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5 College Student No Experience Resume Examples & Templates [Edit Free]

Stephen Greet

College Student No Experience Resume

  • College Student No Experience 2
  • College Student No Experience 3
  • College Student No Experience 4
  • College Student No Experience 5
  • Resume Writing 101

Sometimes, ambitious college students can’t wait to start working. Janee considered how to show value on her resume as a grad: Dreaming of working as a business analyst at Resource Data fueled her to research the company and think of relevant college achievements.

Janee recalled real projects from her degree in math and economics that saved a local manufacturer thousands. Even her stint as basketball captain highlighted her ability to organize, boost morale, and drive positive results.

Referencing her class movie recommendation project and the time her random forest model outperformed projections by 19 percent, Janee topped off her college student no experience resume with a career objective . Bam—hired. Try our resume templates for yourself; we can’t wait to applaud your success, too!

or download as PDF

College student no experience resume example

College Student No Experience 2 Resume

College student no experience 2 resume example

College Student No Experience 3 Resume

College student no experience 3 resume example

College Student No Experience 4 Resume

College student no experience 4 resume example

College Student No Experience 5 Resume

College student no experience 5 resume example

Related resume examples

  • Current College Student
  • College Student Internship
  • College Graduate
  • Grad School
  • College Student

What Matters Most: Your Skills & Background Experience

Your resume skills and work experience

When you lack experience, your skills become more important than ever! As a college student, you now have a nice, clear understanding of what you can do, and recruiters want to know all about it.

Make sure you list skills that are relevant to your field. For example: If you’re eager to step into the world of business analysis, then prioritize technical skills and highly relevant abilities.

And make sure those skills are worded in a deliberate and specific way, too! The last thing you want is to sound too apathetic about your future role to dig deeper than the usual generic terms on your resume.

Here are some examples of more specific skills you can use to show off your potential:

9 Best College Student No Experience Skills

  • scikit-learn
  • Linear Regressions
  • Logistic Regressions
  • Data Reporting
  • Google Sheets

Sample College Student No Experience Work Experience Bullet Points

Now we’re on to the fun part! No really: It’s time to get creative and look for some nifty spins to put on your past projects and internships. Class groups, teams, clubs, and volunteer initiatives can all be used to demonstrate your ability to make the most of your skills, too.

Just make sure that anything you include is highly relevant to the field you want to work in! Use those sharp, specific skills you honed earlier to recall examples of experiences when you used them.

And always measure the impact you had when you reached those milestones! Use quantifiable data to back up your achievements and make them look way more credible:

  • Reported to executives during business analytics class and initiated re-evaluation of resource allocation, saving $47K in vendor costs
  • Aggregated data from Rotten Tomatoes and used k-nearest-neighbors in scikit-learn to improve recommendation system for personal tastes, boosting positive feedback by 12%
  • Organized a community outreach for the university basketball team to train at-risk high school students and boost morale, leading high school teams to win 92% of total games
  • Compiled and prepped 4 years of fantasy football projection data from 8 independent sources into a MySQL database, boosting positive ratings by 14%

Top 5 Tips for Your College Student No Experience Resume

  • I know, I know, we just talked about it, but this really is a crucial aspect of your resume! When you don’t have any job experience yet, you’ll really need to hand-pick the most relevant bits and pieces of as many projects and college teams as you can.
  • Many people hear “one page” and assume that filling their resume page is as important as limiting themselves to one page only. But this isn’t the case: Just focus on your best relevant achievements and allow some white space for things to breathe.
  • Get strategic about your skill placement. Group similar types of skills together, such as everything related to Python, followed by everything related to data analytics, and so on.
  • By all means, try out as many of our resume templates as you can! But while you compare them, keep a deliberate eye out for which one makes your college and project history look the fullest and most impressive.
  • Keeping your experience examples sleek and to-the-point demonstrates your ability to get things done and convey info efficiently. You don’t have time to ramble since recruiters have to read things quickly!

Honestly, this isn’t something to worry much about: As long as it’s all together in one place and easy for recruiters to spot at a glance, you’re fine.

Customize it for each job description . It’s easy: All you need to do is reference the job description again and grab some key phrases and buzzwords to switch out in your resume, and boom: You’re now delivering a hand-tailored resume that’s designed to impress!

In our honest opinion, writing a cover letter is better. You get the best of both worlds: Your project and educational history will be able to take center stage while you use your cover letter to detail your qualifications in greater depth than you’d be able to with an objective statement.

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How To Build A Resume With No Experience As A College Student

Learn how to write a resume that will score you your first job out of college even with no prior work experience..

Building an all-encompassing resume is easier said than done especially if you don’t have prior work experience. It’s often assume having limited job experience hurts your chances of landing a job.

But this is untrue, and really, it simply comes down to having a well formatted resume that showcases relevant experiences and skills you have learned throughout college.

And quite frankly, regardless if you have work experience or not, you need to start somewhere if you want to successfully transition from college to adulthood.

Then once you gain your first job experience out of college, you’ll be able to start working your way to more professional and higher earning jobs .

In this blog post we are going to discuss how to create your first resume as a college student with no work experience.

