Resume Summary with No Experience: Examples for Students and Fresh Graduates

By Biron Clark

Published:

Recent Grads | Resume/CV

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

 

If you’re looking for how to write a summary for your resume with no work experience, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to walk you through exactly what to do, and then we’ll look at resume summary examples for entry-level job seekers, students and fresh graduates. 

How to Write a Summary For Your Resume With No Experience:

First, a resume summary is different than an objective. And it’s much better. Putting an objective on your resume is outdated and unnecessary. 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. Whereas, the resume summary gives a quick highlight reel of your qualifications, education, and more. If you’re not sure what a resume summary actually is, check out this article on 10 resume summary examples. And while it’s easier to figure out what to put if you’ve built up some work experience, you can still write an effective resume summary with no work experience whatsoever.

So in this article, I’m going to show you how. What should go into your summary when you don’t have any work experience? 

1. Put academic accomplishments and leadership

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.

2. Put your interests and passions

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.

3. Put “hard” skills

If you’re proficient in any tools, technologies, etc… you can include that in your resume summary. Don’t list 20 things. That’s what your “Skills” section is for. But pick the three or four things that are most relevant for the job you’re applying for.

Coming up in this article, we’re going to look at two resume summary examples for people with no experience... and in the second example, you’ll see how this would look.

4. Include soft skills

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? While these shouldn’t be the main focus of your resume summary section, they can be worth mentioning. It’s especially good to include soft skills that you see mentioned in the job description.

For example, if you see they mention wanting someone who’s great at multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment, and you feel that describes you well, then your resume summary is the perfect place to include this.

5. Put statements that will grab the employer’s interest and make them want to ask you questions!

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”.

3 Resume Summary Example for Students, Fresh Graduates and Entry-Level Job Seekers:

In this section, I’m going to share three examples of how to write a summary for your resume with no experience. You can use these resume summary examples as a student, entry-level job seeker, or any job search where you don’t have experience:

Resume Summary with No Experience – Example #1: Economics Student

Enthusiastic, highly-motivated Economics student with proven leadership capabilities, who likes to take initiative and seek out new challenges.

In this example above, 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.

This is a simple yet effective resume summary example for students OR recent graduates.

Resume Summary with No Experience – Example #2: Fresh Graduate in Computer Science

Computer Science graduate passionate about data engineering and machine learning. Highly-capable leader, having led multiple Senior class projects to completion. Proficient in a range of modern technologies including Python, Java and Scala.

This is another good example of a student or fresh graduate resume summary that still shows your skills and academic focus, even if you have no formal work experience.  In this entry-level resume summary example, you’re highlighting accomplishments and leadership as a student and you’re also showing that you’re passionate about your work. Saying you’re passionate about data engineering is much better than just saying, “Looking for a job in data engineering.” They’ll know you’re looking for jobs because you applied. Taking up space to say it is a bad use of this area of your resume, and is why I never recommend having a resume “Objective” section. The summary exists instead of an “Objective” and is much better.

The example above also included some great programming keywords (Python, Java, Scala) to help get past any automated application systems and grab the hiring manager’s attention very quickly when they first look at your resume. If you work with any tools or technologies that have names like these, you can include it in your entry-level resume summary if you’d like. Other examples of tools/technologies: Photoshop, MS Excel, etc.

If you decide not to include these on your resume summary, make sure to include them elsewhere such as your Education or Skills section.

Resume Summary Example with No Experience #3: Math Student Graduating Soon

4th year mathematics student passionate about statistics and data analysis. Proven project leader. Active member of Boston University’s Mathematics Club. Speaker at 2018 “New York Young Mathematicians Conference.”

This resume summary example for students shows how you can list accomplishments even if you’ve never formally worked before. Did you participate in any clubs at school? Have you led any class projects? These are impressive pieces you can add to your resume summary with no experience formally working. 

How to Write a Resume Summary For Students/Fresh Graduates – Quick Recap

  1. Skip buzzwords like “hard-working” and put real academic accomplishments instead, like projects you produced and tasks you led
  2. Include what you’re interested in and passionate about to show them why you are applying for this position
  3. Mention hard skills like “Java Programming” or “Excel,”  especially if they’re listed on the job description
  4. Include soft skills as well like, “excellent at multi-tasking”, especially if you saw these keywords anywhere on the job description
  5. Include statements in your resume summary that will catch the employer’s interest and make them want to talk with you and ask you more. Remember – the entire goal of your resume is to get invited to interview. So if you did anything unique like giving presentations, working in an internship, participating in a school club, etc., you can include this in your entry-level resume summary.

If you follow the tips above, you’ll have a great entry-level resume summary that will stand out and catch a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s attention so you can get more interviews.

After you write your entry-level resume summary, here are two more articles that may be helpful when job searching with no experience:

 


Biron Clark

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7 thoughts on “Resume Summary with No Experience: Examples for Students and Fresh Graduates”

  1. This site was pretty helpful in guiding me throughout my school resume, would love other tips would do well.

  2. This is a great guide. If only schools were actually interested in teaching children real life skills like this.

  3. Hi, I am a student who has been finding it very difficult to make resumes due to the lack of working experience. I am currently trying to find a job while studying at the same time. I am in University completing a certificate and will soon be applying for a BA in Psychology and Criminolgy. However, I wish to apply for a part time job in the fashion industry. Can you please leave me some tips about what I can do to ensure that I can find a job without needing experience.

    Your page has really helped, Thank you.

  4. Hi, I’m a job seeker with 2 years experience working as a cart collector at grocery store and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, is this a good professional summary?: “Reliable team member with a keen interest in information technology and other applications. Capable of handling multiple projects within deadlines. Eager to apply my professional and academic background as an Administrative Assistant at Bogdan Contracting.”

    I’ve been job seeking since October 2018, I’m hoping I can start a career in tech support as soon as possible.

    • Hi Marcais,

      I think it sounds pretty good. My least favorite part is the first word, though. “Reliable” sounds pretty average/boring. Sure, you show up, do your job, etc. That’s what I think when I hear “reliable”. But not much more.

      I’d look for a better word to lead off with.

  5. Hello!

    I would like to say thank you for making this article about writing a summary for a resume. For the past couple of months, I have been struggling to find someone who can help me with that because I don’t have a lot of experience in my field (i.e. engineering). I do have one question though. Is it appropriate to use first-person nouns in the summary section? I have seen people do that, but I find it quite odd.

    Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you.

    • Hi Frances,

      I’d avoid saying, “I” if that’s what you’re asking.

      Just say “Led team of 7 people to accomplish ___”

      Etc.

      Just start without a pronoun.

      Another example: “Highly-accomplished accounting professional who has ____”

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