How to write a resume when you have limited or no work experience

30 April 2024

How to write a resume when you have limited or no work experience

In the competitive world of job hunting, having little or no work experience can feel daunting. Whether you’re a school leaver, a parent re-entering the workforce or someone who has been out of work for a while, there are still many ways to sell yourself to potential employers.

Here are our top 10 tips on how to write an impressive resume that showcases your skills, strengths, and potential.

1. Start with a strong introduction

Begin your resume with a clear and concise summary statement or objective that highlights your career aspirations and what you bring to the table. This section should grab the recruiter’s attention and give them a snapshot of who you are and what you’re looking for.

Sometimes it can be hard to talk about yourself. Talking to your friends and family can help you identify your strengths if you’re having trouble.

2. Highlight Your Skills and Achievements

While you may lack traditional work experience, you likely have acquired valuable skills and accomplishments through other activities such as volunteering, hobbies, school projects, or caring for family members. List these skills prominently on your resume, focusing on those that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Whether it’s teamwork, communication, problem solving or technical skills, showcase what you can bring to the role.

3. Education and qualifications

Include details of your education, including any relevant courses, certifications, or vocational training you have completed. Be sure to mention any academic achievements, extracurricular activities, or awards that demonstrate your commitment and capabilities.

4. Tailor your resume to the job

Customise your resume for each job application by highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the role. Carefully read the job description and identify keywords and requirements that match your background, then incorporate them into your resume.

5. Emphasise your transferable skills

Even if your previous experiences may not directly relate to the job you’re applying for, emphasise any transferable skills that are applicable. For example, if you have experience managing a household budget or organising events, highlight your financial management or organisational skills.

6. Use a functional or combination format

Consider using a functional or combination resume format instead of a traditional chronological one, especially if you have significant gaps in your work history. These formats allow you to focus on your skills and achievements rather than the timeline of your experience.

7. Include relevant volunteer work and extracurricular activities

Volunteer work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities can provide valuable experience and demonstrate your commitment and passion. Include any relevant volunteer work or hobbies that showcase your skills and character.

8. Keep it clear, concise, and error-free

Ensure that your resume is well-organised, easy to read, and free of grammatical or spelling errors. Use clear headings, bullet points, and concise language to convey your information effectively.

9. Seek feedback and revise

Before sending out your resume, ask friends, family members, or your employment consultant to review it and provide feedback. Revise your resume accordingly to ensure it effectively communicates your strengths and suitability for the job.

10. Stay positive and persistent

Finding a job can be challenging, especially when you’re just starting out or making a fresh start. Stay positive, be persistent, and don’t get discouraged by rejections. Keep refining your resume, honing your skills, and networking with professionals in your desired field.

Looking for some extra support in your job search?

Our friendly employment consultants can help you identify your skills and craft a great resume, no matter what your story. We also have online tools to support you in your job search, including a resume and cover letter builder. We know your local area and have connections to employers, training and supports that suit your unique needs.

If you’re looking for a supportive employment services provider who takes the time to listen to your individual needs and is with you every step of the way, contact us today.

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