How to Make a Resume with No Experience

The memes were right: It’s harder than ever to master how to make a resume with no experience in 2022. Why? Because getting a job with no experience is a nightmare.

91% of employers admit they prefer their candidates to have work experience. 65% will toss out your application if you don’t have relevant experience. And, job listings require 20% more skills than they did five years ago. 

Yet, this entire time, we keep following the old rules of thumb for our resumes that no longer apply. Before we know it, we’re waiting for a phone call or an email that never comes through. 

Oh, and remember—your resume has less than a minute to leave a lasting impression on a hiring manager. So, as the job market becomes even more ruthless, it’s a must to learn how to make a resume with no experience in 2022.

Let’s (literally) get to work. 

What Is a Resume?

Resume template with white background and light blue header font with text that says “Brandon Butler” above basic resume contact info and listed expertise areas and job summary and education summary and certifications listed
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

A resume is a document you make that briefly summarizes your work and educational history. Since employers are raising the bar on how much experience you need to secure a job, you’ll want to list out relevant skills and accomplishments to help you secure an offer.

Whether or not it’s required, a well-prepared resume sends a strong message to a recruiter. It’s a sign that you’re not just another run-of-the-mill applicant. Instead, you’re a candidate whose story is special and worth hearing about.

3 Tips Before You Make Your Resume

Resume template with vertical column in green background (left) featuring basic resume contact info and skills and vertical column in white background (right) includes job and education summary with text that says “Leigh Easton” at top of page 
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

What are the fundamentals of a strong resume? Here are three tips before you learn how to make your resume with no experience:   

1. Update Your Contact Info

Every resume you share should include your updated contact info. Not only will you need to list your email address and phone number, but you’ll want to confirm all your contact info is professional.

A good tip for beginners is to change your usernames so they feature your first and last name without numbers and random characters. Make sure your work-friendly social media accounts, websites, and email addresses are all on display. 

2. Consider Making a Portfolio

If you’re a creative pursuing opportunities in fields like design and copywriting, it’s best to link your portfolio to your resume. As long as you’re showing off three project samples on your portfolio that are most relevant to future employers, clients, and collaborators, you’re set.

3. Ask for a Reference 

Early on in your career, you’ll reap huge benefits from asking for references in advance. It’s hard enough to sell yourself on your own right now, so letting others rave about how awesome you are is a wise approach to take.

Beginner Resumes: Simple or Fancy?  

Resume template with floral border surrounding white background and pink header text that says “Suzanne Nichols” and lists out about me summary in details in normal text for experiences at position's contact info and qualifications and skills
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

When you learn how to make a resume with no experience, it’s normal to wonder if your resume is too simple or fancy. Entry level applicants may feel like they don’t have enough experience to get rid of the extra white space on their page.

But, the best way to determine whether a simple or fancy design suits your fancy boils down to what opportunity and industry you’re trying to join.

Turn to a simple resume design when you’re applying for openings in most traditional institutions and old-fashioned industries. Unless you’re pursuing a creative role at hubs like these, chances are you’ll want to tone your style down a bit if you’re applying to work at a bank or a pharmaceutical conglomerate. 

Dial up the fanciness of your resume when you’re promoting your creative taste as a relevant strength in front of recruiters and hiring managers.

You may have more leeway on your resume design if you’re going after opportunities inside organizations that are smaller, less bureaucratic, and open-minded.

How to Format Your Resume for Your First Job

Brilliant. You just breezed through resume design basics. Now it’s time to walk you through how to format your resume for your first job: 

Teenagers and High School Students

Resume example for teens includes vertical column in pink background (left) featuring basic resume contact info and languages and technical skills and vertical column in white background (right) includes job and education summary and achievements with header text that says “Pearl E. Schelle” at top
Vertical columns help high school resumes fill up leftover space. Image by Carlene Allen.

For teenagers and high school students looking to score their first jobs, go ahead and build your resume around your academic experience. Feel free to list your grade-point average (GPA), coursework, and memberships in organized extracurricular activities—especially if you spend a lot of time on a sports team or a school club. As a bonus, you can mention any classes that are relevant to the opportunity you want.

Young Adults and College Students

Resume template example for young adults and college students includes white background with green paint divider separating profile interests and contact info (left) from job and educational summary (right) with header text that says “Sara Alcevedo” at top 
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

Look—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you go from finding a part-time opportunity flipping burgers to trying to get that college acceptance letter. And, the same applies if you’re a college student working tirelessly to land a full-time offer after graduation.

While colleges will see your grade-point average (GPA) on your transcript, you’ll still want to add it to your college resume. Just be sure to let your extracurricular experiences speak the loudest on your college resume.

Double-check if you can submit a resume that takes up more than one page. The good news is you have more creative freedom on the design.

Your job and extracurricular descriptions should be brief. Nevertheless, they won’t be held to the same standard as the duties you describe on a full-time job resume in the future.

Resumes for Internships

Resume template for internships with white background and subtle gold header icon above text that says “Elizabeth Perry” above contact info and work summary and education and skills 
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

Most college students searching for internships and full-time opportunities should limit their resumes to one page. However, on top of incorporating basic academic details—like your GPA, internships, and clubs—your professional resume is expected to read well on paper.

Cut out irrelevant experiences and trim down bullet points highlighting job responsibilities and results, as needed.

How to Format Resumes for an Entry Level Position 

Already graduated like Kanye? Welcome to the big leagues then. When you need proof you’re a pro worthy of an entry level position, format your resume accordingly:

Creative Entry-Level Positions

Resume template with left vertical column featuring header text that says “Staci Bosworth” above contact info and profile summary while the right vertical column includes job and education summary and skills
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

Hoping to bring your talents to a creative entry-level role? Most agencies and in-house creative teams want to see your personality reflect on your resume. Even more so, they’ll look to see how you pull this off with your creative expertise. 

Aspiring designers are more likely to be critiqued on how their resume design correlates with the work and brand identity hiring team. And writers on the rise will be critiqued on their resume voice. (Brownie points if you list what measurable results your designs helped produce, too.)

Customer Service Entry-Level Positions

Resume template with left vertical column in light gray background featuring header text that says “Colleen Taylor” above contact info and about me section while right vertical column with white background includes job experience skills and education background
Customize this resume template with PicMonkey.

Resumes for entry-level customer service roles don’t often project provocative designs. Yet, they get away with sporting louder looks than most corporate resumes. 

What’s the secret to striking this balance? A good entry-level customer service resume makes up for what it lacks in trademark style by positioning the candidate as a highly-adaptable and people-savvy problem solver. 

Whip up a skills section for your resume that signals which of your abilities best demonstrate this. If you’re multilingual or know how to use a customer support platform the employer relies on, it’s a huge plus for your candidacy.

Meme with 3 coworkers nearby cubicle and text that says “We’re looking for someone 22-26 with 30 years of experience”
Sad but true.

So there you have it. Learning how to make a resume with no experience just got easier. The days where this meme reigned supreme could be coming to an end. But, if that means you move one step closer to your dream opportunity, then we’re here for it.  

A wise man once said, “Mistakes are the best teachers. One does not learn from success. It is desirable to learn vicariously from other people’s failures, but it gets much more firmly seared in when they are your own.”

The forgotten formula to make a great resume without experience is to attach it to applications, gauge how many good and bad responses it yields, and then submit the edited version for similar opportunities.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Payday.

Cover image via Macrovector.

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