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

Yes—it is possible to write a great resume with no experience. And this guide will use resume examples for first jobs to show you how. Buy the ticket and take the ride.

Roma Kończak, CPRW
Roma Kończak, CPRW
Career Expert
How to Make a Resume With No Experience (+Examples)

Applying for the first job ever can feel overwhelming. All these rules you’ve got to follow, and all these ads that ask for miracles from entry-level applicants. When each requires experience, how can you demonstrate it if you haven’t had a proper job before?

Hey, don’t worry—your resume with no experience is bound to succeed with this guide. But... How to make a resume with no experience? Does it even make sense? Of course, it does.

In this article, you’ll find:

  • A resume example with no experience better than most.
  • How to make a resume with no experience for your first job.
  • What to put in a resume for first jobs, so it’s full of relevant info instead of blank spaces.
  • How to write a resume with no experience so good that you’ll get immediate phone calls.

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Sample Resume With No Experience

Avery Waters

High-School Graduate

(123) 456-7890

avery.waters@resumelabmail.com

linkedin.com/in/avery.waters

instagram.com/avery.loves.beauty

Objective

Personable high-school graduate with a passion for the beauty industry seeking a retail assistant position. Knowledgeable about leading makeup brands and a keen tester of new cosmetic products. Eager to educate customers at Lovely Organic about the product selection, plant-based ingredients, and benefits of organic skincare. Gained cashier experience while volunteering at a bake sale in 2021. Runs an Instagram account dedicated to cosmetology since 2019.

Education

High School Diploma

Salem High School, Salem, MA

September 2018–June 2022

GPA: 3.76

Academic Accomplishments:

  • Participated in the Massachusetts State Science Exhibition in 2021 with a demonstration focused on harmful substances in everyday cosmetics.
  • Selected as the sole participant in the 2022 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad.
  • President of the Applied Chemistry Club in 2021–2022.

Personal Projects

Makeup Artist

June 2019–Present

  • Applied makeup for 20+ customers for a variety of events, including birthdays, prom, and weddings.
  • Designed wedding makeup for the bride, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride and groom that matched the color palette of wedding decorations.
  • Educated clients about proper makeup application, skincare, and makeup brush selection.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteer

Salvation Army, Salem, MA

August 2020–Present

  • Performed cashier duties at a holiday bake sale in December 2021.
  • Helped sort donated items to select goods for the thrift store displays.

Skills

  • Positive attitude
  • Verbal communication
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal skills
  • MS Office

Languages

  • English—Native
  • Spanish—Intermediate
  • French—Intermediate

Interests

  • Testing new cosmetic products and recording product reviews as stories for Instagram and TikTok accounts.
  • Learning about cosmetology and plant-based cosmetic ingredients from books and independent blogs.

Enjoyed this first-job resume sample? Continue reading to learn how to write a resume with no experience similar to the one above. 

And because you’ll be making your resume for your first job, you can click these links to read about certain steps of the process, with examples.

  1. Use the Best Format for a Resume With No Experience
  2. Start by Adding a Resume Header
  3. Choose Between a Career Objective or a Summary
  4. Supercharge Your Education With Achievements and Extracurriculars
  5. Mention Relevant Experience in a First-Job Resume
  6. Highlight Skills in a Resume With No Experience
  7. Add Even More Value With Extra Sections 

Let’s go through each point now:

1. Use the Best Format for a Resume With No Experience

You might’ve heard about various resume formats. Which one should you choose for your resume with no experience? 

Go with the reverse-chronological resume. It’s preferred by recruiters and easily adjustable for any candidate, no matter their level of experience.

Then, keep in mind these rules:

  • Make a professional resume layout that’s scannable, or browse through free resume templates to find the one you like most.
  • 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. They are resume profile, education, experience, skills, and a few extra sections like languages or volunteer work.
  • Limit the length of your resume to just one page—there’s no need to go beyond that in a resume with no experience.
  • Save your resume in a DOC or PDF: first, check if the job ad mentions the preferred format. If not, go with a PDF, as this format best preserves the formatting the way you want.

If formatting documents in Word or Google Docs is not your strong suit, go with pre-made resume templates instead. You can easily find them online, or you can save some time and try our collection of Word resume templates or Google Docs resume templates to see if they match your taste.

2. Start by Adding a Resume Header to Your Resume With No Experience

The hiring manager’s gaze will first land at the top of your resume. That’s the place where your resume header must appear. It’s not only a space to put your name in—it’s also the best section to display your contact information on a resume with no experience.

