If you’re a high school or college student looking to gain internship or career experience, you may use this excuse when it comes to the resume portion of the job description: “I don’t have any experience, so I don’t have a resume.”
Pishposh! You can scrounge up skills to put on your resume, from your babysitting know-how to that lemonade stand you had as a kid (well, maybe not THAT).
Here are some ways to beef up your resume when you have no job experience:
1. Include any kind of volunteer experiences. Did you somehow get involved with Relay for Life at some point in your life? Write it down. Even if it’s just something you did in a day or an hour (like playing Bingo at a retirement home), it’s a valid experience, and you can show what you gained from it. With Relay for Life, you may have learned how to raise money for a charity, how to solicit people for the cause. There’s something to be gained from most experiences, which means there’s something you can apply to your resume.
2. Sports skills. If you’ve played any kind of little league, you have something to contribute. You learned what it’s like to be a part of a team. You may have even helped keep stats—data entry!
3. Student council or school clubs. Even if you had an unsuccessful campaign for student council representative, write it down. It taught you about the political process, how to work with people, and ultimately, how to deal with disappointment. This shows character as well as experience.
4. Family commitments. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad turned prospective employee? Surely, you had a ton of responsibilities with your family, from paying bills to childcare skills. These are great assets. It shows you have financial abilities and can handle money—plus you’re able to multitask (sometimes with a baby on your knee as you do the bills—impressive!).
5. Get out there and start getting experience—today! If you have none of the above, search the newspaper or local periodicals for opportunities to volunteer and gain experience in these sectors. There’s no better time to start than now.