By Sunny Simon
This week I received an email from a client with the following query: “I was wondering if you have any pointers for my son, Gabriel. He just graduated high school and wants to work but has no experience. He is looking for positions online but the sites require a resume. I’m wondering how to advise him on filling in the blanks under job experience. Is it appropriate to simply say “none”? And if so would he get any bites?”
My answer is a firm, YES, he should have a resume to present online to any potential employer. Of course, the dilemma is, how do you write a marketing document with zero experience? Well, get creative. No I don’t mean fluff, I mean dig down and get your data on paper.
As with any resume, a “Profile” section beneath the contact information should appear on the document. My advice to Gabriel is to write a paragraph describing hard and soft skills highlighting his abilities. Soft skills are talents like team player, collaborative, motivated, which are valuable in any position. Hard skills might include a second language or expertise in a software program or social media platform a company uses.
Next in any resume, is this experience section. Although many high school graduates have little to no formal work experience, I’m convinced if they do a deep dive, some jobs such a child care, lawn mowing, pool cleaning or involvement in organized sports or school extracurricular clubs would surface. For example, being voted as the captain of a bowling team responsible for creating schedules and collecting money can be documented. That’s a job.
Display volunteer work on a resume. Young people like Gabriel can make it count by describing how time was spent fundraising through networking and how sales skills were utilized to sell candy bars in support of the school’s football team.
Education is the next section. List name of school, date of completion and any achievement awards such as, “Honor Student for 3 consecutive years,’’ or “Co-Chair of the Debate Team.” A grade point average of 3.5 or above also helps the resume shine.
Entry level workers should not be discouraged due to lack of formal work experience, nor intimidated by creating a resume. Composing a professional looking document highlighting attributes and skills employers look for is doable. Use an online templates to guide you through the process. A final word to Gab, and other entry level individuals: You have value and can create a marketing document that grabs the attention of a hiring manager! Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com