No job experience? No problem.
You have career goals, and we want to help you reach them. Step one: identify what makes you a great candidate for a job or internship. Step two: learn how to share that information. Step three: succeed. Okay, so it’s not quite that easy. But it is easy to get started. Check out our how-to advice and while you’re at it, learn about everything ASU’s career center can help you with. We’re all rooting for you!
You’ve got skills, so show ‘em
Showcasing your skills is a great way to highlight specific areas you excel in, especially if you don’t have direct job experience yet. Here’s the place to include your high-level of organization that you learned from being a busy college student. Just make sure you understand how your skills relate to a job. It’s one thing to know you’re good at planning out your study schedule, but it’s another to understand how a manager will see those skills as useful to their organization.
Experience is all the rage
It’s the bulk of traditional resumes and the section that allows you to really show the meat of what you’ve accomplished. Remember that “experience” doesn’t always have to be paid positions you’ve held. It can come from volunteering, side hustles, student group roles, athletics and more. Check out this list of ways to gain meaningful experience that could help you land a job.
Highlight your education
You’re in college to learn and gain experiences that will help you reach your goals. Having a plan and executing it is an important skill, and by being in college, you’re on your way to executing a four- (or more) year plan. There are many things you learn in classes that can be used to highlight your skills as well — think group project skills like leadership and collaboration, public speaking and presentation delivery, and outcomes from assignments you’re proud of. Any professor can tell you that you’re learning real stuff here — use it.
Cater to your audience
Before making any big leaps into your experience, think about who you’re trying to appeal to. If it’s a specific company or interest area, do some research. Meet with a career advisor to discuss your goals and what employers are looking for. Then cater your resume and talking points to match. Knowing what a hiring manager is looking for can help you highlight those skills if you have them, instead of focusing on something else that may not be as important to them.
Lastly, focus on sharing your experience with anyone who asks. Here’s where it’s good to cover things in a more general way. Practice your elevator speech (a 30-second pitch about you and your experience and skills that could be said on a short elevator ride) on friends, mentors and again, your career advisor. Take their constructive feedback to help you improve, and once you have it down, start sharing it with people you meet — maybe even on an elevator.