The tips in this blog post will hopefully help you score a job after college or your first internship experience. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Three college student resumes sitting on a desk next to a pair of glasses. The text overlay on the image says, "how to build a resume with no work experience."

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How to format your resume for your first job out college

When it comes to creating a winning resume, format matters.

In fact, having an unorganized, unprofessional resume can send your resume right into the trash can before anyone can even read it.

According to HR Drive, job recruiters only look at resumes for an average of 7.4 seconds.

That means you need to format your resume in a way that grabs and holds the attention of job recruiters and hiring managers for an extended amount of time.

So what does this exactly mean in regard to resume formatting?

Simply put, you need to create a winning resume that is:

  • To the point
  • Highlights your relevant experience(s) in relation to the job you are applying for

In this section we will go into detail about:

  • How long your resume should be
  • What color(s) and font(s) you should use on your resume
  • The general format your resume should follow
  • Software options for creating and formatting your resume

How long should a resume be for a college student?

Yes, that’s right–you have one page to make an impression to job recruiters and hiring managers and, hopefully, move forward in the hiring process.

If you have no prior work experience, the one page limit may even be a relief to you.

Even more so, having a one-page limit can help you showcase your most relevant experience and skills related to the job you are applying for instead of adding unnecessary fluffy that may hinder your job prospects.

What color(s) and font(s) should you use on your student resume?

The use and preference of which color(s) you should use on your resume is up for debate .

Some hiring professionals would say only use a black text on a white background, but others would say that it is ok to add some color.

However, it really depends on the job you are applying for and the nature of the workplace.

If you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer, using color on your resume would be more appropriate versus applying for a job as a secretary at a law firm.

In regard to font(s) , it’s simple: use an easy-to-read, clean font like:

  • Times New Roman

Also, be sure to use that font consistently throughout your resume (aka no mixing and matching fonts).

Personally, I always stick to black text on a white background with Times New Roman font for all of my resumes (and cover letters).

The general format you should use

Resume creation doesn’t have to be complicated.

Written below is a format you can use for your resume that will keep your resume organized and make it easier for hiring recruiters to find the information they need.

General Format

  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Overview or objective statement
  • General experience (volunteering/school-related tasks)
  • Achievements
  • Job-related skills

Notice how this format does not include a section for work experience. As mentioned previously, it is possible to create a complete resume without job experience.

Instead, you can utilize the format to your advantage by fully fleshing out the relevant experience(s) that sheds light on your potential as a candidate for the job.

When you format your resume the right way, you’ll get noticed by recruiters and they will call you in for interviews.

Don’t let the fact that you don’t work experience prevent you from applying to jobs or make you feel you are less qualified. Instead, just make sure to spice things up and add as much value to your resume as possible.

What software can I use to create and format my resume?

Luckily there are plenty of options for creating your resume that are free and easy to use.

The most accessible one being Google Docs .

However, if you aren’t as tech savvy you can use an online resume builder like (I personally have used this one).

I personally like using online resume builders because I don’t have to format the resume at all. Instead, all I have to do is focus on writing the text and making sure I have good grammar and punctuation.

The resume builder does the “heavy lifting” for me aka formatting and aesthetics. Plus, I can get the finalized resume as a PDF or Word Document, which is perfect for submitting on Indeed, Monster, or any other job listing website.

resume for college students with little work experience

Need a physical guide that covers the ins and outs of resume building for college students? This book is my absolute favorite. And although it was written for college students majoring in psychology, the information can be applied to any college student seeking employment after college graduation.

Example resume with no experience

Before going into a few tips and tricks for resume building, below is a resume example for a college student who has no work or internship experience.

Instead, this imaginary student, we’ll call her Jessica Doe, is focusing on highlighting her volunteer and club experience to get her a job as a secondary education teacher.

College student resume example with no prior work experience of a fake individual named "Jessica Doe"

7 tips for building a good resume with no work experience as a college student

How can you make your resume stand out when you have no work experience?

Here are 7 tips that will help you use your non-work experience to your advantage on your resume.

1. Include a complete summary statement

This is often termed as the “overview” or “objective statement” and it plays a critical role in defining the rest of your resume.

This statement should provide insight into what you are aiming for as a budding professional, your skillset, and what you are going to bring to the position you are applying for.

It should only be a sentence or two breaking down what you are going to provide to the employer.

However, remember, the average employer is not looking to learn more about your aspirations. These details don’t matter to them as much as you think!

Instead, they just want to know why you are a good candidate for the particular job listing. This is what you want to make clear in the overview or summary statement.

Here is a brief example taken from one of my resumes: Candidate for Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia with strong communication, organization, time management, and computer skills.

You can find more awesome career objective statement examples by clicking here .

2. Choose the right resume format

When you are fleshing out a resume, you want to format it in a way that showcases you as a job candidate the best.

In general, you are going to want to play around with different option(s):

  • Chronological

The format you go with is ultimately up to you, but it is often recommended to go with a format that is easy to follow.

More importantly, if you are inconsistent with the layout, this is going to put you in a bad light professionally.

With a chronological resume , you are going to focus on listing everything based on a timeline. You start with the most recent experience you’ve done and work backward.

On the other hand, a functional resume tends to work well for those with no experience because it is going to focus on your skills.

