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How To Write A Resume When There’s Nothing To Put On It

How To Write A Resume When There’s Nothing To Put On It

So, you want to find a good job. The job of your dreams, actually. But there’s a small problem: you need a resume that will impress your potential boss and make them want you as an employee.

Resume writing is not difficult. We all know many tricks to writing a resume worth checking and reading. Many blogs and websites share the secrets of building a good resume. HR managers are happy to share various tricks on resume writing and teach you some hooks for making your resume look professional. But none of them works when you haven’t got anything to put on your resume!

How could you come to be in this situation?

  • Are you a graduate with no on-the-job experience yet?

  • Are you a worker without an official job?

  • Is your job experience not professional enough to share when you write a resume?

  • Your professional experience doesn’t fit a job position you apply for, does it?

  • Do you consider your achievements unworthy to mention in your resume?

Sometimes you can find up to 10 common resume problems, but no question mentioned above can be considered a reason to feel defeated and put an end to your new career before you start. Because you always have something to put on your resume and make it work. Check these out!

1. Pay attention to structure.

HR managers need less than 30 seconds to take a look at your resume and decide whether it is worth further reading. That’s why structure plays a quite important role here: your task is to write a resume that will be clear and easy to read.

Your structure should not be distracting. You should combine neat intervals with flat margins, and do not neglect paragraphs. If you need a printed version of your resume, print it with the help of the best laser printer you can find, so your text will look more presentable.

Make your resume readable, and do not forget to proofread it. Don’t trust spell-checkers: as we all know, they can miss even the most obvious spelling mistakes.

2. Put on more information about your education.

When graduates start their job searches, they usually have a lack of experience to put on their resumes. So, if you don’t have enough practice, your task is to persuade a recruiter that you know enough theory.

Mention all courses you’ve finished during your years at university. You can also write the topic of your last thesis or dissertation, and do not forget to mention any languages you speak.

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3. Remember that you do have work experience, even when you think you don’t.

If you still don’t have any professional experience, it doesn’t mean you do not have any work experience at all. When you write a resume, mention all probation or manufacturing practices (if you had them); don’t forget about volunteer programs you participated in, part-time jobs you probably had (even if you worked as a waiter for example), and your organized social activity during your college life.

This information will tell a recruiter many more facts about you than you think. It may show your leadership or organizational skills, and tell about your character and the talents you have.

4. Get some references.

Great references can really help you when you are a young specialist and you do not have enough experience yet. Keep in mind that your former bosses are not the only ones who can give you a reference: it can be your college professor, a leader of your volunteer organization, or a manager of some projects you took part in as a freelancer.

Don’t forget about the Internet, either. Your references do not necessarily have to be printed and signed: some positive comments on LinkedIn or other professional and authoritative networks can help you greatly with your job search.

5. Mention all your achievements.

You shouldn’t be too arrogant or boastful when you write a resume, but this doesn’t mean you should hide information about your achievements and positive traits.

Mention that you have a driving license for example, write about your readiness to learn something new and improve your skills, hint about your leadership qualities and ability to find an approach to different people. What traits do you have that could help you in your career? Are you communicative, open minded, stress resistant, ready for constant deadlines? Put them on your resume when you build it.

6. Use lists to write a resume.

Write a resume as a list. You can use such a format to mention your educational courses, your achievements, traits, and expectations from the job you apply for.

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First of all, it will be much easier for a recruiter to read this type of resume and quickly pick out the information they need. And such a trick will help your resume look very informative and solid when you don’t have many hard facts to mention there.

7. Write a resume for every job opportunity.

The ideal variant is to have resumes for every separate vacancy. As you can understand, some of your achievements may work well for one company but prevent another one from hiring you. Moreover, a recruiter for McDonald’s will hardly need information about your trait of taciturnity, for example. (Though we doubt if you need to mention this in your resume for your perfect career, either!)

Anyway, you’ve got the point, haven’t you? Each vacancy has particular requirements, and there is no need to send them a resume with information they do not require. HR managers are busy people, and they will hardly want to read about how good you are if you don’t have anything in your resume that would fit their expectations.

8. Don’t make your resume too long.

Make sure your resume is no longer than one side of an A4 page: that’s enough to mention all the important and essential information about your education, experience and other achievements. And it will be more comfortable for a recruiter to read it and see everything they need in order to understand whether or not you are a good candidate for them.

Some extra tips to improve your resume:

  • Use short phrases, and remember that if you use some specific terms, make sure that non-specialists will understand them as well.

  • Do not use abbreviations. Big chances are, HR managers will not know the meaning of them all.

  • Do not boast: be restrained, talking truthfully about your achievements.

  • Be accurate: avoid general phrases. Use exact names and titles.

  • Do not use too many different images, graphics, tables, frames, etc. Your resume should be clear and simple.

  • If you have such an opportunity, create a portfolio and make it work for you.

Even when you think you have nothing to put on your resume to make it look professional and competitive, there is always something in you that makes you special. Put it in your resume, and your perfect job will definitely find you.

Featured photo credit: samplemails via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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