So, the perfect dream job comes along and you want to apply.
But you know you have no job experience in that particular field.
You do not always have to pass on opportunities when you have no job qualifications. After all, we all start somewhere with no job experience.
You will still have to go up against people who have more relevant experience, yes, but it does not mean your prior job experience is useless.
Here are some resume tips for those who have no job experience.
The advice also applies to those with no qualifications in a relevant industry.
(Check out How to Make a Career Change.)
Add only transferable skills
Let's say your current position involves leading teams, yet the job description specifically asks for someone who is motivated as a team player.
Whether you lead a unit in the Army or captain a winning sports team, the reality is that you like to lead.
What does this mean for the job position to which you are applying?
If you led people in a former position, you have the ability to motivate others.
This is actually a strength for teamworking!
Yes, you might have to change your style of leadership, but it's not impossible to highlight this skill as a transferable one.
Let's take this home.
In your personal situation, you must have some form of transferable skill.
Otherwise, the job never would have piqued your interest in the first place.
- Take some time to consider what those skills might be.
- Highlight them in your resume.
Add volunteer work or hobbies
Typically, our hobbies and volunteer work are the things we have a passion for, but maybe do not pursue as a career due to financial reasons.
However, volunteer work and hobbies are skills we possess.
Therefore, they can be useful for a resume.
Include any volunteer work that highlights relevant talents or skills.
Let’s say you recently managed a group of volunteers for a charity function.
- Adding that to your resume shows what you care about.
- It also shows that you can manage people, business tasks, finances, etc.
Sure, you have no job experience in the relevant field, but the hiring manager is getting a sense of what you can accomplish and your character.
Talking about volunteer work or hobbies helps a company see if you would be a good fit for their culture.
Compatible personalities are important to the workplace.
(Here are more Resume Writing Tips for Career Change.)
Add relevant activities and achievements
Take stock of all the activities you've participated in that you might include on your resume.
Do the same with your achievements, listing them out one by one.
Of course, you won't add all of these experiences and achievements.
- Now, what you will need to do is narrow down the list.
- Choose the activities and achievements that are relevant to the job.
Internships can also count as relevant activities.
Think back to your college days; did you have an internship in a field that aligns with your career change goals?
If so, this is a real-world work experience that helped you gain vital skills.
If you do not have paid experience in the desired industry due to a career change, internships allow you to put useful information on your resume.
Add explanations with enthusiasm
When you have no job qualifications, an enthusiastic approach is helpful.
You can use the "professional summary" section of your resume to highlight your passion and energy for the industry, even if you have no job experience.
Also, use each section of your resume to passionately explain why you think your previous experience can help the company.
Always bring it back to what you can do for the hiring company.
This is the bottom line.
Do not acknowledge that you have no job experience. That is obvious.
Although not a resume tip, it is a good idea to have a passionate cover letter.
- Use it to explain with confidence why you believe you are a good company fit.
- Explain how you believe you can help the industry.
If a company believes they can develop you, they may overlook the fact that you have no job experience in their particular industry.
(Check out the Best Jobs for a Career Change: 50+ Jobs & Salaries)
What not to include
While recreating your resume in light of a career change, keep in mind these few things you do not need to add:
Unless the job description asks, do not add references or letters of referral.
For one, it will take extra time trying to track down sources for references.
The main reason, however, is that this information would not be relevant.
You want to do all you can to appear relevant and professional during your career change.
- Unprofessional email address
Speaking of professionalism, if your email is related to your former career, change it. (The same applies if it's completely random like email@example.com.)
Seriously, though, your email address is a vital part of your contact information.
As much as possible, keep it to your first and last name.
Some resume formats include photos, but this is not recommended, especially for those who are changing careers.
Unfortunately, in some industries, age discrimination is a reality.
You want to avoid encountering this if you have worked in a different industry for most of your career.
Also, the resume formats usually used by executives do not include headshots.
(Check out this article for more info about Resume Formats.)
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All the best in landing your dream job!