If necessary, you are always welcome to play around with a hybrid resume format , where you list your skills and achievements while following a chronological order (from most recent to oldest).

3. Focus on grammar and punctuation

It seems silly to say, but you are not going to have as much leeway as a seasoned professional with years of relevant experience.

Employers are not going to be as forgiving when you have grammar or punctuation mistakes. And any grammar or punctuation errors are going to stand out in a bad way.

Even if your resume is chuck full of value, a single misspelling or weird grammatical error can send your resume to the trash bin.

So take your time to go through the resume multiple times. And have other people you know and trust read it beforehand.

I’d recommend getting your mom, dad, or even better, a professor or someone at your university’s career services center to read and critique it.

Having a second, third, or even fourth opinion about your resume can help you create an even better resume and make you stand out despite your lack of work experience.

4. List relevant achievements and or activities

Although you may not have work experience (or very limited work experience) that doesn’t mean you have nothing valuable to add to the workforce.

In fact, you may have a few achievements that would be relevant to the job(s) you are applying for. Or maybe you were part of a club or honor society in college that is relevant.

Whatever it is, make sure to mention it on your resume along with a few bullet points about the achievement or activity that highlights your responsibilities and or accomplishments related to that experience.

For example, if you are applying for an Information Technology (IT) job list any certifications you have obtained or personal projects you have completed.

Or maybe you were part of the gardening club in college and you held a leadership position in that club. On your resume, you can list the duties you had as a leader in the club that relates back to the job you are applying for.

5. Highlight your academic history

One thing on your resume you can use to your advantage is your education.

Many employers love college graduates because they have learned the latest concepts and can add value and innovative ideas to their business.

With your academic history, make sure to highlight how it relates to the job listing.

For example, if you are studying computer science, you can list some core concepts that are related to the IT job that you are applying for. This can include specific coding languages you have learned, like CSS, HTML, Python, C++, etc.

You can also list upper-level classes you have take that relate to the job you are applying for.

But don’t list general education classes like World History or English. They’re too generic and don’t add any true value to your resume.

For example, when I applied for my job as a Vision Therapist, I listed upper-level psychology courses I took that taught me concepts that would be related to the field like Clinical and Counseling Psychology and Abnormal Psychology.

Also, if you have a high GPA (3.5 or above) , be sure to list it on your resume. It can make you stand out amongst the other college graduates applying for the same job as you.

6. Internships

If you had the opportunity to do an internship or co-op in college that relates to the job you are applying for, be sure to list it on your resume.

Internships are equivalent to work experience and can give your resume a nice boost.

However, if you do not have internship experience, consider getting an internship before entering the workforce.

Internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door in a competitive field and allow you to solidify your decision to commit to a long-term job in your field of interest.

7. Highlight your volunteer work

Volunteer experiences can be a great way to make your resume stand out, but again, it is important that this experience is relevant to the job you are applying for.

You for sure don’t want to get carried away with your volunteer experience.

Instead, your volunteer experience should be a small section of the resume and it should reflect that you are a well-rounded individual that cares about the world around them.

For example, if you volunteered at a soup kitchen for 2 years during college, you can list that on your resume and add short bullet points that state how you efficiently communicated with individuals from different backgrounds.

Or maybe you volunteered at a hospital. You could add a bullet point about your ability to work in a high-stress, fast-paced environment.

4 things not to include on your resume

It is very easy to ruin your chances of moving up in the hiring process by making these mistakes on your resume. Here are 4 don’ts when creating your resume with no work experience.

1. Writing samples or photos

Unless you are applying for a job as a journalist or at a publishing agency, there is no reason to submit a writing sample other than your cover letter and resume.

Additionally, submitting a photo of yourself can hinder your ability to get asked back for an interview or hired. Why?

For one, employers do not want to be accused of hiring (or not hiring) you based on your looks. This can be seen as discriminatory and result in legal consequences for the company.

Also, a photo takes up real estate on your resume that you could use to highlight your relevant experience and expertise or even prevent your resume from getting past the applicant tracking system .

2. Unprofessional email address

One of the easiest ways to turn off a hiring manager is to have an unprofessional email address on your resume like [email protected] or [email protected].

Your email address is a reflection of your professionalism, so it is important you keep it simple and professional, like [email protected] or [email protected].

3. Using the wrong keywords

As a job hunter, you may have a lot of difficulty gaining initial traction during your job search.

One of the reasons is because you aren’t using the right keywords in your resume.

As mentioned in tip #1 in this section, many employers now utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS).

This software analyzes and sorts resumes before being read by people who make the actual hiring process decisions.

The ATS is programmed to find resumes that have the right “keywords” in them.

So what does this exactly mean?

This means in your resume, you need to include the exact words used in the job description of the job you are applying for.

So if the job description says they want a “bubbly” individual you need to put that exact phrase in your resume instead of a synonym like, “kind” or “friendly” individual.

Although it does take extra time to comb through each job listing you are applying for and customize your resume to fit each one, it will pay off in the end when you’re getting follow-up emails and phone calls asking you to come in for an interview.

4. Not including a cover letter

Although many job listings do not require you to submit a cover letter, you always want to include a cover letter with your resume.

Including a cover letter that has been written specifically for the job you are applying for can make all the difference in your job search efforts.