Here’s what you should put in a resume header:

  • Your full name and desired job title or your major
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Professional social media links

What does the term professional social media mean, exactly? LinkedIn is your best choice, as it’s a network designed specifically for business purposes. But if you run an Instagram or Facebook account related to your profession, that’s a good option, too. For example, if you’re an aspiring graphic designer, an Instagram page showcasing your work is perfect.

Expert Hint: Make sure your email address sounds serious. An unprofessional email address is one of the most popular mistakes made on resumes when applying for jobs. Consider creating a new account for work, and keep it separate from your personal email.

3. Choose Between a Career Objective or a Summary For Your No Experience Resume

A good resume starts with a powerful profile. In a resume with no experience, the introduction must immediately convince the reader that you have serious worth. How? By highlighting your qualifications for the job.

Two types of resume profiles work best:

  • Resume summary, which highlights professional achievements and experience
  • Resume objective, which highlights skills and knowledge and specifies what the candidate can do for the employer

So, which one of these two is the best choice for you? 

Go with a resume objective. This type of profile focuses on what you can achieve while working in your position. Use it to mention relevant skills and knowledge to help you succeed professionally. You might also say a few words about your relevant experience from part-time jobs, volunteer work, or university.

If you prefer to write a resume summary, it’s also possible, even for a candidate with no experience. A classic resume summary highlights professional achievements. And they don’t have to be work-related. You can name achievements from internships, extracurricular activities, academic activities, volunteer work, or anything else that connects well to your desired job.

You’ll see examples of resume objectives and summaries in a minute. But first:

Here’s a job-winning formula for a good resume profile:

  1. Start with a personality trait that says you’re a great employee, such as “dedicated,” “goal-oriented,” “personable,” etc.
  2. Follow with the desired job title, field of study, or education level, e.g., “third-year BBA student” or “personal assistant.”
  3. Mention your professional knowledge and relevant skills. You can do it this way: “...specializing in microbiology”, “proficient in Java and Python,” or “...with strong interpersonal and communication skills”.
  4. Specify how you can help the company achieve its goals. Try something like that: “Eager to utilize knowledge about English literature and use mentoring skills to support learners and improve their academic performance while working as a tutor at Sunshine Quality Education.”
  5. Recall any relevant experience—it can be a professional, academic, freelance, volunteer, or even extracurricular, as long as it matches the position you want. For example: “Developed interpersonal and organizational skills while volunteering at the student community center in 2022–2023.”

Now, enough theory. Let’s see the examples below:

Resume Example With No Work Experience: Objective

Right

Personable high-school graduate with a passion for the beauty industry seeking a retail assistant position. Knowledgeable about leading makeup brands and a keen tester of new cosmetic products. Eager to educate customers at Lovely Organic about the product selection, plant-based ingredients, and benefits of organic skincare. Gained cashier experience while volunteering at a bake sale in 2021. Runs an Instagram account dedicated to cosmetology since 2019.

This example includes all the elements I’ve mentioned: the candidate’s knowledge, the goal they want to achieve for the business, useful skills, and relevant experience. It also expresses their keen interest in the job.

Wrong

Hard-working student looking for a cashier job. I hope to gain customer service experience while working at Blue Fan Groceries. I’m a friendly person, and I easily get along with everyone.

The candidate above could be a good fit for the job, but they don’t know how to express it. Statements like “I’m friendly” don’t sound professional. Also, the employer doesn’t care much about what the applicants want to gain from the job—they want to know what the business will gain.

Now, let’s move on to an example of a resume summary:

Summary for a Resume With No Experience (Example)

Right

Detail-oriented software engineering student specializing in machine learning. Eager to join CodApply as a junior data analyst and use my knowledge of Python to assist with developing computer vision models. Completed a 3-month data engineering internship in 2022. Created a fake news detection application in Python as part of my bachelor’s thesis project.

This fresher resume summary includes all the important elements: relevant knowledge and skills, a specific goal, and relevant achievement. Even though this person has no work experience, their knowledge and academic background make them a valuable candidate.

Expert hint: Remember that you don’t have to write your resume profile immediately. In fact, it’s better to complete the other sections of your resume and then combine the best bits into your resume objective or summary!

4. Supercharge Your Education With Achievements and Extracurriculars

A resume with no experience should boast about education. Even though not all well-paid jobs require a college degree, getting one still matters, and it’s one of the easiest steps to improve career outlooks. Ergo, your education section must mention much more than just the name of the school you attended.

