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Job Placement: Creating a Resume with No Job Experience

Hello, HFCC community! My name is Chad Austin, and I am the Job Placement Officer at Henry Ford Community College. The Mirror News asked me to write the occasional column for the paper, touching on a variety of subjects relating to job placement and how my office can help you get your career started. I hope that you find these columns to be informative and relevant.
Feel free to contact me through the Job Placement Office at 313-845-9618, or by email at Thanks and enjoy!
When most people sit down to write a resume they immediately begin to think about their work history and how they can incorporate their best experiences into their resume. But what if you have had little to no job experience up until now? How do you craft a resume that will show an employer what you can do? Listed below are some key areas to focus on in your resume if you don’t have a great deal of actual “paycheck” experience.

Clear Objective:
If you are applying for your first job, it is necessary to let the employer know that you are applying for a specific position with the hope of gaining practical and applicable experience. This lets an employer know that you want to add to your professional experience and you believe that this particular job can help you do that.

Leadership Experience:
If you have been put in a leadership position in school or other activities, talk about what you had to do that helped you develop skills. For example if you were the captain of your high school baseball team, don’t mention your batting average or your winning percentage, but do talk about conducting team meetings and planning team activities. These types of experiences translate well to a paying position.

Volunteer Experience: Volunteering is basically unpaid work experience. Mention what you had to do as a volunteer, and give extra attention to any work you did that is relevant to the job you are currently applying for.

School Projects:
If you are in college and have done various projects as part of a major that fits with the job you are seeking, it is perfectly okay to talk about those projects. List the steps you took and what you learned as a result.
Even if you haven’t been working your whole life, you have hopefully engaged in other activities that showcase your abilities. Focus on those and you can still craft a full and well-rounded resume.

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