How to Write a Resume with No Experience: Examples & Guide

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 20, 2024

Our customers have been hired at: *Foot Note

No work experience? No problem! Everyone needs a resume for their first job, but how do you write one with no work experience? We’re here to show you! 

Writing a basic resume with no work experience is a cinch once you know how to match your strengths with the right tools. We’ve broken it down for you, step-by-step and section by section. 

Here’s how to write a resume with no experience in 12 steps:

  1. Choose a format for your first resume.
  2. Select a professional resume template.
  3. Prepare your information.
  4. Add your contact information.
  5. Write a resume summary or objective statement.
  6. Showcase your skills.
  7. Emphasize your education.
  8. Add licenses and certifications.
  9. Add relevant experience.
  10. Add optional sections.
  11. Proofread your resume.
  12. Save your resume.

Create a polished, professional resume in minutes with our free resume builder.

No experience resume templates & examples

Customer Service No Experience Template

Food Service No Experience Template

Retail No Experience Template

Flight Attendant No Experience Template

Security Guard No Experience Template

Babysitter No Experience Template

Accountant No Experience Template

Bartender No Experience Template

Software Developer No Experience Template

Marketing No Experience Template

Web Developer No Experience Template

Resume formatting tips

When writing a resume with no work experience, every detail matters. These tips will help ensure you make a perfect resume every time.

  • Set margins to 1 inch on all sides of your document.
  • Choose an appropriate resume font type and size and stick to it throughout your resume. Good font choices are Arial Calibri, Helvetica and Times New Roman in 12-point size.
  • Ensure proper spacing between sections of your document. The best practice is to use a single space, but adding extra space between section headers and section body text can sometimes look better, depending on font type and how much content you add to your resume.
  • Left-align your page content.
  • Use bullet points to emphasize your skills and achievements.

What to put on a resume with no experience

When creating a resume with no prior work experience, focus on your skills, education, and relevant accomplishments from internships, class projects, courses, volunteer experiences and extracurricular activities. 

Let’s explore how to create a resume with no experience.

STEP 1Choose a format for your first resume

Here’s a secret many first-time job seekers don’t know about making a resume without experience: choosing a suitable resume format can significantly improve your chances of landing interviews and ultimately securing a job offer.

We recommend the functional resume format for a beginner resume because it emphasizes skills over work experience. Plus, many functional resume templates offer flexibility in how you display your job qualifications. For example, you can arrange your skills into categories to highlight the most relevant skills for each job and place your education at the top instead of the bottom of your resume.

We recommend the functional resume format for a beginner resume because it emphasizes skills over work experience. Plus, many functional resume templates offer flexibility in how you display your job qualifications. For example, you can arrange your skills into categories to highlight the most relevant skills for each job and place your education at the top instead of the bottom of your resume.

STEP 2 Select a professional resume template 

Writing a resume with no work experience can feel daunting. That’s why resume templates are incredibly useful tools for writing a first resume. They make it easier to craft a professional resume because they provide a framework for your information, helping to organize your thoughts and display your qualifications in the best possible way. 

What’s more, resume templates save time, ensuring your resume is formatted correctly, ATS-friendly, and visually appealing. This way, you can focus on tailoring your resume for the job you want. See how to make an ATS-friendly resume for additional tips and tricks.

STEP 3 Prepare your information

Preparation is essential when making a first-time resume. Having your job information ready will save you time in the long run, so you can confidently put your best foot forward. 

To prepare your beginner resume, review the job description carefully and note the requirements. 

Then, think carefully and honestly about what you offer — you might be surprised! 

You could discover that you picked up skills and work experience through activities such as: 

  • School activities such as sports or the school orchestra.
  • Clubs or organizations, like student council or a college sorority/fraternity.
  • Community activities, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen.
  • Hobbies like writing, photography, or leading a neighborhood group.