It’s also a great way to describe your relevant experience, skills, or expertise in more detail than on your resume, which can help you stand out during your job search.

Final thoughts on how to build a resume as a college student with no work experience

Creating a resume as a college student with no work experience can be a daunting task. However, you should’t let your lack of work experience prevent you from applying to jobs in your field of choice.

In this blog post, we described and highlighted ways you can build your resume without work experience.

This requires you to dig into your education, volunteer, and relevant achievements and activities to curate a resume that shows off your abilities to perform the job you are applying for.

And if you need a more in-depth guide, check out this book written specifically for college students by college professors.

I truly hope this blog post has helped you see how possible it is to build a competitive resume as a college student with no work experience . And as always, good luck!

Related posts to post-grad life and career

  • 20 Things You Should Know By Your 20s
  • How To Quit Your Job Gracefully
  • 9 Ways To Prep For Life After College
  • 7 Things No One Tells You About Post-Grad Life

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11+ Best Student Resume Templates (W/ Examples & Resources)

Background Image

Writing an impressive resume as a student with no work experience can be a challenging task, often resulting in a generic document that fails to capture your full potential. 

This challenge intensifies in the face of a sea of applicants vying for the same role as you, making it all the more critical to stand out. 

Fortunately, we’re here to solve this problem! 

This article presents a selection of impactful student resume templates and examples that will help transform your raw skills and academic accomplishments into an impressive, attention-grabbing resume. 

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

12 Student Resume Templates

3 student resume examples, 5 other professional resources for students.

Let’s dive in!

#1. Creative Resume Template

Creative Resume Template Student

The Creative resume template offers a visually appealing and unique design that can greatly benefit students. 

With a modern and innovative layout that leverages eye-catching colors, this template allows students to showcase their skills, experiences, and achievements all on one page. 

The template's artistic element can help you stand out from the crowd and make a memorable impression on potential employers by highlighting your creativity, attention to detail, and ability to think outside the box, all of which are valuable attributes in today's competitive job market.

#2. Basic Resume Template

Student Basic Resume Template

This resume template comes with a straightforward and clean design that offers numerous benefits to students. 

For starters, it provides a professional and well-organized structure that lets you present your skills, education, and experiences in a concise and effective manner. Not to mention, by positioning the skills section at the top of the resume, this template emphasizes your skills over your work experience (which is something you’re likely lacking).

This template can help any student, regardless of their standing, create a professional-looking resume that showcases their abilities and increases their chances of securing interviews and job opportunities.

#3. Combined Resume Template

Combined Student Resume Template

Just like the name implies, this template is a perfect blend of two resume formats , namely the functional and the reverse-chronological format . 

This Combined template can arm you with a versatile and effective way to present your skills and professional experiences, as well as any relevant optional sections like certifications and personal projects. 

In a nutshell, the Combined template gives you the flexibility to leverage both the popularity of the chronological format and the impact you can make by emphasizing your skills and abilities. 

So, if you’re not sure which resume format works best for you or if you’re on the fence about a particular template, this stylish and impactful design might just be the choice for you. 

#4. Minimalist Resume Template

Minimalist Student Resume Template

Novorésumé's Minimalist resume template offers a sleek and simple design that comes highly recommended for students. 

True to its name, this template aims to highlight only essential elements through clean aesthetics. Specifically, it lets students present their strong points and most noteworthy achievements concisely, eliminating unnecessary clutter. 

With a stylish color palette of pink and gray and a design that puts skills and work experience side by side, there’s no way you can go wrong picking this student resume template. 

#5. Traditional Resume Template

Traditional Student Resume Template

This template’s classic and time-tested design is guaranteed to work wonders for students looking to work in all fields, but especially those aiming for more traditional industries like banking or finance. 

Following a structured design that highlights all key resume sections, such as the resume objective , education, work experience, and skills sections, this template lets you include all your relevant information without your resume spilling over to page two . 

#6. General Resume Template

General Student Resume Template

The General resume template is meant to offer you a versatile and adaptable format to showcase your qualifications, including your awards, your foreign language skills , your education, and much more. 

The header’s blue color is meant to grab recruiters’ attention to two of the most important resume sections–the contact information and the resume summary sections. 

Once you have their attention, you can wow them with other relevant sections such as your skills, work experience, and anything else you deem important. 

Easily customizable and practical to skim through, this resume template can make your application look good even if you don’t put too much effort into it. 

#7. Modern Resume Template

Modern Student Resume Template

The Modern resume template is a great choice for students who want their resume to look sleek and stylish, and yet professional. 

By incorporating modern elements like horizontal lines and bold blue color, this template is a great choice for practically every field you apply to. 

By using the Modern template, students can present themselves as forward-thinking and professional candidates, increasing their chances of standing out from the competition.

#8. IT Resume Template

IT Student Resume Template

If getting into IT is your dream, then this resume template is for you! 

The team at Novorésumé specifically designed the IT resume template to cater to the needs of students in the field. Using a clean and modern layout , this template offers a comprehensive structure that highlights your relevant technical skills, certifications, and education history. 

And, if you have any professional experience in IT, even if it’s through freelance work, internships , or personal projects, this template can surely help you highlight it through the reverse-chronological format - a favorite among recruiters.

