I have no relevant experience; how can I make my resume attractive to potential recruiters?

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resume1Oumar from DeVry University asked:

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems (from AIU) and am now pursuing my Master’s in the same field. I need to find an entry-level job, because the only other  job I have had is as a truck driver. I have no work experience in my field of study. How can I make my resume attractive to potential recruiters? 

Hello Oumar –

The answer here is easy (well kind of!):

Get some experience!

I really don’t mean to be glib, but you do need to get some experience, either through internships or experiential coursework, to complement your degrees.  More educated does not necessarily mean more qualified.

In fact, too much education without some experience to balance it out can be viewed negatively by employers.

Now – here is the good news!

Your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are in a very applied, technical and high demand field – Information Systems.

Information Systems professional are typically in demand.  There are jobs to be had in software development, network administration and IT if you have the technical skills and certifications employers want and need.

I am going to bet that you have more to say in your resume than you think!

Be sure to include your degrees, your relevant class projects, and a list of your technical skills (software, hardware, web, network,etc.) and certifications.

Consider the example below:

Project work

Have you taken any classes that required project work?  If so – list those classes and descriptions of the projects your completed.

Hands-on experience comes from a lot activities.  Experience comes from the workplace, from internships, from volunteer work and from the classroom.  Just because you may not have been paid to do some activity doesn’t mean you didn’t demonstrate and develop valuable skills while completing it.

Don’t evaluate yourself (or let employers evaluate you) on your degrees alone and don’t assume potential employers know what you offer just because you have a certain degree.

You have to market yourself to potential employers.  You have to give them reasons to consider you for employment.

Spend some time looking back on your studies (particularly your most recent classes).  Where did you have to DO and not just STUDY?

Lastly, review my response to an earlier question;

How can I get a job in my career field with a degree but no experience?

I hope these ideas and suggestions help.

Good luck,

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2 responses to “I have no relevant experience; how can I make my resume attractive to potential recruiters?”

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