Here’s how to make a strong education section in your first-job resume:

  • List your highest degree first. If you haven’t graduated from college or university yet, mention your current credits and add your secondary education, too, in reverse-chronological order.
  • Include the school name and years of study.
  • Add your GPA if it’s above 3.5.
  • Note the most relevant coursework to the job you’re after.
  • Show off academic achievements such as scholarships, awards, and honors.
  • Throw in extracurricular activities, such as membership in student organizations, participation in conferences, organizing charity events, sports competitions, and any other activities that can prove relevant to the job you want. Doing more than just studying while at school can be really beneficial. Your time at college can not only get you a degree but also provide a chance to start networking as a student.

Once clear, check the sample no-experience resume below:

Resume Example for the First Job: Education

Right

High School Diploma

Salem High School, Salem, MA

September 2018–June 2022

GPA: 3.76

Academic Accomplishments:

  • Participated in the Massachusetts State Science Exhibition in 2021 with a demonstration focused on harmful substances in everyday cosmetics.
  • Selected as the sole participant in the 2022 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad.
  • President of the Applied Chemistry Club in 2021–2022.

Pretty impressive for a high-school student, right?

Wrong

Brooklyn High School, New York City, NY

Graduated in 2021

Joined the track and field team

That candidate didn’t list any info that could help win a recruiter over.

In order to make the education section of your resume worth reading, add details showing achievements and actions on your part. A good way to do that is to use active verbs in your resume, such as “organized,” “demonstrated,” “completed,” etc. Give it a try—you’ll see an immediate difference in how your resume presents itself.

5. Mention Relevant Experience in a First-Job Resume

OK, you saw relevant academic achievements and coursework, so now let’s talk about experience relevant to the job. What does that mean?

It means that even if you have no work experience, you can list experiences that helped you develop key skills and qualifications for the job you want.

Here are the types of experiences you can talk about in your no-experience resume:

  • Internships: If you’ve completed one, mention what you’ve learned and what you excelled at.
  • Freelancing: Doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, like mowing lawns, babysitting, and delivering groceries for the elderly, can teach you a thing or two about being dependable and organized.
  • Personal projects: For example, if you want a job at a restaurant, having a blog where you post regular restaurant reviews and share recipes can be a thing worth mentioning.
  • Volunteering experience: It not only shows that you care about others but also allows you to prove your professionalism. Helping in a pet shelter, supporting a community organization, participating in fundraisers, and doing other volunteer activities can teach you skills to transfer between careers.

Check the sample below to put the theory into practice:

Resume Example for the First Job: Relevant Experience

Right

Personal Projects

Makeup Artist

June 2019–Present

  • Applied makeup for 20+ customers for a variety of events, including birthdays, prom, and weddings.
  • Designed wedding makeup for the bride, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride and groom that matched the color palette of wedding decorations.
  • Educated clients about proper makeup application, skincare, and makeup brush selection.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteer

Salvation Army, Salem, MA

August 2020–Present

  • Performed cashier duties at a holiday bake sale in December 2021.
  • Helped sort donated items to select goods for the thrift store displays.

This candidate knows how to show they’re not green behind the ears. They started each statement with power words for a resume to make a good impression, and the candidate provided specific information about their skill set.

Wrong

Freelance Work

  • Designing business cards
  • Creating website graphics
  • Retouching photos for the school basketball team

The candidate above might be quite skillful. The problem is—they don’t know how to show it. Listing experiences that way isn’t convincing and doesn’t show if you’re successful in any of the tasks.

When describing your experience, use resume keywords that match the job advertisement. They are individual words and phrases that both hiring managers and automated scans look out for. They signal that your qualifications match the job requirements. For example, if the job ad says: “Looking for a people person with strong interpersonal skills,” your resume needs to include interpersonal and people skills. 

Using keywords in a resume with no experience will help you create an ATS-friendly resume that will pass through ATS screening systems and has a better chance of getting noticed.

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6. Highlight Skills in a Resume With No Experience

“It’s true that I don’t have work experience. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything!”

You’re right. But you must convince the hiring manager that this is true. And the best way to do it in a resume with no experience is by stuffing it with relevant skills. After all, you’ve learned a thing or two throughout your life, and if you’re a university student or graduate, you also picked up some expert knowledge.

But how to put it all together on a resume?

Start by making a spreadsheet with two columns: soft skills and hard skills.

  • Soft skills are personality traits that help you interact with others and approach different situations effectively. They’re often called people or interpersonal skills. While at school, there’s a good chance you developed such soft skills as teamwork, communication, time management, or problem-solving.
  • Hard skills refer to job-specific knowledge and abilities needed to complete specific tasks. You can gain them through education, courses, or on-the-job training. For example, if you studied software engineering, you gained hard skills such as programming, software testing, and data structures.