#9. Simple Resume Template

Simple Student Resume Template

Sometimes, a simple resume template can be just the way to let your personality and achievements shine through. 

This is exactly what the Simple resume template does for students. 

With a straightforward and reader-friendly structure that strays away from extravagant design elements and flashy colors, this template aims to let your achievements do the talking. 

So, if your professional journey is already rich in accomplishments or if you’re one of those people who think simplicity is always the right choice, then you just found your match. 

#10. Functional Resume Template

Functional Student Resume Template

Just like the format it’s named after, the Functional resume template lets you highlight your skills and qualifications upfront, which is perfect if you don’t have enough work experience to list.

What makes this template even more impactful is the minty color that grabs recruiters’ attention, the perfectly aligned sections, and the way it leverages symbols to show your proficiency in say, foreign languages or technical skills . 

#11. Skill-Based Resume Template

Skill-Based Student Resume Template

The Skill-Based resume template does just what the name implies - it provides students with a valuable format that emphasizes their key skills and competencies. 

This template allows students to highlight their relevant abilities and qualifications, regardless of their work experience . By organizing their resume based on skills rather than professional achievements, students can effectively showcase their strengths and demonstrate their suitability for a particular role. 

This resume template lets you focus on your most marketable skills, making it easier for potential employers to quickly identify your strengths and match them with job requirements.

#12. College Resume Template

College Student Resume Template

Are you a college student looking to land your first gig? Then the College resume template is just what you need. 

Specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of college students, this template offers a comprehensive structure that lets you highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular activities , internships, and relevant coursework.

The College resume template lets you effectively showcase your education, skills, and experiences in a concise manner and contemporary style. The resume’s design is tailored to the specific needs of college students, increasing your chances of impressing potential employers and securing your next entry-level position!

#1. High-School Student Resume

High-School Student Resume

#2. College Freshman Resume

College Freshman Resume

#3. Internship Resume 

Internship Resume

Picking the right template for your resume is just a small first step toward landing your first gig. 

There are several other things you’ll need to do during your job hunt , such as networking with the right people, applying for the right positions for you, and continuously honing your skills. 

Here are some resources that are guaranteed to come in handy: 

  • Professional Networking | What Is It & Why It Matters . Networking is an excellent way to lay solid career foundations and make professional connections you can even use down the line. This article outlines all the benefits of professional networking and gives you 9 essential tips to get it right.
  • 30+ Jobs for Teenagers (Where & How to Look) . These jobs are perfect for students of all ages, from high school freshmen to college seniors, so start digging.
  • 101 Essential Skills to Put on a Resume . Without a solid work experience section, your skills section is the most important part of your resume. Do it justice by going through the most essential skills every resume should have in 2024.
  • How to List Computer Skills on a Resume . Nowadays, 92% of jobs require digital skills , according to the National Skills Coalition. Since students and younger professionals are more likely to be well-versed in digital skills, it’s good to know how to list such skills in your resume. Learn how with our article!
  • How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 . Cover letters are still an essential part of job applications, so you shouldn’t submit one without attaching a cover letter. If you think writing a cover letter is even harder than creating a resume, though, head over to our dedicated article to become a cover letter pro.


By now, you should have realized how important it is to find the right student resume template if you want to land your dream job. 

We hope our list meets your preferences and can help you on your career path as effectively as possible! 

For more resources and career advice, make sure to visit our blog ! 

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  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • Guide to Writing a Great...

Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience

16 min read · Updated on February 13, 2024

Ronda Suder

No work experience? No problem.

The ol' catch-22: you need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. Either way, you need a resume, and what you don't need is to panic. 

Just because you don't have skills that are relevant to the job, or experience in a traditional work setting, doesn't mean you can't craft a convincing first job resume. Whether you're a high school or college student, you may be wondering: how do you write a resume with no work experience? Well, we'll tell you with these expert tips.

1. Choose the best format for a resume with no experience

There are a few dominant resume templates in use today:


Hybrid - a blend of the chronological and functional formats

A  chronological resume format  lists a candidate's work experience in reverse-chronological order and a functional resume format focuses on highlighting the candidate's hard and soft skills and achievements, rather than work experience. While the functional and hybrid resume formats can be attractive options for job seekers with little relevant experience, most employers and hiring managers prefer a chronological format.

Aside from hiring managers preferring it, it's best to use a reverse chronological resume for two additional reasons:

It's the most used format in the US, making it easy for hiring managers to review and find the information they're seeking

It's the most liked by employers' applicant tracking systems, or ATS. If an ATS can't read your resume properly, it might not get into the hands of a human reader - even if you're the perfect candidate for the job

The primary sections of a reverse chronological resume are:

The heading (with your contact information)

Resume summary

Work experience (which will be substituted with other sections when you have no work experience)


2. Incorporate your contact information 

Now that you've chosen the best format for a resume with no experience, it's time to complete each section. The first section of your resume is the header section. This is the section that includes your name and contact information. In this section, you'll provide:

Phone number

Email address

Location and zip code

LinkedIn  or professional website URL (optional)

Your name should sit above your contact information in a larger font size than the rest of the information included in the header. You also want to ensure you use a professional sounding email address. Using something like “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” will likely come across as unprofessional and won't gain you any points for the “yes” pile. A good choice is to use your name (or a combination of your initials and surname), instead. 

