Seven Ways To Show Skills Without Experience On A Resume

As a new graduate or a professional changing careers or industries, the most difficult aspect of finding that new job is showing that you have the skills to perform without the experience that is required for the position. You only have a few short seconds to grab a hiring manager’s attention, and without relevant experience, this can be challenging at best. reports Forbes.

With corporate job openings attracting an average of 250 resumes and only four to six of these candidates making it to the interview process, according to a survey by ERE, being competitive without showing experience can make a difference in whether you get overlooked or get your foot in the door at an employer.

Seven members of Forbes Human Resources Council shared their advice on how new graduates and individuals changing fields can stand out for their skills while lacking the necessary experience for a position. Here’s what they recommend:

1. Showcase Your Transferrable Skills 

Before getting into HR, I was an automation/software specialist. To break into the HR field, my cover letter summarized how my transferrable skills in programming and analytical thinking would help me be a good recruiter because I knew how to think big picture, but also how to develop a plan (a program) to achieve the result (filling a job). I was hired and promoted two times in three years. – Bridgette Wilder, Media Fusion

2. Demonstrate A History Of Learning 

No one is born with work experience. Everything must be learned, and passion and desire can be more valuable than knowledge. Those entering a new field should provide any previous work or academic experience that shows their willingness and ability to learn. Anyone not happy in their career should be free to make a change, but there should be a history of progressive learning and achievement. – John Feldmann, Insperity

3. Offer To Complete An Unpaid Internship 

I suggest a more aggressive approach over just relying on a resume. I encourage candidates to reach out to potential employers and inquire if he or she can complete a six-month unpaid internship. This is a great way to get a foot in the door and it poses a low risk to the employer. Additionally, candidates are able to experience the work first hand and find out if they really enjoy the industry. – Ben Weber, Vendor Resource Management

4. Network 

Joining a professional association and adding this to their resume can help set a candidate apart — this shows initiative and interest. Ask to volunteer or use your network to find someone in the industry and ask for an informational interview. Try and tie the conversation and key findings into the resume. Be bold and show enthusiasm; it will set you apart from the others! – Julie Dopko, Sonova Group

5. Connect The Dots 

Stand out as a candidate entering the workforce or transitioning careers by connecting to the challenges the company is trying to solve. Do your research via LinkedIn, social media, Glassdoor and news reports. Demonstrate your knowledge/insights. You can also build relevant experience via projects and pro bono work that is more in line with the position you seek. – Sara Whitman, Peppercomm

6. Go The Extra Mile 

Applicants always get a second look when they make the extra effort to showcase relatable skills. One applicant sent one email per week that included things like providing examples of her work (where skills were transferable) or demonstrated things like her problem-solving abilities. Her consistency and demonstration of her ability and thought process landed her a role in our company. – Brooke Peterson, Causely

7. Be Creative, Dare To Be Different 

Before I transitioned into HR, I was in marketing and held a degree in marketing. I put my creative hat on and showed similarities between marketing and human resources and how having such a background can be beneficial to the department. I recommend to highlight key things on your resume that you currently possess that will allow for an easy transition.

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