As you reflect on your experiences, make note of awards, honors and other significant accomplishments like graduating magna cum laude or achieving the title of student body president. Consider the skills you gained through those experiences, especially transferable skills such as research, organization and teamwork, and interpersonal skills like communication and active listening — useful beginner skills for a resume. 

Next, match all those skills and experiences you have acquired and your unique personality with the job requirements.

Did you know? Skills-based hiring is increasing in popularity, as various skills are becoming more important to potential employers. In fact, a recent study by TestGorilla shows that 73 percent of employers used skills-based hiring in 2023, up from 56 percent in 2022.

STEP 4 Add your contact information

When you make a resume with no experience, Include a header with contact information so recruiters and potential employers can reach you. It’s imperative that your contact information is professional, up to date and easy to find. 

Include your:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • City and ZIP code
  • Professional profile, website, or portfolio

Pro tip: consider adding a resume headline under your name to boost your resume.

STEP 5Highlight your strengths in a no experience resume objective 

Every resume needs a summary or objective statement. For a beginner resume, we recommend a resume objective to explain your goals for the job and highlight some of your job-relevant skills.

You could write a professional summary for a resume without work experience, but an objective works best for beginners because it states your career goals and intentions for the role. 

For example: 

“Enthusiastic and dedicated recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Education, seeking a first-time teaching position to apply my passion for teaching, knowledge of curriculum development and strong communication skills in the classroom. Eager to support students' academic and personal growth by creating an engaging and inclusive learning environment. Committed to employing innovative teaching methods and fostering a positive and collaborative atmosphere to help all students succeed."

Notice how this example objective for a resume with no experience displays a mix of hard (curriculum development), soft (communication skills), and technical knowledge (innovative teaching methods) skills. It also tells the potential employer exactly what the job applicant’s goals are: “Eager to support students’ academic and personal growth….”

Explore our library of student resume examples and templates for ideas on how to write a resume objective for a student resume. 

STEP 6Make a no experience resume skills section

A recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows that employers value skills more than GPAs on student and graduate resumes, so when writing a resume with no experience, put your skills front and center. 

The NACE survey revealed that 90% of employers seek job candidates with problem-solving skills and 80% want to see good teamwork skills.

According to the survey, additional top skills to put on a resume with no experience include:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Strong work ethic
  • Technical skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer skills
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Strategic planning
  • Friendly personality
  • Creativity
  • Tact
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Foreign-language fluency

For a beginner resume, we recommend focusing on 5 to 10 relevant skills in your resume skills section. This way, you’re emphasizing your qualifications without overwhelming the recruiter or hiring manager. Customize your skill section to match the job requirements.

Take this beginner job sample resume skills section, for instance:

Relevant Skills

Software development

  • Coding (C++, Java, Python, CSS)
  • Basic testing procedures
  • Cryptography
  • Cloud platforms

Soft skills

  • Times management
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

Browse our collection of resume examples for more ideas about how to write a resume with no job experience. You’re sure to find several resume examples for a first job to inspire you!

STEP 7Emphasize your education in your beginner resume

Display your education prominently to emphasize your readiness for the job. On resumes with no experience, especially student resumes with no experience, highlight relevant coursework, academic awards and honors, scholarships, or participation in study abroad programs in this section. 

Your education section should look like this:

Bachelor of Science in Media Writing, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA – 2012-2016

  • Graduated magna cum laude
  • 3.95 GPA
  • University Honors

STEP 8Add a section for licenses and certifications if needed

If you are working toward or have specialized certifications and licenses for a job like nursing, accounting or teaching, you can create a separate section on your no experience resume  labeled “Licenses and Certifications” and place it just below your education section. 

Here’s how to make an effective licenses and certifications section for a resume with no experience:

Create a bullet point for every license or certification you have and list them in reverse-chronological order with: 

  • The title of the certification, course or license.
  • The name of the certifying agency or body.
  • The date you obtained each certificate.
  • The expiration date of your certificate, if applicable. If you have not yet finished the course, write “In progress” and the expected date of completion.

