Resume Building Ideas for Those with Minimal to No Experience

An empty resume may give a hiring manager the impression that you haven’t done anything productive with your time in school. Just because you may not have any paid work experience under your belt, does not mean you don’t have anything to put on your resume. Even though you may not have any work experience, you can still fill out this field with other types of experiences. Prove that you have skills to offer by giving solid examples of the education and experience that you’ve gained along the way.

Don’t hesitate to think outside the box as you’re building your resume. If you’re struggling to identify your strengths, ask around. Teachers, parents, friends, and family members can help you identify areas of strength where you stand out. They may point out that you’re a strong speaker, an organized and punctual individual, or a natural leader.

Tailor your resume to the position that you’re applying for as much as possible. Highlight the most relevant skills and try to give some cohesion to your resume whenever possible. For example, if you’re applying to work at a recreational park, you can make your teamwork, physical abilities, and experience with outdoor activities into relevant features that show why you’re the right person for the job.

Here are a few examples of how you can use your volunteer activities, student involvement, and classroom projects to build out your Work Experience section:

Senior Capstone, NDSU                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Spring 20XX
Reverse Engineer a Model Combat Tank
• Applied conceptual modeling and engineering skills while developing 3D models for over 50 individual and inter-working parts of a model combat tank
• Utilized technology and CAD software including PTC Creo and digital calipers to complete modeling
• Developed project management skills by serving as team leader, developing and adhering to work plan and delegating assignments to team members
• Displayed strong communication skills when presenting project process and results to professor and classmates

Habitat for Humanity, Moorhead, MN                                                                                                                                                                                    June – August 20XX
Build Site Volunteer
• Assisted with the construction of over a dozen homes in the Fargo-Moorhead area
• Coordinated with teammates to complete projects in a timely manner
• Performed various construction jobs such as framing, siding and finish work

Clearwater Lake Camp & Retreat Center, Clearwater, MN                                                                                                                                                       June – July 20XX
Summer Camp Volunteer
• Expertly led presentation of outdoor nature exploration safety programs
• Cleaned and maintained the campgrounds on a daily basis
• Organized and led team building activities for over 300 junior high campers

NDSU Student Government                                                                                                                                                                                                  September 20XX-20XX
Vice President
• Prepared meeting agendas with Student Government President
• Facilitated discussion at monthly meetings and mediated disputes
• Meticulously updated members’ calendars for meetings and upcoming events

By Jerry South
Jerry South Assistant Director of Career Coaching Jerry South