or any experience unrelated to acting. You can include roles in film, television, theatre, and very little else.

Further, unlike in most resumes, your picture is one of the most important parts of your acting resume.

With most jobs, you would never include a picture with your application. When you are auditioning for acting roles, however, you won’t even be considered without a professional headshot. Casting directors will check your headshot first, then skim your resume to see previous roles and contact information.

Your specific skills and technical knowledge are not as important as your acting credits, your resume is less important than your headshot, and your headshot is less important than the audition. You still need a resume, but when you start auditioning for parts it’s important to make sure you have a professional headshot and real acting chops if you want to land a role.

How to write an acting resume with no experience

It’s difficult to write an acting resume with no experience, but every movie star had no credits when they first started out. As long as you have a great headshot and you follow the right acting resume format, you have a shot at landing your first role.

Here’s how to write an acting resume when you don’t have experience.

  • 1. Find the right resume template

A great resume template can be a huge boost for your acting resume. Acting is a very visual profession, and you need to show that you have good taste, right from the beginning. An simple but eye-catching resume template will show the hiring manager or casting agent that you have personality, before they even meet you.

Traditionally, acting resume templates are basic in design. The more visual aspects will come from your headshot and, if applicable, demo reel.

At VisualCV, a template like Monte or Monaco would work great for acting resumes with no experience. They allow for simple formatting, tasteful white space, and are easy to keep to one page. You can even customize the text with some subtle colour that enhances the design.

These templates also allow you to include a photo, right on the page. While you will have to attach a separate headshot for most auditions, including an additional picture directly on the resume can be a great way to ensure the casting director doesn’t forget your face, even if your resume is mistakenly separated from your headshot. This is also a great way to fill up space on your resume when you don’t have many credits to your name.

One thing to keep in mind when selecting a template is that your acting resume should not be longer than one page. In some cases, you will have to attach your resume to the back of your standard 8 x 10 headshot, so any additional pages will be ignored. Make sure to choose a template that you can easily edit and customize to fit on a single page.

Once you’ve chosen the right acting resume template, you can get started writing your acting resume.

  • 2. Include your personal details

The first thing you need to include in your acting resume is your contact information. The rest of your resume isn’t worth much if your contact information isn’t correct.

Include your name, phone number, email address, and city of residence.

If you have a professional online profile, you may want to include a link to it in your contact information section as well. A professional website, with your picture, credits, and a demo reel, can make you look like a credible working actor.

If you already have an agent or manager, you can include their contact information as well.

Many casting companies also require you to list your personal physical characteristics. List your height, weight, and eye colour on your resume. If you are underage you can also include your age, but exclude this detail if you are over 18.

In the past, it was common to list hair colour as well, but this is no longer necessary in the age of colour photography. The picture you include with your resume should make it clear what your hair looks like. Your full-size headshot should be attached to the back of your acting resume when you submit it for an audition, but you can also include a smaller one directly on the resume as well. This should help to take up space in your no-experience resume, and it helps ensure your face is closely associated with your resume at all times.

When you include a photograph, make sure it’s a professionally taken headshot that suits the requirements laid out in the casting call. Most casting directors have very specific guidelines about their submission process, so it’s important to get everything right. A selfie or a candid picture from your cousin’s wedding aren’t going to be good enough to include on your resume.

In some jurisdictions, you may also have to include your union membership or guild affiliation, like SAG or ACTRA. Add this to your personal details section.

  • 3. Write an intriguing summary

In an acting resume, a Summary is optional. Your headshot and previous roles are generally the only summary a casting director will be looking for. If you have no experience, however, a brief summary can help capture their attention.

As an actor, you should love to be the centre of attention. Whether you’re up on the stage or starring in commercials, you must be able to thrive when there are lots of eyeballs pointed at you. This is a great asset when writing an acting resume with no experience.

In a resume, your Summary section is your elevator pitch to an employer. It’s where you can quickly list some highlights from your skill set and career to showcase what you are capable of. Located near the top of your resume, your Summary section should be attention-grabbing enough that it convinces the casting director to keep reading.

As an actor with no experience, your resume summary should highlight what will make you perfect for the role. This could mean mentioning your performing arts education, participation in acting workshops or seminars, or your experiences on set in a non-acting capacity.

  • 4. Include any previous roles

Generally, a resume section listing your acting experience is a key part of an acting resume. If you have no acting experience, you may not have much to include in this section, but it’s still important to know the right format.

When listing previous experience, you can choose to list your roles in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent first, or in order of importance. Reverse-chronological resumes are more typical, but if you have one particularly impressive role you’d like to highlight, such as a starring role or experience with a well-respected director, you may want to list that one first so it can’t be missed.

