No job experience? No problem.

Student working on creating a resume and working on leadership

You have career goals, and we want to help you reach them. Step one: identify what makes you a great candidate for a job or internship. Step two: learn how to share that information. Step three: succeed. Okay, so it’s not quite that easy. But it is easy to get started. Check out our how-to advice and while you’re at it, learn about everything ASU’s career center can help you with. We’re all rooting for you!

You’ve got skills, so show ‘em

Showcasing your skills is a great way to highlight specific areas you excel in, especially if you don’t have direct job experience yet. Here’s the place to include your high-level of organization that you learned from being a busy college student. Just make sure you understand how your skills relate to a job. It’s one thing to know you’re good at planning out your study schedule, but it’s another to understand how a manager will see those skills as useful to their organization.

Experience is all the rage

It’s the bulk of traditional resumes and the section that allows you to really show the meat of what you’ve accomplished. Remember that “experience” doesn’t always have to be paid positions you’ve held. It can come from volunteering, side hustles, student group roles, athletics and more. Check out this list of ways to gain meaningful experience that could help you land a job.

Highlight your education

You’re in college to learn and gain experiences that will help you reach your goals. Having a plan and executing it is an important skill, and by being in college, you’re on your way to executing a four- (or more) year plan. There are many things you learn in classes that can be used to highlight your skills as well — think group project skills like leadership and collaboration, public speaking and presentation delivery, and outcomes from assignments you’re proud of. Any professor can tell you that you’re learning real stuff here — use it.

Cater to your audience

Before making any big leaps into your experience, think about who you’re trying to appeal to. If it’s a specific company or interest area, do some research. Meet with a career advisor to discuss your goals and what employers are looking for. Then cater your resume and talking points to match. Knowing what a hiring manager is looking for can help you highlight those skills if you have them, instead of focusing on something else that may not be as important to them.

Know yourself

Lastly, focus on sharing your experience with anyone who asks. Here’s where it’s good to cover things in a more general way. Practice your elevator speech (a 30-second pitch about you and your experience and skills that could be said on a short elevator ride) on friends, mentors and again, your career advisor. Take their constructive feedback to help you improve, and once you have it down, start sharing it with people you meet — maybe even on an elevator.

For more helpful tips and advice on your career, visit ASU’s career center. And check out their events, like Rapid Resume Review sessions, mock interviews and more.

Adulting 101

Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.


Newsletter subscription

Stay connected
Subscribe to our newsletter
By completing and submitting your information to ASU, you consent to:

Student contributor view

Meet the team

Ivan Alcazar
Meet Ivan
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Major: Political science
Year in school: Junior
Aubrey Souders
Meet Aubrey
Hometown: Peoria, AZ
Major: Secondary education
Year in school: Junior
Nora Abujbarah
Meet Nora
Hometown: Avondale, AZ
Major: Global studies and political science
Year in school: Junior
Zabrick Kline
Meet Zabric
Hometown: Glendale, AZ
Major: Accounting
Year in school: Senior
Tylie Dibene
Meet Tylie
Hometown: Nogales, Arizona
Major: Justice studies
Year in school: Senior
Taylor Bettis
Meet Taylor
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
Major: Forensic psychology
Year in school: Junior

Next topic opinion form

What should we cover next?

COVID-19 information