How do I make a resume if I don’t have any “real” job experience?

How do I make a resume if I don’t have any “real” job experience?

How do I make a resume if I don’t have any “real” job experience?

When students say this, there are a few different reasons why. Let’s walk through the different cases.

1.) You worked a bunch of odd jobs throughout college to pay bills, so you don’t have a “real” internship

2.) You are a student athlete who was committed to their sport

3.) You were involved with a lot of school extracurriculars that took up all of your time

4.) You studied abroad

This is perfectly normal! You are still a qualified job candidate and capable of finding a great job. Let’s talk about how you can leverage your story to be a strength in your resume.

Odd Jobs

If you worked various odd jobs, craft a story about the soft skills you learned. For example, if you worked a service job in the restaurant industry, talk about your ability to accommodate customers and understand their needs. For example, you can highlight your ability to understand conversation timing because you had to decide when to check in with a table, and when to leave them alone.

Sometimes students tend to feel embarrassed or ashamed that they worked odd jobs. Don't hide your story! Your story is what makes you, you. These skills are valuable and people who don't work these odd jobs sometimes miss developing these skills.


Server— Taco Restaurant & Co— Summer 2022-Present

  • Managed shift schedules and coordination for a dozen front-of-house workers

  • Upsold target personas such as first dates on alcohol and appetizers

  • Developed a closing checklist that decreased total time from 1 hour to 40 minutes

Student Athlete

If you are a student athlete who had to prioritize training over jobs, talk about your dedication and teamwork. If you or your team placed well in competitions, talk about winning. Even if you didn't win a lot, you should still talk about the lessons you learned from playing your sport.


Student Athlete— Colorado College Men's Tennis— 2021-Present

  • All-American conference title

  • Improved serve speed from 110 to 125 mph

  • Team Captain senior year, led team to 11-4 record in the state


If you are involved in a lot of extracurriculars, it is important to highlight activities where you spent the majority of your time. If you were in multiple clubs, but you were in a leadership role for a particular club, then you should mostly talk about that particular club. Because clubs vary from school to school, it's also important to describe the impact of your extracurriculars.


Co-lead— Colorado College Dance Workshop— 2023-Present

  • Organized 50 students to perform for over 2000 attendees

  • Designed advertisements for the event, including social materials and print flyers

  • Choreographed and taught a dozen students a hip-hop routine in under 3 weeks

Study Abroad

If you studied abroad, you should highlight the institution you attended and the courses you took. This should appear alongside your home institution. If your study abroad offers grades, you should note the GPA as well.

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