Five Tips to Building a Resume without Work Experience

For people with three internships, eight leadership positions and a plethora of honors and awards throughout their college experience, creating a resume can seem pretty easy. But for those who may not have work or internship experience, building a resume can be daunting.

We talked to Jessica Phillipe, a recent graduate (UF ’17) and Career Ambassador about some tips on how to build a resume without any internship or work experience:

1.) Not all “work or internship experience” has to be paid


Though students are exceptionally hesitant to save the experience section on their resumes for paid jobs and internships, consider volunteering and unpaid activities as work experience. These roles can leverage your ability to be a good member of your community while showcasing your communication and interpersonal skills.

2.) Involvement, involvement, involvement!

Work experience isn’t the only piece of the resume employers and grad schools are looking at. Involvement is just as important! Whether its related to your major or not, whether you are a part of Greek life or not, being involved or committed to a cause is extremely important. It’s never too late to get involved and find things you’re passionate about. Leveraging these interests can go a long way to catching the eye of a recruiter.

3.) Leverage the “quality over quantity”


Remember that having two or three meaningful pieces on your resume can go a long way as opposed to having a wide assortment of involvement and job experiences that may not seem as meaningful. Employers hold weight over quality of work and the length of time you’ve done something rather than a lot short term activities on your resume.

4.) Match your relevant skills to those of the job

Using your multitude of skills, whether inside or outside the classroom, you can always create a more strategic resume that fits the needs of the employer. You can always create a master resume with all your activities, classroom experiences and involvement and filter out with only relevant information. Be sure to use the job descriptions to match your skills with key words and traits of the job posting. Having a specific resume for every job you apply will show your future employer that you took time to build a resume for that organization.

5.) Consider your academic projects, papers and coursework as “experience”


Running from class to class may not seem like an important skill to have, but the information you learn in class is. Leveraging your research skills, qualitative and quantitative knowledge, and ability to juggle different classes simultaneously can be easily implementable into your resume. Specific projects that required different software knowledge can be placed under a “Project Experience” tab of your resume.

By using these tips, you can build a resume that fits best for you and the job you’re applying for. Bring a draft of your resume to the Career Connections Center, which is temporarily located in The Gallery on Level 2 of the Reitz Union, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and get it edited by our incredible Career Ambassadors.

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