Here's an example of how to list your contact information at the top of your resume:

Joseph Smith

555.555.5555 | [email protected] | WV 26250 |

3. Include a strong summary statement

The next section of your resume, your Resume Summary, will fall just below your contact information. Your resume summary is not to be mistaken for a resume objective. 

Resume objective statements , where you state exactly what career goals you wish to achieve, have mostly fallen out of fashion. This is largely because you want to focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you. A resume summary statement, on the other hand, sums up who you are professionally at the top of the page in two to five sentences and serves as the first impression you give a hiring manager to entice them to keep reading. 

For a resume with no experience, your resume summary can still pack a punch. Include some of the key skills you have relevant to the job, while emphasizing your major and any type of experience that speaks to your ability to succeed.

Here's an example of a resume summary for a recent grad with a human resources degree:

Human resources graduate with diverse knowledge base in employee relations, benefits design, employment law, and policy design. Avid learner with solid written and verbal communication skills and a strong desire to support all levels within an organization for improved employee morale and productive collaboration. 

4. Substitute the Work Experience section with other types of experience

Writing a resume with no experience can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, recruiters and hiring managers are seeking candidates that have a robust background, regardless of experience level. Here are some sections you can substitute in lieu of a Work Experience section:


Graduate assistantships, extracurricular activities.

Volunteer Work

Hobbies and Interests

When you include these additional types of experiences on a resume, you can include them as a standalone section or create a “Relevant Experience” section. Depending on the type of experience you're including, you might find it's best to use a section heading that aligns with the type of experience (“Internships” for internships, “Volunteer Work,” for volunteer work, and so on). 

Landing paid or unpaid college internships  are one of the best weapons you have against "experience required." Not only do they give you some real-world work experience, they also allow you to network and make connections that can put you in a job later. When applying for a job without experience, be sure to list any internships you've completed. 

If you haven't had an internship, consider applying for one as a step before an entry-level job.

Here's an example of how to include an internship on your resume:

Finance Intern

New York Secretary of State Office, New York, NY

Jan 2021 - May 2021

Reconciled budget sheets for quarterly processing

Supported accounting team in year end tax return audits 

Analyzed 15 budget reports over a two-month period to ensure accurate data reporting 

Similar to internships, a graduate assistantship secured during school is also a great way to gain valuable experience to include on a resume. Graduate assistantships are paid opportunities provided to graduate students. They typically involve part-time teaching or research within their field of study. 

Here's an example of how to include an assistantship on your resume:

HR Graduate Assistant

West Virginia University School of Business and Economics, Morgantown, WV

August 2020 - May 2021

Reviewed 100 collective bargaining agreements to identify and document similarities and inconsistencies throughout

Worked with academic Professors to develop research guidelines for future assistants

Volunteer work

When surveyed, the majority of employers say that they take  volunteer experience listed on your resume , such as being a soup kitchen volunteer, into consideration alongside paid work experience. So any volunteer work that highlights your talents or a new skill should be put on your well-prepared resume. 

You'll list volunteer work in a similar way to how you would list internships and actual work experience:

Animal Transport Volunteer

Friends for Life Animal Shelter, Philippi, VA

April 2022 - Present 

Working with local shelters to transport animals to and from shelters and foster homes

Assisting in cleaning kennels and common areas to support sanitation efforts

Spearheading animal supply drive, collecting $10K worth of supplies

Though it might not seem like it at first, extracurricular activities can add a lot of value to your resume in lieu of work experience, if you can relate them to the job you're applying to. For example, if you were an officer for a club during college or a captain of a sports team, these roles speak to leadership ability. 

In general, these types of activities show you have the ability to collaborate with others. It also shows you have the ability to keep up with school work while being involved in other areas outside of school, which speaks to time management and organizational skills. 

Here are some of the top extracurricular activities to include on a resume with no experience, as well of some of the skills they help to highlight:

Artistic endeavors: speaks to creativity, problem solving, perseverance, ability to learn 

Sports: speaks to teamwork, collaboration, hard work, problem solving, conflict resolution

Club leadership roles: speaks to leadership, organization, perseverance, time management

General club membership: speaks to time management, community involvement, prioritizing

Student government: speaks to leadership, public speaking, time management, problem solving, organization

Here's an example of how to list extracurricular activities on a resume with no experience:

Student Council Vice PresidentBelington High SchoolAugust 2020 - May 2021

Spearheaded clothing drive to support the homeless in the state of Virginia

Wrote and delivered 3 speeches to the student body focused on student wellbeing, fundraising events, and life beyond high school

Special Projects

If you completed job-related projects during high school or college, they can be a valuable addition to your resume. Personal projects are also game for a resume with no experience, if they're relevant to the job. 

