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No work experience on your resume? No worries.

November 10, 2017 by Storm Crow

No work experience on your resume? No worries.

Whether you’re applying for your first internship, a graduate role, or a paid position, there’s nothing more disheartening than realising you have little-to-no experience to add to your resume. You’re probably thinking, how on earth am I going to secure a position with no evidence of all the amazing value I can bring to their organisation? What about the enthusiasm I can offer to projects? Well, in fact, your chances aren’t as slim as you may think – here’s a few things you could consider writing about:

Start with qualifications.
It’s really important to find out which industry skills you’re expected to have in order to do the job. If you don’t have the qualifications, then don’t waste your time applying. Ask yourself, do you have the relevant training – such as a university degree or equivalent TAFE certification? Have you completed any online classes or training courses? These are all valuable in demonstrating your ability to wear the shoes of the role.

Have you considered volunteering?
Employers don’t just consider paid work experience on your resume when assessing your suitability for a role – volunteer work is also important. It shows you like to be involved and better the community, you help others, and you’re about going out of your way to add value. If you haven’t done any volunteer work, you could consider joining a uni club, a social sports team, or even get involved with a community event.

It’s all about potential.
Although resume applications are a great way to demonstrate your work experience and the skills you can bring to the role, employers also want you to paint them a picture of the future potential you can bring to their organisation. So, tell them a little bit about your willingness to learn, your flexibility, and ability to exceed all expectations.

Talk about your graduate attributes.
Do you learn skills easily? Are you a fast learner? Can you communicate effectively? Can you work in a team? Are you a good leader? Are you able to work independently? Think of instances where you have demonstrated these abilities and they’ve had a positive result – then describe them in your application.

Employers love when you take an interest in the organisation.
So put your detective hat on and get searching. Have a look for some major projects the organisation has been working on – do they inspire you? Consider what you like about their mission or vision, or write about how you think your values align with theirs. Add these comments throughout your application as a way of telling the recruiter how you think you’re a good fit.

Remember, a resume is like an ad in a newspaper so you’ll need to really promote yourself to get noticed. If you’re not confident in writing a competitive resume or cover letter then check out Graduate Gateway on campus in a few weeks. This series offers current students and soon-to-be grads the opportunity to master the art of resume and cover letter writing.

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