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Through online discussions and advice, speaking engagements and workshops, I offer my support as you begin your job search. Please submit questions by clicking on the "Comments" link below. I look forward to hearing from you. - Irene

Thursday, May 31, 2007

How Do I Write a Resume Without Real Work Experience?

Ah, the age old question. We all find ourselves asking this question at some point early in our working careers.

If you are feeling unprepared and overwhelmed at the thought of writing your first resume, don’t despair. Believe me, you are definitely not alone. The easiest way to do this is to take it one step at a time. Let’s just focus on the first step here, for the moment. Don’t focus yet on what type of job you’d like to get. Focus on what you’ve done so far.

If you are a student, this means focusing on past activities. In a Word document or on a sheet of paper, first list out each year – 1st grade, 2nd grade…and so on up until the end of high school or college, depending on where you are now. Now, for each year, think about what you did that year and write it down. Don’t worry, you won’t be sending this list off to potential employers. This list is for your use only and is a great first step to writing your first resume. Be sure to include sports you played, musical instruments, projects and project teams, special awards and achievements, etc. You may want to ask your parents to help you fill in some of the details you can’t easily remember.

If you are an adult, maybe a parent, looking to return to the workforce after a lengthy time away, writing a resume can be just as challenging as for someone doing it for this very first time. The first step is not so different than what is written above for students. The only difference is that, rather than focusing what you did during your youth, you will examine the many projects and activities you’ve taken on during your time away from the job market over the past few years. Did you coordinate events with your church, coach your child’s sports team, volunteer with a local non-profit organization? Think in the broadest terms and include everything you can think of on your list. Don’t exclude anything. This is only the first step; the content will be refined later.

Once you have completed this list of activities and accomplishments, you will be ready for the next step toward creating your first resume. You may surprise yourself with how much skill and experience you actually do have to include.

Stay tuned for information on the next step or feel free to click on ‘comment’ below to ask for further information.

Now, get busy with that list!

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