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How to craft the perfect resume (with no experience) in 2021

To get a job you need experience, but to get experience you need a job. 

Yep, entering the job market can feel impossible but we know a great hack to work around this catch-22 😅


If you’re in high school or university and are seeking a graduate role, first gig or casual job it’s easy to start building real work experience and relevant skills into your resume before you ever step foot into a workplace.

There are plenty of ways to start gaining professional experience that are well within your reach and budget. Even if that budget is zero 🤑

Savvy employers in 2021 realise skills can be taught to someone, but your attitude is more ingrained. So shine brightly, show your enthusiasm and bring your passion to your job hunt.

Let’s take a look at how to craft the perfect resume in 2021 and get relevant experience along the way.

A resume is a tool to sell yourself

That’s right, you’re the product and your resume or CV is the advertisement trying to catch the attention of the person hiring 👋

You don’t have to be the best or the most experienced, but you do have to be engaging and convince them to give you a chance.

The goal of your resume is - of course - to land an interview. To get that face-to-face meeting you need to either nail the job criteria or spark enough curiosity to warrant a meeting.

Once you get that interview, dress smart and bring your A-game 😎

What should a resume look like?

Traditionally, a resume is a piece of paper or PDF document that outlines your experience, education, skills and contact details. But in 2021 your CV could also be a short video of yourself talking through your experience, or an interactive website that shows off what you do in a creative way.

Standing out from the crowd is important. There might be 100 or 1000 other applicants so you need to put your best foot forward 💅


Design and content are important

A study by The Ladders found that recruiters spent just six seconds reviewing a resume. That’s right, six seconds. So every second counts and it pays to make sure you have a clear layout essential information.

When it comes to a basic, paper resume, think about:

  • The format and layout. Sites like Canva have pre-designed templates to help you craft well-designed resumes.
  • Always include your contact details: full name, email, phone, location
  • Include a short summary. Use 2-3 sentences to explain why you are passionate and the right fit.
  • List out your experience and achievements. Summer jobs? Babysitting? Top of the Class Award?
  • Mention your top soft skills, such as people skills or teamwork 
  • Mention your top hard skills, such as experience with certain computer programs
  • Add some personality: mention your hobbies or if you speak other languages.

Make sure to tailor your resume for each job you apply for, and ask someone else to proofread it and provide feedback.

Getting relevant experience isn’t as hard as you think

So maybe you don’t have 2+ years of experience working in marketing. But what if you could find a way to gain relevant experience sans job 🤔

There are easy ways to boost your resume and experience without paid employment. Think about the skills you need or would like to have and find short courses, industry work experience or internships to start building your experience empire.

With a budget zero dollars it’s possible to gain real credentials and experience that you can proudly add to your resume. Google offers free training for its platforms like Google Analytics and Ads Manager, and here at Grandshake we have free virtual work experience that you can complete from anywhere. Plus, our free Upskilling Micros will boost your soft skills.

Consider making a video CV 

These days people get hired as much on their personality and culture match as they do for their experience and skills. Some say it’s easy to teach on the job, but having the right attitude is harder to change.

A video CV is a personal way to reach out to prospective employers. In a short video you can let your confidence shine, show them your passion and talk about why you are so excited to work with the team on your dream projects 💭

How to create a video resume:

  • Write a script
  • Memorise the script if possible
  • Be relevant - include the details you would in a paper resume. Talk about your experience, your education and your skills
  • Keep it short. 1-2 minutes is the sweet spot.
  • Be creative. You can just talk to the camera, but you could also make a stop motion video or do something fun to show off your skills
  • Be professional. Make sure you can hear the audio.

And start building your “personal brand”

If a prospective employer Googled your name, what would they find? Start crafting your professional image, showing off your passions and interests by sharing relevant things on twitter, Instagram and even TikTok 💃

We’re all the main characters in our personal social media story, and you can use your online presence to start building your brand and show off your skills. 

The future of work is changing, and life is less about grades and experience and more about your output and gaining relevant skills. An active personal online brand can act like social proof or a character reference too.

“Great roles are almost always never advertised and people look for candidates from within their own networks and the internet has helped with that,”

Ravish Bhatia, the host of Use Case podcast and contributor to Turnaround newsletter, told Money Control.



Looking for ways to boost your resume? Check out our Virtual Work Experience and Upskilling Microprograms - they are jam-packed with learnings, totally FREE and you’ll walk away with a badge you can display to future employers. The catch? Well, you have to put in the work.

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