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How to Build a Resume When You Have Little Work Experience

 

When you have little work experience, it can be hard to build a resume that will get the kind of attention you want from employers. Fortunately, there are resume types that can highlight what you can do rather than what job experience you have. A skill set resume is a type of resume that showcases your individual skills rather than the specific jobs that you have held in the past. The skills that you have built during your life don't have to be from past jobs--they can be from any aspect of your life.

Life Skills on a Resume

A resume that is devoted to life skills should have several subheadings that outline the basic skills that you have that can benefit an employer. If you are a stay-at-home mother, you may have many skills that can be highly valuable to a potential employer. Keeping a household organized is one important skill that every employer needs. Create a subheading that describes your organizational skills in order to highlight this skill.

Communication skills are also important for virtually every job out there. As a mother, you likely have excellent communication skills that you have put into practice over the phone, in person and through email, Skype and IM programs. Create another resume subheading that highlights your communication skills. 

Other skills that you may have, such as using certain software and using specific office equipment, are all valuable skills that can be highlighted on a resume. Being able to operate a fax machine, use Microsoft Word and create spreadsheets are all useful skills that warrant their own section of your resume. Virtually any job can benefit from these skills, including most office jobs, temp jobs and assistant positions. 

Other skills that you may have picked up at home or in short-term jobs include operating office machines, using specific types of software and filing paperwork. Even with no job experience at all, you may have learned how to create websites, use a scanner, or use spreadsheets.

Organizing Your Resume

When you highlight your life skills on a resume, it should be arranged under each skill heading rather than in chronological order. The order in which you learned your skills is not as important as how useful the skills are. If you are applying for office jobs, highlight your office skills, such as software and office machine use, at the top of the resume. Then, follow with complementary skills that will show you to be a well-rounded future employee.

Under each skill heading, briefly describe your expertise with each skill. If creating websites is your skill, describe what you use to build them and how many you have built. If your skill is with Microsoft Word, briefly touch on some of the more complex features that you use, such as creating a table of contents or adding graphics to the page. Keep each skill set to about one paragraph, and try to list three to five basic skills that will benefit an employer (keeping the resume one to two pages in length).

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