It can be difficult for job seekers new to an industry or fresh out of college to capture the attention of hiring managers when their work experience is slim. However, building a professional resume without much experience isn't impossible. In fact, you can get creative with these resume tricks to help you land job interviews and pursue career opportunities.
Focus on Skills
Deflect from the fact that you lack extensive work experience by focusing on your skills when crafting a professional resume. A skills-based resume highlights what you can do and shows employers that you do have the knowledge to perform the job duties. Bulk up this section of your resume by demonstrating talents such as proficiency with software and hardware applicable to the position. Note your soft skills by detailing how you work well in groups, foster a strong work ethic or motivate coworkers and fellow students. Highlight extracurricular activities or classroom projects that illustrate your talents to enhance your application materials instead of spotlighting the experience you may not have.
Modify the Format
While a traditional professional resume categorizes sections to highlight your work experience, you can land a job interview by separating your skills into individual sections. Label headings that highlight customer service skills, management skills and personality traits, and then detail accomplishments and projects you have completed for each skill. For example, create a heading for technical skills and detail your knowledge of equipment and software. Focus on skills you gained volunteering in the community under the customer service skills section. Applicants without industry experience can also create headings for time management skills to detail how they balance multiple projects or classroom assignments effectively.
Use Action Verbs
Action verbs usually detail work experience on a professional resume, but you can also use action verbs to describe skills. Phrases such as "presented a demonstration" or "analyzed leadership styles" show that you were proactive in the classroom or as a volunteer. Use action verbs to elaborate on your involvement in professional organizations or student clubs, too. For instance, phrases such as "organized a blood drive to benefit a local charity" or "participated in a workshop for entrepreneurs" show that you actively joined community and industry activities. Employers seek candidates who take action. Including your activities and efforts can help move your professional resume to the top of the stack and hopefully prompt the hiring manager to consider you for a position.
Although it's ideal to spotlight work experience on a professional resume, a skills-based resume can also show that you are the ideal candidate for the position. Hiring managers look for individuals with skills and knowledge. Show that you possess both when crafting a unique resume that showcases why you are the best applicant for the job.
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