Whether you’re new to the workforce, making a career change, or an aspiring manager, landing a job without the relevant experience might feel like a catch-22. With even the most entry-level jobs requiring some type of industry experience, how do you get your foot in the door; let alone, take your career to the next level? This situation, while frustrating, is certainly not uncommon. Fortunately, your lack of experience doesn’t always mean you’re unqualified for the job. And for the right candidate, some employers are willing to look beyond experience. To show that the right candidate is you, there are several ways to boost your resume. To help get you started, here are our top resume writing tips for overcoming a lack of experience:
Choose a functional resume format
If you’re struggling with resume writing due to lack of experience or gaps in your work history, a functional resume format is a good option. While a traditional resume format lists your work experience from newest to oldest, a functional resume first highlights your most important skills and then lists your work experience. Each skill should include four to five bullet point examples that give context into how you applied those skills in previous roles, including quantifiable accomplishments when possible.
Highlight your soft skills
With many employers prioritizing potential over experience, you’ll also want to emphasize your soft skills when writing your resume. Also known as essential skills, some common attributes that employers look for include excellent communication, leadership ability, and problem solving. When discussing your experience and technical skills, you’ll want to ensure these qualities come across in your examples. Read also: The 5 Top Skills Employers Are Looking For In 2020
Emphasize continued education
You don’t need to go back to school to gain knowledge and new skills in your field. Showing potential employers that you’ve earned a prestigious industry certification or taken a self-guided approach to professional development proves that you take initiative and are dedicated to learning. While these might not be listed in the job description, these are qualities that all employers look for in new hires. Plus, they can help you show that you will work hard to develop the skills you need for the job.
Include volunteer work
When writing your resume, don’t overlook the importance of including volunteer work. Not only is volunteering a great way to exhibit interest and experience in a certain field, but it also shows a genuine passion for what you do and a determination to make a difference. It’s also a great way to develop new skills or donate your skills to an organization or community in need.
Take on contract work or independent projects
Contract work or independent projects can give your resume writing the boost it needs. Not only does this type of work give you the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences in a short amount of time, they also prove your ability to hit the ground running. As a result, these experiences can give you the leverage you need to land the position.