How To Make Your Resume Stand Out Without Experience

Writing your resume to stand out from the crowd

Daniela McVicker is a career coach and blogger for RatedByStudents. She’s also a business communication coach, assisting future job applicants in writing business emails to help them achieve success on their career paths.

It’s not that easy to get a new job, especially if you lack work experience. Competition among candidates is pretty intense and applicants need to make their resumes stand out from the crowd. What should you add to your CV if you don’t have experience? For instance, how you can become a digital marketer at a big company if you have never had a similar job before?

In this blog post, we’ll show how to polish your resume so you can get a job with no or little experience.

Include volunteer work in your resume

If you’ve volunteered, include this information in your resume. For example, if you want a managerial job at the pet shop, highlight that you were a volunteer coordinator at the animal care center for two years. It will show the hiring manager that you sincerely love pets and know how to behave with them.

Some applicants wrongly believe that volunteering doesn’t count as real work experience. This couldn’t be more wrong. Just because you were not paid for work performed, that doesn’t mean you didn’t acquire new skills. For instance, if you designed an effective animal care centre fundraising strategy, you likely have excellent event marketing and community management skills. Don’t forget to add these skills to your resume to impress your potential employer.

Add training, courses and certifications to your CV

Most people think it’s enough to list the highest level of education only. But, whether you graduated a week ago or 20 years ago, you should keep your professional development continuous. If you attend training or classes related to your niche, you should include this information in your CV to get a better job.

When a recruiter is looking for a perfect candidate, they expect to find someone with up-to-date knowledge. For this reason, an applicant who has recently completed a course and received a certificate has more chances to land a job. Companies are interested in hiring employees who watch market trends and know where the industry is headed. For example, if you want a marketing job, include your Diploma of Social Media Marketing on your CV, along with certified HubSpot courses and LinkedIn Learning courses.

List achievements on your resume

If you haven’t worked as a technical support team leader before, it doesn’t mean you lack the skills to apply for this job. Try to analyse your life experience and define what skills and qualities you have. Your task is to focus on the greatest achievements of your life that are also relevant to the positions you are pursuing.

If you’ve tackled the challenge of running a marathon, you’ve developed self-discipline and the ability to set goals and see them through. If you’ve worked abroad, you’ve likely gained the ability to integrate into different cultures and work well with people from a variety of backgrounds. If you’re a parent, you’ve mastered project management and multi-tasking. This is worth mentioning, even if the jobs you held were largely entry-level.

How to Write a Cover Letter

Use appropriate keywords

Emerging technologies are reshaping the way companies recruit employees. Today, hiring managers have access to many resumes, but no time to review them all. So, they use software to scan resumes for specific keywords. For this reason, you should be very careful with wording when working on your CV optimisation. Focus on keywords most relevant to the job title you want and skills you have. For instance, if you aim to land a leadership role, use words such as motivated, uplifted, advocated, and coached.

Why is this crucial for applicants who have no experience? An optimised resume will appear in search results more often and increase the chance of catching a manager’s attention.

Pay attention to formatting your CV

When writing a resume, you should pay attention to formatting. Your CV should have a clear structure and look professional. Break information into sections and use appropriate headings.

For example:

  • Contact information
  • Resume summary
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Education

People who lack working experience should choose the resume format wisely. If a resume is structured appropriately, it shifts the attention from the employment gap to the relevant skills and achievements.

Proofread your resume before you send it

If an employer finds a grammar mistake in your resume, what will they do? If you have extensive working experience, an employer will likely turn a blind eye. But if you have no experience, an employer may send the resume to the trash. For this reason, don’t forget to check the text for spelling errors and typos. Proofread your resume at least twice before sending it to the potential employer. If you want to avoid any problems, you should get professional help from a resume writer.

So, how do I write a resume when I have no experience?

You can make your resume look attractive and professional, even if you don’t have experience. When writing your CV, try to be creative. Highlight relevant skills, which characterise you as an ideal candidate. Always pay attention to the small details. Even one wrongly used word or one typo may spoil your image in front of the recruiter.

Finally, stay patient. You will get a dream job with the help of your excellently written resume.

Download my Career Action Plan