How To Create a Resume Without Much Experience

For those who, when they create a resume, don't have a lot of previous jobs for the experience section.

What's On This Page?

  • As you create a resume, list as many relevant previous jobs as you can first.
  • If, for whatever reason, you don't have a lot of previous jobs to list as experience, then you can also list non-job-related items such as community service or other leadership experience.
  • Under each experience, briefly list your duties.
  • Don't forget to use "professional sounding" language.

Reasons you don't have a lot of Experience...

There could be several reasons why you might not have a lot of jobs to list in the experience section. Some reasons might be

  • You create a resume for the first time and you have no job experience or little job experience.
  • You are changing careers and your job experience is all in a field unrelated to the job you’re applying for.
  • You ARE experienced in your field, but you have worked on only one or two places for many years. Though you may have years of experience, your last job only takes up one tiny section on your resume.

Purpose of the Experience Section

Whatever your reason, I have some suggestions for what to do. However, it should be noted that community service or other non-job related things should only be added to a resume to fill it out. The experience section is primarily there to show your interviewer what jobs you've had in the past that will help you in the job you are applying for.

Your experience section shows your future employer two things about you:

  • You have some kind of past experience that would be helpful to you in this new job.
  • You are an overall contributor to the community.

Contribute to the Community? Why?

Why does your employer care that you contribute to the community? Because good employees have a strong work ethic, care about other people they are working with, and are generally honest and good people. People like that usually do other things outside of work that contributes to the world.

Telling your boss that you ran the local girl scouts for three years not only tells him that you have organization skills and you like kids, but also that you are the kind of person who would willingly devote your time to helping make the world a better place. That is the kind of person a boss wants to hire. That's why you should include it when you create a resume.

So Here's what to do...

Always begin by listing as many of your relevant jobs as you can. Then add some extra-curricular experience.

The experiences you choose should be related to the field you’re applying to in some way. However, when you create a resume, almost any experience can be SOMEHOW related to the field you’re applying for.

Suggestions for non-job related experiences

As you create a resume, think back on the varied experiences you’ve had in your life.

Did you ring a bell in front of Safeway for the Salvation Army one Christmas?

You have people skills.

When you were in college did you take one Spring break to build houses for Habitat for Humanity?

You have people skills and construction experience. And you know how to work with a team.

Did you organize a fundraiser to send underprivileged kids to summer camp?

You have organizational skills, you have people skills and you know how to manage money.

  • Are you a deacon in your church?
  • A Sunday School teacher?
  • Have you ever been involved in ANY community organization? 4H? Boy Scouts?
  • Are you an active member of your local Co-op?
  • Do you help organize and run your local farmer’s market?
  • Do you volunteer at the local library?
  • Maybe you helped run Vacation Bible School at your church?
  • Maybe you tutor kids in math at the local elementary school.
  • Maybe you organize a quilt circle.
  • Or have you ever gotten a group together to send Christmas packages to troops in Iraq?
  • Or are you a leader at your local Le Leche League?

If you’ve never done anything to give back to your community then go do it right now! If you don’t get this job, then you’ll at least have something to put when you create a resume next time. Besides, if you’re old enough to apply for a job, then you’re old enough to experience the wonderful intangible rewards of getting involved in your community.

Back to the experience section

So back to the experience section. Start with your most recent relevant employment. List the dates you were employed there. List the next relevant employment, and the next. When you have listed all the relevant employment use any extra space to include your volunteer/community service projects.

Under each experience, list your duties. For example:

Operations Assistant at Andrews University Physical Therapy Department

  • Managed student needs within the department
  • Managed the front desk including phones and walk-ins
  • Event Coordinator for the department

Keep it brief and professional sounding. Remember how we use Power Words to make your objective sound more professional? We’re going to do the same for your experience. You didn’t "answer the phone," you "managed the customer service desk." You didn’t "plan parties," you were the "event coordinator."

When you’re done writing this section, like with all the sections, you should check out my sample resumes, and the formatting page to see how it should look in your resume.

Not what you're looking for? If you have lots of job experience and want some help with the Experience section click here!

Ready to list your skills? Click here for the Skills Section.

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