It is no surprise that the number one concern of new graduates entering the job market is their lack of work experience. In our article titled ‘No experience? No Problem!’ we outlined ways that you can surmount the obstacle that a lack of experience may pose by changing perspective or demonstrating the transferability of your existing skills and competencies.
By amplifying or focusing on the other aspects of your application you can possibly distract from or make up for the lack of work experience. Depending on the employer, the position, and the field of applicants you are competing against, your resume can successfully present a convincing case for your suitability for the role even with limited work experience.
Believe it or not there are things that carry more weight than work experience. And employers are sometimes willing to overlook those deficiencies for the right candidate. Let’s assume that you are applying for an entry level job. While the job description may include a minimum number of years’ experience remember that what it describes is the ideal candidate. They are fully aware that they may not find this perfect person. It is your goal to give them the impression that you are the closest they will get or that you are such a good fit that your lack of experience is irrelevant or even a blessing if they are looking to train.
The purpose of your resume is to spark interest in you as a candidate. Its intent is to get you an interview.
Here’s how you can impress a recruiter enough to earn that interview:
Presentation is important.
A professionally presented resume speaks volumes about you as a candidate. Create a positive first impression by showcasing your communications skills and making the resume easy to read, succinct and easy to follow. It is definitely worth the time to go online and research how to write an effective resume. Find a template that suits your personality and gives your resume character.
While a resume summary is the more contemporary style of resume, an objective is appropriate for new graduates with limited work experience. In it you can present your unique value proposition and skill set as well as a synopsis of your desired career path. Recruiters like you see that you have a goal.
Customize your resume.
We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to tailor your resume to each specific application, addressing each job description’s specific requirements and including the key words that the recruiter is looking for. Remember that if you lack the requisite experience you want to emphasize the qualifications you do possess. For example, if you are proficiency in a required software be sure to mention it under ‘Skills’ or in the bulleted key responsibilities.
Highlight skills earned from other experiences.
Job experience isn’t the only way that you can develop the skills needed in the workplace. Your extra-curricular activities and memberships can go a long way in providing these same competencies whether it is leadership, being part of a team, or organization and interpersonal skills. Showing how/where you developed these skills is more convincing than simply claiming a grocery list of skills.