The current economy has changed the lives of everyone within the past couple of years. People who are unemployed are looking for employment in record numbers, and college students are included in the number.  No one can afford to not have an exceptional resume in times like these. One of the more popular questions that I’ve received emails about is simply this:

“How do I change my resume to appeal to an employer when I don’t have the experience?”

Of course the response can vary depending on what your current employment situation is, but here are a couple of suggestions to help you get started:

  1. College graduate; no experience:
    You can Google “college graduate resume template” and you will find examples of resumes without any work experience. Once you find an appealing template, spend some time formatting your resume so that your presentation is flawless. When you read your resume, you should be thinking, “I would hire this person, so let me contact them for an interview.” If you don’t feel that way when you read your information, chances are, neither does a recruiter or hiring manager. Next, prepare to sell yourself should you be contacted for an interview.
  2. Current employee:
    You should always keep copies of your performance evaluations and job descriptions. Both of these documents contain information that can be used to your advantage. You can find skills, qualifications, your responsibilities, and comments from your superiors which will help you transform your resume. For example, let’s say that you are a Store Manager of Wal-Mart and you have been in your role for 5 years.  In your position, you need the following skills: attention to detail, organization, sales, coaching, training, recruiting, and communication. Maybe you realize that retail is no longer your passion and you want out! With the skills that you have, you can apply for a Human Resources role, a sales position, or even an administrative job.  After all, you have 5 years of experience in each skill listed and even if you wanted another leadership role, there is always the option of leadership in another industry. Next, create a new resume with the skills needed for the role that you desire. (If you can’t find a job description, try Google. You may very well find a site that briefly describes the role you are researching. )

I wish you well as you start to transform your resume. You might be surprised to find that you really do qualify for a different role, perhaps even in another industry.

Ericka Spradley is the President and Founder of My Next Level. She has many years of leadership experience and her understanding of the multi-faceted leadership realm has provided a level of expertise in human resource management and career growth. Among her significant accomplishments, Ericka has served as Vice President of Professional Development with The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Strayer University Chapter,  she was a columnist for Classroom to Cubicle, an online magazine for college students, and she is currently a Yahoo! Contributor columnist. In addition, her works have been found in Today’s Charlotte Woman and she has also been quoted by The Charlotte Observer.

Visit Ericka’s website, My Next Level, for more information and you can find additional articles she’s written at