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Writing a compelling resume is always a challenging undertaking. However, when you have no relevant work experience, it’s even more challenging. Figuring out how to showcase your capabilities as a first-time job seeker or professional making a career change requires finesse. Luckily, it’s isn’t as difficult as it may seem.  

It is possible to position yourself well even if you lack relevant work experience, though how you need to approach it varies depending on your situation. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some tips.  

Have a Compelling Professional Statement  

When you don’t have any relevant work experience, a traditional professional summary may not work. However, if you relabel it as a professional statement, you can pivot its message.  

With a professional statement, you can highlight any relevant details that do make you a good fit for the job. You could focus on your education or skills learned through a range of mechanisms, including transferable ones from your time working in other industries or that you acquired on your own time.  

Continue with a Strong Skills List  

After your professional statement, create a bulleted skills list section (usually comprised of two or three short columns). Here, you want to include any skills you possess on the hiring manager’s must-have list, typically as reflected in the job ad. Additionally, you can discuss soft skills that are useful in any role.  

Again, this is about drawing attention to areas where you meet the job qualifications. You want to showcase your capabilities, regardless of how you acquired them.  

Follow It Up with Education  

If you’re a new graduate looking for an entry-level role, leading off with your education instead of your work history can be a wise move. This is especially true if a particular degree is required for the role, and that’s what you bring to the table.  

Include All of Your Relevant Experience  

Many professionals operate with the assumption that only paid positions can go in your work history; that simply isn’t the case. Any relevant experience can potentially qualify, including volunteer positions, side gigs, and, in some cases, personal projects.  

Examine the experience you do have in this broader sense. Look at both long- and short-term undertakings. Think of any time where you took on responsibilities beyond your immediate household.  

If you find options that could work, present them similarly to how you’d discuss work experience. However, be honest about the situation. For example, if you were a volunteer, list that as part of the position title. If it was a personal or school project, say so.  

For gig work, you may be able to take a few approaches. You could include it all in one section, discussing it as a period of freelancing work, or you could separate the projects out, an option that may be better if they were fairly sizeable, and you have a lot to share.  

Are You Ready to Advance Your Career? 

Ultimately, it is possible to present yourself well, even if you have no relevant work experience. If you’d like to gain access to major national and international companies, the team at Alpha Consulting can help. Contact us today.  

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