So, in your spreadsheet, fill the soft and hard skills columns with relevant skills you’ve mastered. It’s OK if the soft skill list is longer than the other. Why? Because soft skills are also transferable, meaning that they apply to a variety of professions.

When your list is ready, take a look at the job advertisement. The job requirements specify what kind of skills and knowledge are expected from you. Compare them with your lists of skills, and pick only the ones that match. 

The skills picked for a resume should appear in different sections. You should sprinkle them in your resume profile, education, and when describing relevant experiences. For example, if the job ad calls for someone who excels in time management, mention how you completed all assignments within deadlines and handled a hectic schedule at college. But also remember to make a separate skill list for your resume.

How to make a skill list for a no-experience resume:

  1. Make a list of all the skills you’ve got, including hard and soft skills.
  2. Read the job advertisement carefully and note the key requirements.
  3. Select 6–10 skills matching the job requirements from your list.

Check the list below to see the most popular skills for a resume with no experience:

List of Skills for a First-Job Resume

The list above can inspire you for the skill section of your first-job resume. But don’t copy-paste it onto your application! The point of the skill list in a resume is to show the most relevant skills for the job, so you have to be selective.

Here’s a job ad for a retail assistant position:

Seeking a part-time retail assistant to perform store functions, including greeting customers, taking orders over the phone, and entering them into a Word document in a timely manner. Must be good at communication and teamwork and have a friendly attitude. 

And below, you can see a matching skill list for a resume:

Sample Resume With No Experience: Skills

Right
  • Positive attitude
  • Verbal communication
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal skills
  • MS Office

This candidate was applying for a retail job, and their skills match this type of work perfectly.

Wrong

Leadership, IT skills, marketing, Excel

In the example above, the candidate wrote whatever came to their mind. Even if they really possess those skills, it’s not likely that they match what was outlined in the job advertisement.

7. Add Even More Value to Your No Experience Resume

You’ve done a lot of work, but it’s not the end yet. There’s still more information you can add to a resume with no experience to make it more effective. Additional sections are great for highlighting achievements, qualifications, and skills that you haven’t mentioned before. 

Choose from the following resume sections:

  • Certifications and licenses: Doing certification courses is a great way to gain new skills and later prove your knowledge to recruiters. You can find lots of online courses, and many are free of charge!
  • Language skills: Learning a language not only broadens your horizons and makes international travel easier, but it can also bring more work opportunities. Many overseas companies prefer hiring candidates who can communicate in several languages.
  • Hobbies and interests: Your personal interests can show that you’re truly passionate about your desired profession. For example, if you want to apply for an entry-level graphic designer job, mention your interest in visual arts.
  • Memberships and associations: Want a job at your local library? Why not say being a member of a book club? Being an active member of any association can help you develop organizational and leadership skills as well as create a valuable network of like-minded people.

Have a look at the examples below:

Additional Sections Examples on a No-Experience Resume

Right

Languages

  • English—Native
  • Spanish—Intermediate
  • French—Intermediate

Interests

  • Testing new cosmetic products and recording product reviews as stories for Instagram and TikTok accounts.
  • Learning about cosmetology and plant-based cosmetic ingredients from books and independent blogs.

Don’t be afraid to describe your activities in more detail, just like the candidate above. It’ll help recruiters to see how they match your desired position.

Wrong
  • Languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
  • Certification: Project Management certificate
  • Interests: Basketball, coding, travel

That’s not how professionals write a no-experience resume. You must provide specific information. For example, when you mention your language skills on a resume, add information about your proficiency level. And when listing certifications, mention the organization that awarded them and when.

Expert Hint: After completing your resume, take a well-deserved break and start writing a cover letter. Yes—you can write a professional cover letter with no experience, and it can really boost your chances of landing a job.

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Key Points

Here’s how to make a resume with no experience: 

  • Use the no-experience resume template that you saw up top. It can help to stop the “can’t get a job without experience” cycle.
  • Focus on relevant life experiences and accomplishments. Put them in your objective, education, and additional resume sections.
  • Add the skills they need, not the ones you have. They’re your best keywords, and you can easily find them in the online job ad.
  • Include a cover letter. Give evidence you’re a good fit despite a lack of work experience.

Got questions on how to write a resume with no work experience? Maybe you don’t know where to start writing your resume for the first job? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Roma Kończak, CPRW
Written byRoma Kończak, CPRW

Roma Kończak is a career expert and a Certified Professional Résumé Writer with a background in education and humanities. She’s passionate about personal development and helping others advance in their careers. She writes guides that simplify complex HR terminology based on thorough research and factual information.

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