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4 Ways to Build a Resume When You Have Zero Experience

Written by Lauren Marinigh

Image by Emma Matthews on Unsplash and Tyler Doupe of Student Life Network

how to write a resume with no experience

How do you write a resume with no experience? Here are four simple tactics to get you started on finding valuable experience, connecting with mentors, and getting employed by graduation.

“How am I supposed to get a job when I don’t have any experience?”

Experience is like the answer to a frustrating riddle. Every job wants you to already have it—you need experience to get in the door, but since you don’t have any experience, there’s seemingly no way for you to get it in the first place.

Luckily, there are ways to get job experience when you don’t have any, as well as some workarounds to help you get your foot in the door.

If you’re a student writing a resume with no experience, start doing these four things NOW. Before you know it, you’ll have some exciting content to include and the connections to actually send it out.

READ MORE: Cover Letters, Resumes, and Personal Brands: What’s the Difference?

1. Volunteer

Take a look at the student union at your school or even reach out to your teachers, you never know what type of opportunities you may find.

Employers want to see that you’re committed to things outside of just going to class.

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in a given industry, then you should seek out events happening in that industry. Reach out to see if you can help in any way. You’ll get to attend a pricey event for free and also meet people in your industry while gaining something to add to your resume. Employers want to see that you’re committed to things outside of just going to class. It shows dedication, plus great time-management skills.

2. Coffee Dates

You’ve heard that it’s not about what you know, but who you know. Starting to network in your industry early on is important. There’s this misconception among students that if you don’t have a family friend in the industry, you’re out of luck in this department, but the truth is, you’re not.

This is an opportunity to pick their brain, and ask them questions you have about your industry or their job.

Many professionals are willing to go out for coffee (once it’s safe) with young professionals and students. This is an opportunity to pick their brain and ask them questions you have about their industry or their job. Build a relationship that could potentially be beneficial in the long run.

3. Social Media

Stop using your social media to post that photo of you and your friends that you look “oh so cute” in and start using it to help get yourself ahead and make connections that can lead to work. First off, take some time to do a social media sweep and make sure there’s nothing on there you wouldn’t want an employer to see.

Connect with them and send them a personal message on why you want to connect with them.

Next, update your LinkedIn profile to be a true reflection of you, and start utilizing that search bar. Search people in your city and within your industry. Connect with them and send them a personal message on why you want to connect with them. Once you connect, invite them to coffee or an informational interview.

Finding influential people in your industry on social media, then following and engaging with them is a much more informal way of building relationships. However, it’s a great way for possible mentors and employers to see just how passionate you are about your industry.

4. Get Involved

You might not have the motivation to be involved on campus. Especially once you already have a circle of friends. But this is about more than just making a new friend. Consider joining clubs, running for your student government, becoming a teaching assistant or tutor, or even attending different campus events.

You’re probably thinking, “But isn’t going to school enough?” and the answer is no.

This can be a great way to step outside of your regular circle, meet new people, and gain valuable experience you can add to your resume.

You’re probably thinking, “But isn’t going to school enough?” and the answer is no. You can choose to postpone building your resume and network until the day you walk across that stage, but how are you going to compete with all the students that spent those four years doing something more?

Read More: 10 Resume and Cover Letter Mistakes We’ve All Made

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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.