Resumes are the standard requirement today for all job candidates regardless of your level of expertise or work experience. Without one, you might not get a look in from hiring managers. It is such that even law graduates fresh from law school are required to have resumes detailing their qualifications, the schools they attended and their work experience. So the sixty four thousand dollar question is how do you write a resume when you haven’t got work experience?
Here are 7 ways to write that resume even when you lack the experience to match.
(1) Highlight your transferable skills
Transferable skills are a wide range of flexible skills that are useful for a range of positions and can be readily transferred into different job areas. Examples are an ability to speak in public, motivate others, and work confidently under pressure and the possession of useful computer skills. When you have no work experience then highlighting your transferable skills on your resume can be a good enough substitute.
(2) Write an impressive and catchy summary
As a follow up from point one, you should write a catchy summary of your unique transferable skills. In doing this avoid describing them with zombie nouns. Instead use power packed action verbs. Choose “determined” over “determination” or “communicate” over “communication”. Avoid using too many words ending with “tion”. Express a deep interest in the job and your willingness to learn on the job.
(3) Personalize your resume
You may have as many degrees as a hand has fingers but if your face doesn’t fit you may not get hired. You must possess just the right personality required of the job you are seeking. So write your resume in such a way that it will mirror your suitable personality to the hiring manager.
(4) Add links to your resume
Since you lack the needed work experience, you can make up for this by adding links to your social media accounts on your resume. If you do have a personal blog, then put the link to it. This will provide the hiring manager with a lot more information about you and whatever meaningful engagements you’ve been having online.
(5) Add relevant extracurricular activities
Don’t ignore this for any reason. The things you do in your spare time and the hobbies you keep can help swing the employment balance in your favor. Only list activities and hobbies that enlarged your skillset and that you’ve been enriched by.
(6) Stand out with design
Infuse creativity in the way you design your resume. This will help you stand out from the bland crowd. Don’t send a boring, generic resume that resembles that of every other applicant. But in doing this ensure you don’t violate the resume tradition of your industry. Rather tailor it to suit it.
(7) mention your volunteering and internships
If you have ever done an externship or volunteering, then add that to your resume. That would suit your hiring managers to a tee. It will also show them you are an enthusiastic person.
A youngish lawyer with penetrating insight, Patrick Herbert is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Lawstudenthub, a site dedicated to helping new wigs find their footing in a trickily slippery legal profession and stay current with emerging developments in the legal industry. He holds an LL.B from the University of Benin and a BL from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
To get in touch, follow him on social media.