It can be a bit frustrating when you find an available job that you really like and that you feel will best suit you, but then you have no relevant experience to mention in your resume. As we all know, many employers tend to prefer people with experience. They’re the ones with the most real knowledge of the job.
But that doesn’t mean that you have a hopeless case when you’re a new graduate or if you’re changing your career or industry. There are still ways for you to spruce up your resume to make you look more qualified, without blatantly lying in your resume.
Writing a Resume When You Have No Relevant Experience
Mention School and Personal Projects
These are your achievements, and you need to mention them in lieu of actual relevant work experience. School projects are of course among the most obvious examples of projects you can cite. But you probably have other side projects in your personal life that may be related in some way to the job you’re applying for.
The most important thing here is that you don’t explicitly lie and say that they’re part of your work experience. Instead, specify them as school or personal projects. Who’s to say that they can’t be mentioned?
You can then present these projects as you would your work experience. Mention the goal of the projects and the tasks you’ve completed to achieve those goals. Mention the challenges you faced and what you did to overcome them.
Note Relevant and Transferable Skills
Before you say that you don’t have any skills relevant to the work you’re applying for, reconsider and think back. Why exactly do you think you’ll be good at this job even without actual work experience? Those reasons are most like the skills that you may have learned in school and in your previous jobs, even if these jobs are unrelated.
So mention your ability to offer clear presentations, ability to work well with others, quickness to learn, capacity to communicate with customers, and maybe organizational skills. List all the things you know you can do that can then be of help in the job you’re applying for.
Include a Strong and Passionate Cover Letter
In your cover letter, your mission is to convey how your interests, passions, and life experiences will be of benefit when you’re hired to do the job. What you need to do sit o impart the impression that you do know more about the job than your work experience may indicate so that you will be an asset to the company instead of a liability.
The cover letter gives you the opportunity to explain in greater detail how your transferable skills and your history of projects can help with your new job. You can specify how such skills as your communications, interpersonal, and organizational skills that you developed in school or in your previous job can now help you succeed in the new job.
Admittedly, it may take a bit of luck and some networking advantages to successfully get a new career or a new job as a fresh graduate. But a resume that comes with lists of transferable skills and work projects can only help, especially with an effective cover letter than can explain how these things are actually “relevant”!