Here's how you might list a personal project on your resume:

Social Media Campaign

Sparkle and Shine Fundraising Event

February 2022 - Mar 2024

Created social media campaign to support fundraising efforts for local children's shelter, supporting education in underprivileged youth

Increased followers by 25% in two months

Generated leads that converted to $3,000 in donations

Here's how you might list school projects on your resume:

Beaumont University

Masters in Counseling and Development

Career counseling planning design for women with chronic fatigue syndrome

Group counseling proposal for friends and family members of those who have mental health challenges

Behavioral health program design to work with males ages 18 to 30 with adverse childhood experiences

Hobbies and interests

It's more common today than ever before to include hobbies and interests on a resume - they help to provide insights into who you are as a person, to enhance your resume story. Hobbies and interests require soft and hard skills, many of which are required to succeed on the job, and they can especially be useful to fill in gaps when you lack work experience.  

For additional information on how to list hobbies and interests on your resume with no experience, refer to “ How to List Hobbies and Interests on a Resume (With Examples) .”

An award can signal to an employer to take note, since they're a distinction that speaks to your skills, abilities, and accomplishments. Adding an Awards section is an excellent way to showcase your ability to succeed in lieu of work experience. 

When you list an award, include the award and issuing institution. For example:

2023 Science Olympiad Award recipient, Science Olympiad Foundation


Acquiring certifications provides an excellent opportunity to add value and fill in gaps in terms of skills and work experience. There are a lot of opportunities to secure certifications for free through sites like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and  Grow with Google . Certifications not only highlight your skills but also show that you're focused on personal and professional development, which employers appreciate in candidates.  

You can list certifications in a standalone Certifications list or with your Education section. For more information on how to best include certifications on a resume with no experience, refer to “ How to List Certifications on a Resume (with examples) .” 

5. Include your education 

When you have work experience, it's common to include your Education section after your Work Experience section. However, on a resume with no experience, many opt to list and emphasize their education after the resume summary. This is largely due to the fact that your education is what's most relevant to employers when you're straight out of school. 

Also, in lieu of a Work Experience section, especially if you're running thin on any of the relevant experience options listed above, you can expand and focus on the  education section on your resume  to highlight the marketable skills you've developed. What can you do well that this job requires? What will be useful to the hiring company? What have you done in school and what have you studied that has prepared you for assuming this job?

This is generally a little easier if you're a college graduate with specialized education, but even a high school graduate can talk about their electives and relevant coursework, why they wanted to take them, and what they learned from the class. It's also acceptable to include any awards, scholarships, honors, or any student clubs and committees you participated in. For example, if you were on the Dean's list, include it. 

Many also wonder if they should include their GPA on their resume. The short answer is yes, if it's 3.5 or higher. This level of achievement highlights your potential and the hard work you're willing to put in for success. 

Here's the order to list items in your Education section, with items 5 to 8 being optional:

Degree issued

Issuing institution

City and state of institution 

Graduation date (or expected graduation date, if in progress)

Relevant coursework

Student committees

Here's how your education might look laid out on your resume:

Bachelors of Science - Psychology (3.5 GPA, magna cum laude)Maryland State University

Relevant coursework: human growth and development, assessment, treatment planning, abnormal behavior

6. Emphasize your skills

Even when you don't have actual work experience, you have definitely acquired skills to support you on the job, which can set you apart from the competition. Be sure to highlight both hard and soft skills on your resume. You can do this by including a Skills section near the end, or by adding a Core Competencies section just below your Resume Summary. 

You also might be wondering what the difference is between hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical skills that are measurable and learned. Softs skills are tangible skills that are difficult to measure. 

Examples of valuable hard skills on a resume include:


Computer skills

Data analysis

Project management

Social media

Language skills

Here are some common soft skills employers seek in their employees:


Problem solving


Interpersonal skills

Time management

Working well under stress

7. Add a cover letter

Even if one isn't required, it's generally a good idea to send a short cover letter along with your resume. Cover letters are where your personality comes out and you can use them to make the case for why you're the perfect candidate for this job. 

A standout cover letter can convince an employer to bring you in for an interview, even if your resume itself doesn't have all the things they'd like to see. Your cover letter provides you with the opportunity to show a bit of personality and express why you're interested in the job, as well. Be sure your cover letter uses the same font and style as your resume, for consistency. 

Elements you should never include on a resume

While there are many elements you should consider adding to your resume, career experts say there are a few things you should never include because they waste space, don't tell the employer anything relevant, or could damage your personal brand. This list includes, but is not limited to: 

Employment references

Writing samples

Photos  of yourself

Do not add this information to your resume unless an employer or recruiter asks you to provide it. 

Additional tips for a resume with no work experience 

As you develop your resume with no experience, here are a few more tips to consider. 

Take stock of your achievements and activities

Make a list of absolutely everything you've done that might be useful on a resume. From this list, you'll then need to narrow down what to actually include on your resume. Different things might be relevant to different jobs you apply for, so keep a full list and pick the most relevant things from it to include on your resume when you send it out. This will help you to identify which sections to include in lieu of work experience.

Pay attention to technical details

When editing your resume, make sure there are no punctuation, grammatical, spelling, or other errors that will make your resume look unprofessional. Then, have a friend or family member read it again to catch any mistakes you might have missed — you can't afford a typo or missing word as a candidate with no prior work experience. Also, be sure to vary your language and use action verbs throughout your resume to keep your reader engaged.

Keywords, keywords, keywords!