When listing credits, you may want to create separate sections for stage productions, commercials, and television/film.

Listing film and television credits

For your film and television section, use three columns to list your roles. List the name of the production in the first column, the type of role you held in the second, and the production company and director in the third column. You don’t need to list the character name.

Film/Production title | Role type | Production company, director

Voice over roles can also be included. Voice acting is still acting.

Of course, if you have no acting experience, you won’t have roles in professional film or television productions. If this is the case, roles in student films and amateur productions are perfectly acceptable. In fact, acting in unpaid student films or online videos are great ways to gain experience.

Scene work from your acting classes and workshops can also be added here when you have no more substantial roles.

Listing theatre credits

For theatre roles, use three columns to list your roles. List the name of the show in the first column, your role in the second, and the names of the theatre company and director in the third. Here you can include school productions, community theatre productions, and broadway shows, as the case may be. Understudy credits are also acceptable here.

None of your theatre roles should include a date.

Show title | Character name | Theatre company/director

Listing commercial credits

If you have acted in commercials, you may want to include these in your resume as well. For commercials, you can list the ad agency in the first column, the role in the second column, and the production company and director in the third. You do not need to list the product that was being advertised, or the date the commercial was made.

What not to include

When you have no experience, you may not have any roles to list. If you have no roles in theatre, television, film, or commercials, don’t include that section in your resume.

You might be tempted to include your non-acting roles in the film or theatre industry in this resume section if you’ve worked as a member of the crew, but this isn’t necessary. While useful show-business experience, this isn’t acting experience. The Credits section of your resume should only include acting experience. If necessary, you could include a Related Experience section that includes some on-set roles, but only if you really have no acting experience to show.

Experience as an extra or background actor should be left off of your resume as well, unless these are your only roles. Acting in the background of a shot, when you have no lines, does not count as “acting” to a casting director.

Acting resume example: Previous roles

Short Films The Two Sams | Supporting | Toronto Fine Arts College, Samuel Smithe

Theatre A Midsummer Night's Dream | Puck | Theatre Acting Workshop, Toronto Fine Arts College Waiting for Godot | Vladimir (understudy) | Acting Workshop, Toronto Fine Arts College

  • 5. Include your acting training and education

If you are writing an acting resume with no experience, your training and education section is one of the most important parts of your resume. Because you don’t have roles or work experience to showcase, your acting education is an important asset.

Your acting education might include an acting degree from a credentialed arts university. If this is the case, list the school, the name of your degree or diploma, and the dates you studied. In the description of your acting degree, you could include specific classes or specializations that you want to draw attention to. You may also want to note awards, related extracurriculars, or some of the school productions you were involved in. If you studied under a well-known acting professor, you may want to note their name as well.

You can also list individual acting classes, workshops, and seminars, as well as any other acting training you may have completed. While you might not have professional acting experience, your experience in acting school can be an important asset.

Scene Study | Sam Sanders | Scarborough Acting Studio Iprov | Singing Shrimp Improv School BFA, Acting | Toronto Fine Arts College, 2021

  • 6. List your special skills

In an acting resume with no experience, your special skills are integral. Even if you don’t have experience, you might be the right person for a role if you have the right skills.

For an actor, special skills refers to performing abilities, like accents, language proficiency, dialects, musical ability, dancing, or level of fitness. You might not have acting experience, but the ability to speak another language, do a backflip, or sing classic broadway songs might be an asset for the specific role.

When listing your special skills, make sure they are all things you can do right on the spot. Don’t say you can imitate a Boston accent or do a handstand if you won’t be able to do it on demand, in the middle of an audition. Your special skills can be what get you a role, and failing to back up your claims can be what gets you rejected.

Special Skills

  • Fluent in French
  • Costume construction and cosplay
  • 7. Consider optional sections

Once you’ve included all of the mandatory sections in your acting resume, you can consider some additional sections to fill out the page.

Experienced actors might include an Awards section, if they have received any accolades or recognition for their acting work. Even if you have no experience, you might have some awards from your acting school, student film festivals, or community theatre participation that you can include in this section.

You may also want to include a References section. This is rare, and most experienced actors will not include references, but if you have no experience and you still have space to fill on your one-page resume, including a short list of references is acceptable.

  • 8. Attach your headshot

While all of the above is important, at the end of the day, you aren’t going to be cast if you aren’t right for the part, and casting directors won’t know if you’re right for the part if you don’t have a headshot. Make sure you have a professionally taken headshot that clearly shows your face. Traditionally, headshots are 8x10 inches, and stapled to the back of your resume in the top two corners. This makes it easy for casting directors to reference after you have auditioned.

