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How to Do a Functional Resume With No Real Work Experience

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Creating a resume with no real work experience can be a challenge, but every worker starts his career the same way. By focusing on the right information and choosing a functional resume format, you can still create a resume that highlights your best attributes as a worker and encourages an employer to contact you for an interview.

Create a header at the top of your resume that includes your name, permanent address, phone number and professional email address.

Write your objective, which is a brief statement that explains what type of position you are seeking. Make this statement as specific as possible to the job for which you are applying; if you are applying for more than one job, it is likely you will need to write a different objective for each position.

Write your “Skills” list, which should be the bulk of your resume if you have no real work experience. Consider any work you have done, including freelance projects, volunteer work or community service, travel or study abroad, and list all skills you developed through those experiences.

Include transferable skills in your “Skills” list, which are skills that are applicable to any job, such as public speaking, setting goals or time management.

Edit your skills list so each statement is as concise as possible. Eliminate first person (“I”) and focus on action verbs and strong nouns.

Write your “Experience” list documenting any previous positions, paid or unpaid, in order of relevance to the job for which you are now applying. Include your title, the organization’s name and your dates of employment. Volunteer work, internships, freelance projects and studies abroad may also be included on this list.

Write your “Education” section and list your degrees and/or certificates in reverse chronological order, including dates of graduation, degree/certificate type and the name of the educational institution.


No matter how much or how little experience you have, your resume should only focus on your positive attributes. Do not call attention to your lack of experience, but rather emphasize your successes.