Experience is the first thing that interests a potential employer in your resume. Where did you work before, what did you do, what success did you achieve – that’s what he wants to know. Therefore, the “Experience” section cannot be left empty, even if you really did not work before, have an experience that is irrelevant to the job, or went on a long-term “vacation” for any reason. What to write in such cases? We analyze all the options. We tell you how to avoid blocking your resume and how to make it better in the eyes of employers. Here we tell you how to explain the lack of experience in a resume!
If there is no experience
If you recently graduated from a university, college, school or are still studying, your lack of experience is understandable. But before choosing the option “No work experience” , think: is it definitely not there? If you have completed summer internships and internships, this is already experience, and it should be indicated. Here is an example . More detailed recommendations on what to write in a resume for a novice specialist can be found here .
If during your studies you worked not at all in your specialty (for example, as a salesperson, waiter, call center operator). Now you are looking for your first job in your specialty, this is no reason to hide your experience. It will be useful to you – we also talked about this .
Let’s say you haven’t had any internships or internships , unskilled work either. But surely there is some other information about the period of study that will help draw the attention of employers to you. For example, you wrote a thesis on a topic that is important for the field in which you are looking for a job. This should be indicated in the window immediately after the mark “No work experience” . In the resume, it will appear in the “About me” section .
A suspicious case is when studies are indicated as the reason for the lack of experience. But it is clear from the age and year of graduation that you are not yesterday’s graduate. It seems that the data in the resume is unreliable or incomplete.
Explain your situation in your resume more precisely. For example, your graduation time coincided with the birth of children, and you did not go to work while raising them. Or all the time after your studies you are in search of a job in your specialty, but so far unsuccessfully.
Also read : Steps of self representation in a resume
If the experience is small or incomplete
We interviewed employers and we know that they are interested in information about the candidate’s work experience over the past 5 years in the resume. Of course, this does not apply to beginners , who do not yet have and cannot have such experience. Representatives of working specialties also do not have to describe the experience for 5 years – you can limit yourself to the last place of work.
In other cases, if you indicated less than 5 years of experience in your resume, the moderators will compare your age or year of graduation with the current year to understand whether you are a beginner specialist or not. If the data doesn’t match, your resume will appear to be incomplete. For example, it is clear that you finished your studies a long time ago, but your work experience is indicated only for the last year or two.
It is better to explain such inconsistencies immediately when creating a resume. In any case, employers will have questions about this. Let’s list a few typical situations – perhaps you will recognize your own among them.
1. There are big gaps in the experience
The simplest example is you have devoted yourself to raising children for several years . Or they were forced to deal with problems with their own health or caring for a seriously ill family member. They were looking for a new job for a long time or took a pause on purpose to recover from a stressful project or take a break before changing their career vector. They were engaged in self-development – they learned languages, mastered new skills, and received additional education. Then, they retired, and now they decided to work again.
In a word, there are many options, but there should be some reasonable explanation for your long working unemployment over the past 5 years in your resume. Write about it in the “About Me” section.
In some cases, it is worth thinking carefully about the wording so that potential employers do not interpret them to your disadvantage. We wrote more about it here.
2. You had an off-topic job
Your career has developed quite logically. But at some point, I had to leave my professional path for the sake of more money or because I could not find options for my specialty at that time. Or you tried your hand at another profession , but were disappointed and decided to return.
There is nothing to be ashamed of, many people find themselves in such situations. Teachers and doctors who left to work as sales managers, and then decided to return. There are lawyers who, between two jobs in their specialty, moonlighted as drivers. There are financiers who went into creative professions, but realized that it was a dream of castles in the air.
Whether to write about that “turn to the left” in your resume when you are again looking for a job in your specialty is a big question. On the one hand, why is he needed there if he is clearly out of the general career path? On the other hand, an incomprehensible, unexplained gap will also raise questions. And if, because of it, your total work experience indicated in the resume turns out to be less than 5 years, although, judging by the age and time of graduation, it should be clearly more, then the resume may not pass moderation.
3. Minded your own business
Some understand the essence of the “Work Experience” section too formally: supposedly, only work for hire can be indicated here, and if you worked for yourself as an entrepreneur or freelancer , then you should not write about it in your resume. No – it should be indicated, because this is also your professional experience.
4. Changed profession
For example, you have been an accountant all your life, and then retrained as a web designer. Or a fitness trainer. Or decide to become a nanny. Now you are looking for your first job in a new specialty, so the previous experience in the resume seems to be no longer needed. Or you are not looking for the first job in a new capacity, but in general your experience in this area is less than 5 years, and your age is not like that of young professionals.
First, the experience in the former specialty is not so useless. Just don’t write it down on your resume in as much detail as you would if you were looking for an accountant job again. But it’s worth mentioning briefly, emphasizing which skills from your previous profession can be useful to you in a new one.
In addition, seeing your previous experience, the employer understands that you spent all these years not in an unknown place, but were engaged in business – you just decided to change direction since then. Now this, fortunately, happens more and more often and does not cause much surprise.
Secondly, write in plain text in the “About me” section that before such and such a year you had a different profession. This will remove questions – and there will be no reasons for inconsistencies.
Also read : How to enhance your previous experiences?
5. You had an extremely bad experience.
For example, over the past 5 years, you once (or more than once) experienced a dismissal under an article or left somewhere with a scandal . You understandably do not want to stir up that story. It seems that if you just keep silent about that place of work, as if it didn’t exist at all, then this will save you from problems, because then potential employers will not be interested in your person there, and if you’re lucky, they won’t look too hard into the work book.
Alas, if your work experience over the past 5 years becomes incomplete due to this gap, explanations will still be required. Both for resume moderation and when communicating with potential employers, if you go to them without going through remotesalt.com.
Therefore, that experience still needs to be indicated. You just need to carefully consider your position in case you are asked at an interview about the reasons for leaving there. In the end, conflict layoffs are not always the fault of the workers themselves. And you can always say about useful conclusions drawn from that story.
Also read : How to create a perfect resume?