What to Put on Your Resume When You Have No Relevant Work Experience

Your dream company is hiring, and you’re eager to apply. The problem is, you don’t have any relevant work experience while everyone else seems to have a better chance at getting the job.

It’s perfectly reasonable to have minimal to zero experience if you’re a fresh graduate, entry-level applicant or a major career changer. So what should you do to make you qualified for the job? Believe it or not, there are a few things you can include to entice your potential employer.

1. Educational background

If you are a fresh graduate or an entry-level applicant, it’s totally understandable to start with your educational background instead of professional experience.

Your education tells a lot about your rational capacity which can later transform into actual skills. You can include your membership in school organizations which gives the employers the impression that you are capable of juggling academic and extracurricular activities, hence, making you a promising potential employee.

Write down all the activities that you spearheaded or were a part of. Count the tasks assigned to you that are relevant to the position you want to apply for. You can also include both academic and non-academic projects you have worked on. These reflect both your intellectual and practical skills that may be relevant to the job position.

2. Parade your awards

This is the time to use your awards to your advantage. Make the employers notice that you have the capabilities to excel in what you do. Whether you have the necessary relevant work experience or not, they will see you as a high potential who can excel in any tasks given to you. But, don’t go way overboard. Showcase your awards in a polite and humble manner instead of the arrogant way. Employers can easily tell if the applicant is being too over the top.

3. Relevant and transferable skills

No one is entirely zero when it comes to having practical skills. You might have transferable abilities from a previous, unrelated experience, or maybe you developed skills while in school doing academic projects.

It’s a matter of being able to present these skills in a way that can impress your potential employers by your ability to tie seemingly irrelevant skills to something of substance and material to the job you are applying for. You can acquire skills from just about any activity such as internships or volunteer work.

While the skills you obtain from volunteering or interning may not relate to the industry, there are a number of transferable skills you developed. Transferable skills include leadership, research, and ability to work independently and work with others.

Remember that you don’t have to limit yourself within the walls of your job description. If you still don’t know what to include in your resume, ask yourself what you are good at. You could also ask your family and friends, they can enlighten you on some skills that you might not be aware that you have.

4. Pair your resume with a strong cover letter

A cover letter isn’t technically part of your resume but they serve as an important role of introducing yourself to employers.

It makes up for your lack of experience. You can present these in a manner that will connect you to the job you have applied for. Try to be really specific in outlining experiences you mentioned by giving a detailed real-life examples. If you can do this and create a strong cover letter, you might even end up as an asset, which will convince the employers to hire you.

Your lack of relevant work experience should not discourage you because, as what has been mentioned above, everyone has to start from somewhere. Everybody always has a working knowledge or skill he or she can bank on when applying for a job. The trick here is to present these working skills in a way that will fill the lack of the professional skills.

Also, most employers today are no longer conformist. They look for applicants who do not only have the relevant educational and professional experience but are also holistic and driven. What employers care most about is the quality of work that you can be able to commit to the company.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. Don’t forget to check them out!

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