For example:

CPR Certificate

American Red Cross, October 2021
Expires: October 2023

STEP 9 Add relevant experience

If you’re considering leaving the work history section off your no experience resume, don’t sell yourself short. Every potential employer will scan your beginner resume for some kind of relevant experience, so take the time to fill it out.

The trick to filling out a first job resume work experience section is to think of work experience in broader terms.Remember when you were preparing how to write a to write your no resume with no experience way back at the beginning of this guide? Look at your notes and you will probably find at least one experience to add to your work history section.

Relevant work experience can come from:

  • Internships
  • Student teaching
  • Coaching or mentoring
  • A role in a student organization
  • Community service
  • Volunteer experience
  • A personal project

Hiring managers want to know your contributions, so for each experience you add to your first resume, add one to three bullet points that highlight measurable accomplishments. For even more impact, start every bullet point with an action verb

For example, 

"Implemented a new customer feedback system, resulting in a 20% increase in overall customer satisfaction scores within the first three months of its launch."

Excellent Action Words for a Resume With No Experience

Action VerbSTEP 10Add optional sections to enhance your no experience resume

Want to know how to make a resume with no job experience and stand out? Add optional resume sections on your resume. If you have room on a one-page resume, don't be shy! Show off your academic or community awards, scholastic honors or scholarships, personal or school projects, language proficiency and job-relevant hobbies.

Here’s a no experience resume sample for an optional awards section:

Awards

  • George Polk Award for National Reporting (2020)
  • Conscience-in-Media Award (2018)
  • Clio Awards (2016)

If you're still in high school and looking for an example of a resume for students with no experience, browse our collection of high school resume templates and examples for guidance. 

STEP 11 Proofread your first resume

Typos and grammatical errors are the most common and costly beginner resume mistakes. According to recent surveys, around 77% of hiring managers reject resumes that contain errors, so don’t set yourself up to fail. After you finish writing your resume, proofread it more than once and ask someone else to check it for you before sending it to a potential employer. 

Make a resume with My Perfect Resume

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STEP 12 Save your resume

Making a resume with no experience is about more than how you organize and write it. Is more than writing and organizing your qualifications. A polished first-job resume means you also have to name your document professionally and save it in an appropriate file format for the job.

To save your first resume, check the job description for the best file type. If a file type is not requested, .doc or .docx are safe choices because most ATS can read Microsoft Word files and most companies prefer them.

Use this formula to name your resume: Your Name-Job Title-CV-Company Name-Date.

 

Resume Checklist

 

Create cover letter for your first job

Landing a job interview takes more than a perfect first job resume. If you want to beat the competition, you need a strong cover letter to complement your resume. 

Approximately 53% of hiring managers prefer candidates who write cover letters because they show motivation, so writing one for every no experience resume you send can boost your chances of getting hired. 

Plus, a well-written and correctly formatted cover letter can give you the chance to tell employers more about your background than a resume can — a bonus for first-job applicants. Use a cover letter as a chance to introduce yourself and connect with prospective employers by telling them why you want the job and why you are the best match for it. 

We can show you how to write a cover letter inspired by our professional cover letter examples. When you’re ready, choose a template and use our Cover Letter Generator to effortlessly make a professional cover letter with no experience.

Key takeaways

Now you know how to build a resume with no experience! But before you run off to build the perfect resume and cover letter, take these key points about writing a resume with no experience.

  1. The functional resume format is the best option to make a resume with no experience because it highlights your relevant skills over work experience.
  2. When creating a resume with no job experience, transferable skills are your best friends.
  3. Most companies use ATS to screen resumes which can only read resumes with standard formatting.
  4. Add optional resume sections like awards or important coursework if they apply to you, and you can’t fit them into other sections of your resume.
  5. A resume template, combined with our Resume Builder, is the easiest and fastest way to make build a resume with no experience.

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