First Job Resume Template Examples

Writing your first resume can be challenging. Typically, your resume is where you list your professional experience and skills, but what do you do if you lack work experience?

Whether you are a recent college graduate or a student applying for your first job, you may not have much relevant work experience to include on your resume. In these cases, you still need to demonstrate to employers that you have the knowledge, skills, characteristics, and work ethic necessary to succeed in the positions you’re applying for.

To do this, you can list your education history, volunteer work, internships, extracurricular activities, and even hobbies that are relevant to the position. For entry-level positions, in particular, employers don’t necessarily expect you to have an impressive professional history. However, they do want to see that you’ve put effort into developing your knowledge and professional skills.

If you’re having trouble putting together your first resume, using a template can be very helpful. Resume templates take care of the formatting for you so that all you have to do is fill in the blanks with your information.

In this guide, we’ll show you everything else you need to know in order to compensate for a lack of work experience when writing your resume.

How To Compensate for a Lack of Work Experience

When you’re just starting out in the workforce, it can be challenging to create a strong resume.

How do you convince potential employers that you’re a good fit for the job if you have little experience?

The key is to focus on other aspects of your background that can demonstrate your skills and potential. This includes your education history, extracurricular activities, skills and hobbies, volunteer work, and internships. By explaining how these experiences have helped you develop the skills you need to succeed, you can land a job despite not having any work history.

Educational experience

If you’re a recent graduate or still in school, your educational experience can be a valuable asset on your resume.

If you graduated with a high GPA (3.7 or higher), include it on your resume to show potential employers you have a strong work ethic. You should also list the degree. Be sure to specify which type of degree you earned, and add the graduation date for any degree earned within the past 10 years as well.

If you took any classes relevant to the job you’re applying for, you can list up to five of them on your resume. Having this information will help employers see that you possess the skills necessary to succeed in the position for which you are applying.

You can also mention any academic awards or honors you’ve received, such as the honor roll or dean’s list.

Extracurricular activities

Participation in extracurricular activities can demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded individual with a range of skills and interests. Even if they aren’t directly related to the career you’re pursuing, they can show that you take the initiative to develop your leadership, knowledge, and skills outside of work and school.

This can include extracurricular activities like sports, music, student government, community service, or anything that has helped you develop on a personal and professional level.

Highlight any leadership roles you held, any accomplishments you achieved, and any skills you developed as a result of your involvement in these activities, and explain how these experiences have helped prepare you for your career.

For example, participating in sports may have helped you develop strong teamwork skills. Similarly, participating in a debate club may have helped you develop exceptional communication skills.

Volunteer work and internships

The fact that you have not held a paid job yet does not mean that you have not gained valuable work experience.

Volunteer work and internships can allow you to develop skills, gain experience, and demonstrate your work ethic.

If you’ve volunteered with a local charity or completed an internship in your field of study, include these experiences on your resume. Highlight the skills you developed and any accomplishments you achieved. You can include them in the ‘Experience’ section of your resume. Like a regular job, you should list your title (including Volunteer or Intern), responsibilities, and volunteer work or internship dates.

Many colleges have programs that help match students with internship opportunities relevant to their majors. If your university offers this, take advantage of the service to gain valuable experience that you can include on your resume. In some cases, these internships may even lead directly to full-time opportunities.

Skills and hobbies

While your personal activities and hobbies may seem irrelevant, they can help highlight your skills, personality traits, and characteristics to potential employers.

For example, if you enjoy activities like photography, graphic design, programming, or writing, there’s a good chance these activities have helped you develop skills that can be useful in a professional environment.

Even in cases where your hobbies don’t directly translate to the job you’re applying for, they can help recruiters determine if you’d be a good culture fit. The employer must evaluate your personal qualities in order to ensure that you will fit seamlessly into the team.

Make sure to include both hard and soft skills when filling in this section of your resume. Hard skills refer to professional skills that are specifically related to the work you’ll be doing. For example, hard skills for a designer may include experience with specific programs like Photoshop or Illustrator, while hard skills for a programmer would include specific programming languages.

On the other hand, soft skills are skills that aren’t directly tied to your job but are important for succeeding in a professional environment. This includes communication, teamwork, organization, time management, and problem-solving skills.

For individuals with little-to-no work experience, soft skills can be beneficial in convincing recruiters that you have what it takes to contribute to their companies.

First Job Resume Template Text Example

Anthony Gentile

(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
San Francisco, CA 12345
LinkedIn | Portfolio

Profile

An entry-level software developer specializing in application development, user-centered design, feature development, and full-stack development. Adept at designing innovative features and identifying opportunities to enhance the user experience.

Key Skills

  • Software development
  • Python
  • Full-stack development
  • Quality assurance
  • User-centered design

Professional Experience

Software Developer Intern, Cadence Technologies, San Francisco, CA
January 2023 – Present

  • Support software development teams in designing and implementing new features to enhance app performance and improve the user experience
  • Attend meetings with software developers to evaluate user feedback, identify areas of improvement, and increase user satisfaction by 15%

Academic Projects 

Application Development Projects, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
September 2021 – May 2023

  • Designed, tested, and developed a mobile application using Python, which enabled users to create and track fitness goals, heart rate, and calorie intake
  • Developed an Android application enabling users to evaluate data analytics, player statistics, weather conditions, and point differentials for fantasy football

Certifications

Full-stack Developer Certification, CareerFoundry, May 2023

Education

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Software Development 
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, San Francisco, CA September 2019 – May 2023
GPA: 3.9