There are a lot of resources out there on how to a great resume summary, but it’s difficult to find good advice on how to do it if you have no work experience.
So I’m going to walk you through what I recommend doing it, to make it as simple and easy as possible.
If you need to write a summary for your resume with no experience, you’re in the right place.
Okay, first- a summary is different than an objective. Usually resume objectives are useless because they don’t share anything the hiring manager doesn’t already know (such as “my goal is to obtain a position in the ___ industry”).
So what we’re doing here is better and will help your resume stand out from people who simply put an objective.
If you’re not sure what a resume summary actually is, check out this article on 10 resume summary examples.
But we still have the original problem: What do you put? You don’t have any work experience, so what goes on your summary?
What did you study? Did you just graduate with a degree? Mention that.
If you took a leadership role in your class projects, or clubs/groups at your school, you can mention that too.
Leadership doesn’t need to be in a job to get the hiring manager’s attention! Taking a leadership role in a sports environment is impressive as well.
You’re not going to mention specific accomplishments in your resume summary usually (you can do that later in your resume), but you can say things like “proven leadership” or “natural leader”, etc.
Are you passionate about startups and technology? Great, put that.
Want to make a difference in the world, and focus your career on social impact? Mention that.
This can include the grades you received, but also leadership positions you led, and clubs/groups you participated in.
Are you great at analytical thinking? Do you love working as a part of a team? Are you great at multi-tasking and handling a fast-paced team environment? Mention that.
I usually HATE soft skills on a resume, but your resume summary is a good place to put a few.
If you mention leadership they’ll want to ask you more about your leadership experiences. That’s a good thing.
Remember, whatever you put, they’ll probably ask you about.
So as you write your summary for your resume, try to think about what you want them to discuss with you, and what you want a chance to talk about.
And try to “tailor” your resume to fit the companies you’re applying to. If you’re applying to large corporations don’t start your summary by saying “Startup enthusiast”.
Here’s an example of a summary for your resume with no experience:
Enthusiastic, highly-motivated Economics graduate with proven leadership capabilities, who likes to take initiative and seek out new challenges
So in this case, you’re showing that you completed your Economics degree and have an interest in the subject, and you’re mentioning leadership and making the reader want to learn more about this.
You’re also making yourself sound ambitious and motivated at the end, which is always a good thing (I’m referring to the part that says “who likes to take initiative and seek out new challenges).
Notice the format too. This is how I recommend phrasing it. Don’t say “I am a ___”. Just start with the descriptive words.
You don’t need to say “An enthusiastic….” either. Get rid of “an”.
Writing a good summary for a resume with no experience isn’t easy. Hiring managers hear a lot of vague buzzwords every day, like “hard-working”, etc. (I even warn against using these words in my job interview answer guide).
But you need to use a few of these words if you have no work experience. There’s nothing else you can do. So try to pick things that are as meaningful as possible. Saying you enjoy working on a team, or you’re a natural leader, or you’re an analytical thinker and problem solver at least suggests something (and will prompt the hiring manager to ask you for more info, which is great!)
I’d avoid saying:
Those are the big 3 that I see badly over-used and they’ve become pretty meaningless.
If you follow the tips above you’ll have an interesting, compelling resume summary that will make the reader want to learn more about you – even in spite of your lack of work experience!