Want to land that dream job, but don't have any work experience? The way in could be a great resume. Check out these tricks to wow that employer.

It’s a common problem: you can’t get a job because you don’t have experience, and you don’t have experience because you can’t get a job. For people just starting out in the workforce, this is often an issue.

But it doesn’t have to be.

With a great resume, you can land your first job, and that starts with knowing how to market yourself for the job you want. Best Resume Templates first impression matter.

Ready to land your first position and start building your career?
Here’s how to create a great resume with zero work experience.

Play Up Your Skills

Just because you don’t have solid work experience doesn’t mean you don’t have skills. You do! When creating a resume without a job history, it’s crucial to highlight all of your relevant skills.

On your resume, include hard skills. Hard skills refer to technical skills, computer skills, and knowledge of various software systems. You can also include programs you may use for personal use, such as Dropbox, Photoshop, and other photo editors and file-sharing systems.

Additionally, you can highlight your social media skills and list the social media platforms you know and use. If you have strong SEO knowledge and understand how to use keywords and other online tactics to get viewers and followers, say so.

It’s also essential to include a series of soft skills on your resume. Soft skills include leadership, time management, organizational, and communication skills.

What makes them "soft" is that you can't always teach them. Yet, these skills are just as necessary as hard skills, and they're useful across all industries and positions.

Highlight Your Education

If you’re a student, your pursuit of education is your job, so make it a key component of your resume. As long as your current course of study is relevant to the job you’re applying to, you can even include a list of classes that could make you a good candidate for the job.

Students that don’t have work experience often wonder if they should include their GPA on their resume. You can, but only if it’s 3.5 or higher. A GPA of 3.5 or better shows that you’re a dedicated student and that you have the potential to be a reliable worker as well.

Treat Internships as Work Experience

Be sure to add internship experience to your resume if you have it. Treat every internship, even brief ones that lasted just one month or one summer, like a paid job.

Discuss what you did in your internship, what technical skills or soft skills you learned, and your responsibilities. On a resume without paid work experience, every little bit of experience you do have can help.

Include Volunteer Experience

Beef up your resume by including volunteer experience you have through your school or your community. Volunteer positions help you build valuable soft skills, and employers love to see candidates dedicated to a cause.

If you give back to your community, raise money for charity, or help underserved populations in need, be proud of that experience. Put it on your resume!

Don’t have any volunteer experience?

Sign up for a volunteer position now! Even if you only put in a few hours per week, it’s a great substitute for actual paid employment experience.

Talk About Your Achievements

When relevant to the job you’re applying for, include awards you’ve won at school. List special acknowledgements you’ve received in your community or through volunteer organizations.

Does your potential new employer need to know that you won the sixth-grade spelling bee? No. But if you were a captain of a team or a club, those extra-curricular achievements can help demonstrate your ability to lead.

Use the Right Format

Before you start writing your resume, decide on a specific format to use. There are dozens of websites where you can find resume templates for different industries and with different layouts. Rather than creating one in a blank document, find a template that can help you highlight your skills in the best way possible.

You should write your resume in reverse chronological order, with the most recent job positions listed first. Full-time students without any previous work experience can list their education first. Graduates with volunteer or internship experience can list that first.

Without work experience, it can be tempting to want to create a robust resume that showcases every success you’ve had in life up to this point. Just keep in mind that without work experience, it’s always best to keep your resume to one page.

Employers don’t need to (and don’t want to) read through two or three pages of your high school achievements and college coursework.

Proofread and Proofread Again

No matter how little or how much experience you may have, the biggest mistake you can make on a resume is to submit it with typos and grammatical errors.

Before clicking send and submitting your resume, proofread it and proofread it again. Even with decades of experience, a resume full of mistakes calls attention to one thing and one thing only:

You don’t pay attention to detail.

If need be, pass your resume to a trusted friend, professor, or relative for a final proofread to make sure that it’s error-free.


While some jobs may only require you to fill out an employment application, most positions require you to submit a resume. And you can create a great one even if you don’t have any prior work experience.

Without experience, fill your resume with your:
  • Hard and soft skills
  • Educational background
  • Internship experience
  • Volunteer experience
  • Achievements and accolades (when relevant)

And before you send it off, proofread it, proofread it, and proofread it again.

No matter what type of job you’re applying to, every employer wants employees that are thoughtful and know how to pay attention to detail. Submit a resume with typos and mistakes, and you can be sure that you won’t get the job, no matter how easy it may seem or how little it pays.

Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Prose Memorial with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Prose Memorial the place to call home.