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Resume Tips for Those Lacking Job Experience

Are you looking to acquire your first job in many years – or your first job ever – and have heard that without experience you have no chance of finding employment? Well rest assured that this couldn’t be more wrong.

Employers understand that good employees are not solely created from skills gained on previous jobs; they are also created from skills acquired through life experience. The trick, however, is to highlight these skills while expressing your overall potential in your resume.

Use Life Experience to Your Advantage

If you’re at a loss for how to start your resume writing process when you have one or no jobs to list, you can always begin with your life experiences. For example, if at some point you sat in as a receptionist at your grandmother’s small store, you probably learned how to organize information, answer phones professionally, and manage customers – all job-worthy skills.

Or maybe you spent some time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity while in school. This community service effort teaches hard work and organization, both of which count as skills you can take with you into a job setting. By including these and other experiences in your resume, and describing them in specific detail (how often you volunteered, how many customers you assisted, etc.), you can successfully translate them into job skills.

List Coursework and Awards

Another way to help broaden your skill set is by listing courses you have taken in school that are relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are not in school but have taken relevant training courses, listing these works just as well. Also, if you’ve won awards or have notable achievements under your belt, try to find room for them as they can give greater insight into your character.

Make Use of Your Cover Letter

Many people don’t understand the relevance of a cover letter and often don’t include it with their resume unless it is specifically requested. However, the cover letter provides prospective employers with the landscaping they need to understand the person applying for their job.

This is also true for those who don’t have an extensive employment history. In this case, the cover letter allows you to describe in greater detail what experiences you’ve acquired over the years. Even more, it can give you the opportunity to express your passion for the job you’re applying for, which is equally as important.

Seek Guidance from a Professional

If you feel uncomfortable about starting a job search after so many years – or for the first time – then it never hurts to consult a professional resume writer or career advisor to help you organize your experiences into a neat presentation. They can not only dig deep to discover the job skills you’ve acquired over the years, but they can also give you tips on how to build confidence as you approach the unfamiliar terrain of a job search.

Jump-starting your career when it seems you have no experience can feel like an impossible task. But with the right tools, and a little confidence, you will make your way into the workforce in no time.

- Heather Eagar

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Check out reviews of the top resume writing services in the industry at