The Ultimate Writing Guide for Grads: Resume Without Experience

Upon graduation, looking for work is the next step. For many, lack of work experience becomes a blockade as many companies will hire a person with work experience and a degree over a fresh graduate. When an employer seeks to fill a position, they require more than work experience from the candidate and here is where you need to impress. Personal attributes and accomplishments should be included in your resume as the employer wants to know you as well.

Here are some pointers on details that should appear in your resume when applying for that job without the requisite work experience:

1. Your Resume Should Be Professional

Lack of work experience does not make you unqualified for a job. The layout of your resume and details in it should be relevant to the employer. Do not flood your resume with rambling paragraphs to make it long. Avoid typos and highlight your qualities to stand out to the employer. Format it correctly and ask a friend to go over your resume, a fresh pair of eyes come in handy. You do not need a long resume to compensate for lack of experience.

2. Focus on Your Skills

Transferable skills are used in each role in industry and throughout your life, and while in school, you have developed a number of them such as good communication skills, teamwork, presentation ability, time management, organization and leadership skills. Note this down for the employer to get what you bring to the table. The talents that you possess such as selling homemade ice-cream during school breaks to make extra money is a plus. Your degree should not be the only qualification that you seek to bring to the company.

3. Mention Personal Projects/Volunteer Experience

If you had a business while in school or worked with NGOs such as the Red Cross, you should mention it in your resume. Work-Life experience can also be relevant hobbies and achievements. If you participated in a funds drive in college to raise money for the journalism club to buy new equipment and succeeded you should state it. This should relate to the job description though. Volunteer work, however, paints you in a different light to the employer as you sound like a person that cares for the wellbeing of others and they can expect you to do the same for the organization.

4. Apply for Work That You’re Qualified For

Just because there is a vacancy, it does not mean you are fit for it. Research what the job description is and gauge yourself if you qualify for it. An employer may be asking for a degree, but the field is different. Save yourself rejection and time and look for a job that relates to what you are good at. Maybe you’re good at writing in other formats but the mla style paper format has always eluded you. If the employer specifically mentioned that this would be required, it would be best to let that go or work on getting that skill. It is embarrassing to get fired only after a couple of weeks because you cannot do the job you applied for, it will put a smudge on future employment opportunities.

5. Portray Yourself as Irresistible to an Employer

Writing that you are passionate and enthusiastic towards your work will not convince an employer. Your personality traits should be desirable and include supporting details. How you were able to come up with a savings plan to get yourself through college shows that you are resourceful and independent. Working two jobs to support your family while taking night classes demonstrates a strong work ethic and humility to the employer. For example, you can describe your work experience at an animal shelter where you caring and feeding the dogs. Make sure that such traits are clearly presented in your resume.

6. Strengthen Your Education Section

Most resume will have an education section that is compact, only stating the school, their graduation year and GPA. In your case, you will need to include awards, scholarships, publications, coursework and clubs you were in. It makes up for lack of experience while showing the employer how resourceful and committed you were in school. It will also highlight your qualities and skills.

7. Do Not Lie

It may be tempting to add a lie to your resume to impress your employer and make up for the lack of work experience. Do not. You may get the job but fail to deliver on what you stated in your resume. Get the job on your own merit.


Although you lack work experience, you can be able to convince an employer that you will be an asset to the organization through your resume. A properly structured and worded resume will bring out your key attributes that will impress the employer overlooking what you are missing.

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