In many ways, the headshot is actually more important than the resume. Casting directors are usually hunting for someone in the right demographic with the right look, so if you don’t fit the description, they won’t even read your resume.

If you have a demo reel, you may want to include this with your resume as well. Filmed evidence of your acting skills are a major asset, and is likely more impressive than your resume.

  • 9. Customize your resume

It’s important to customize your resume for every application. In an acting resume, this means making sure the right credits and skills are emphasized.

If you are hoping to land a role in a comedy, make sure you mention your improv classes or stand-up comedy skills in your resume. If you are auditioning for a serious indie drama, mention your acting classes with a well-known drama teacher.

If you can highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the role, the casting director will be more likely to give you a chance.

Acting no experience resume example

Acting Resume No Experience Example

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  1. How to Make a Resume With No Experience: Examples & Tips

    How to format a resume with no experience: Follow the reverse-chronological order (i.e. put the most recent info up top). Add section headings to make your first-job resume easier to navigate. Use professional-looking fonts that are easy on the recruiter's eyes. Stick to the 11-12pt size range for regular text.

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    If you have no experience you can point to in your resume, highlight your education, include relevant non-work experience, list your skills, and include a summary. Get started by using a template. 1. Highlight your education. If you have little work experience, emphasizing your education is a great way to showcase your strengths, interests, and ...

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    Here is how you add an internship to your resume: First, place the Internship section right after the education section. Title it: Internships. Second, write your internship title and role. Be specific. If your internship was in the marketing department, instead of just "Intern", say "Marketing Intern".

  6. How to Make a Resume With No Experience (+Examples)

    Select a good resume font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Georgia, and set the font size to 11-12 pts for the contents and 13-14 pts for the headings. Set resume margins to 1 inch on all sides to maintain the balance between the text and white space. Create a resume outline with the sections you're going to use.

  7. How to Make a Resume with No Experience

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  8. Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience

    Education. 2. Incorporate your contact information. Now that you've chosen the best format for a resume with no experience, it's time to complete each section. The first section of your resume is the header section. This is the section that includes your name and contact information. In this section, you'll provide:

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    2. Select an appropriate template. Even with no experience, your resume template can make a huge difference in landing a job. Appropriate, well-organized templates use design and the right layout to emphasize the qualifications that make you a great fit for the job. We offer more than 20 unique styles to choose from.

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    For example, the job listing might say, "Successful candidate will be a self-starter who delivers on time and on budget." In that case, despite the fact that you don't have relevant work experience in the same field, you can get the hiring manager's attention by being sure to include (and emphasize) projects that you've successfully led, such ...

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    Include a separate entry for each experience/employer listing, being sure to note company name, your title, and a description of your key roles. Education: Include the school's name, degree or degrees attained, and the dates you attended. Once again, unless you didn't go to college, high school is not necessary.

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    3 College Student No. Experience Resume Examples & Templates [Edit Free] Stephen Greet January 3, 2024. You've done great in college, passing your classes with flying colors and participating in all kinds of class projects. You know how to build a sense of camaraderie with your teammates and get things done.

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  16. Writing a Resume With No Experience

    Related: A Guide on How to Write a PSW Resume with No Experience. Resume Format Guide (With Tips and Examples) 1. Start with a header and objective. The header is the simplest bit of your resume. It should include your contact information, including your email address. Your objective section is less straightforward.

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    How to List Work Experience on a Resume. Work experience on a resume is one of those things that's easy to learn, hard to master. Each work experience entry should contain the following: Position title. ... There's no such thing as "the best resume template" - every recruiter/employer has their own personal preference. ...

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    Good Retail No Experience Resume Example - Header Section. Patricia L. Webb, Montezuma Creek, UT, Phone number: +1-555-555-5555, Link: linkedin/in/pt-webb. Make sure to add a professional looking email address while writing your resume header. Let's assume your name is John Doe - here is a formula you can use to create email addresses: f ...

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  23. How To Write an Acting Resume With No Experience (With Examples)

    Here are steps you can take for writing a resume for entry-level acting jobs: 1. Select a template. The first step to writing an acting resume is to choose a template. Here are elements of a strong acting resume template: White space: Resume templates with lots of white space can ensure the focus of your acting resume is on your skills and ...

  24. Acting No Experience Resume Examples and Templates

    Write an intriguing summary. In an acting resume, a Summary is optional. Your headshot and previous roles are generally the only summary a casting director will be looking for. If you have no experience, however, a brief summary can help capture their attention. As an actor, you should love to be the centre of attention.