Most employers use some form of  applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan and sort resumes . This may seem unfair, but it's the reality of modern-day hiring. To combat this, you'll want to come up with, and include, a list of keywords in your resume when applying for any job. The best place to  find these keywords  is in the job post itself, or in ads for similar jobs. One caveat: don't use meaningless "buzzwords," such as "go-getter," "team player," and “detail-oriented." Unfortunately, sometimes these buzzwords are the only keywords listed in the ad. If that's the case, you'll need to sneak them in alongside your detailed accomplishments and academic achievements.

Customize your resume for each job you apply to

The last and most important thing to remember when creating a good resume is to  customize it for every job to which you apply . Different job postings are going to have different keywords, different job duties listed, and so on. Appealing to each individual employer's needs and job requirements is the best strategy for getting your application noticed and hopefully landing your first job.

Relevant experience goes beyond work experience

At the end of the day, the only perfect resume is the one that gets you the interview. Regardless of whether you have work experience or not, it's still possible to stand out by highlighting other types of experience that relate to the role. 

Even once you're comfortably employed, be prepared to tweak and update your resume to get noticed with each job application you submit. In the meantime, use any type of relevant experience to help you shine and land an interview. Sooner or later, you'll land that job - and gain that much-coveted relevant work experience.

Tackling this kind of resume isn't easy. If you've recently graduated or are in an entry-level job search, a  professional resume writer  can prepare you for success.

This blog was originally written by Riya Sand and has been updated by Ronda Suder. 

Recommended reading:

5 Things You Should Always Include on Your Resume

Should You Include Social Media on Your Resume?

How to Be a Great Candidate Even If You're Under-Qualified for the Job

Related Articles:

How to Maximize Your Resume Action Words to Wow the Employer

Is Your Resume Inspirational? If Not, Here's How to Fix It

7 Ways You Try Too Hard in Job Applications

See how your resume stacks up.

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How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience

Whether you’re a student, you’ve just graduated, or if you’ve been with one company for a long time, creating a resume when you have little to no work experience can be a challenge.

However, though it can seem intimidating, it’s completely possible to catch a potential employer’s eye – with or without a great deal of professional experience.

Here are three essential job seeker tips perfect for new grads, students, and candidates changing their career paths that will help you land the interview without years of experience on your resume.

1. Write a Summary

no work experience 1

While objectives are a thing of the past, summaries work well for people who have limited work experience. They’re the best place you can explain why you should get the job on your resume, instead of listing an impersonal series of dates and places.

All you need to do is write a sentence or two about who you are as a potential employee and any relevant skills or achievements.

As well, if you recently graduated from high school or college, mention your new status in your summary. It will help explain why you have limited experience.

2. Highlight Your Skills

no work experience 2

While you may have little or no work experience to discuss on your resume, you’re sure to have skills that you may have acquired in school or while volunteering that qualify you for the job.

One way to highlight them is to break down these skills into individual lists of hard and soft skills for your resume. Draw employers’ attention to these relevant soft and hard skills as a heading and list achievements related to these skills under the appropriate heading.

Check out an example of a functional resume here .

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3. Don’t Forget Unpaid Work Experience

no work experience 4

Internships or volunteer opportunities can still count as work experience. If you worked as an intern or volunteered for a significant period of time, include the position on your resume.

Since you already listed your skills on your resume, you don’t need to rehash this information when you are listing internships and volunteer work. Just be sure that you mention the company or not-for-profit organization, the months and years you were in the position and your title.

If you earned any awards specific to one of these positions, it makes sense to list it under the associated position, as well.

Even With Little to No Work Experience…

no work experience 3

Building a resume when you have limited work experience can be tough, but it’s definitely possible to make it work. Everyone has to start somewhere, but you don’t have to send in a sparse resume when you are new to the job market.

Emphasize the hard and soft skills that make you the best person for the job with a resume summary and a  functional resume template .

Plus, there are countless ways you can enrich your job application outside of your resume. Try building up your personal brand using social media or learn how starting a blog could help you get your dream job here .

Just starting out in your career? Take advantage of’s free resume samples and  resume templates for your resume to get your job hunt started successfully! Publishing your resume on will also allow employers search for your resume online! Don’t forget to check out our online job listings to get started on where to apply!

Career Sidekick

If you’re looking for how to write a summary for your resume with no work experience , you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to walk you through exactly what to do, and then we’ll look at resume summary examples for entry-level job seekers, students and fresh graduates. 

How to Write a Summary For Your Resume With No Experience:

First, a resume summary is different than an objective . And it’s much better. Putting an objective on your resume is outdated and unnecessary. Resume objectives are useless because they don’t share anything the hiring manager doesn’t already know (such as “my goal is to obtain a position in the ___ industry”). So what we’re doing here is better and will help your resume stand out from people who simply put an objective. Whereas, the resume summary gives a quick highlight reel of your qualifications, education, and more. If you’re not sure what a resume summary actually is, check out this article on 10 resume summary examples . And while it’s easier to figure out what to put if you’ve built up some work experience, you can still write an effective resume summary with no work experience whatsoever.

So in this article, I’m going to show you how. What should go into your summary when you don’t have any work experience? 

1. Put academic accomplishments and leadership

What did you study? Did you just graduate with a degree? Mention that. If you took a leadership role in your class projects, or clubs/groups at your school, you can mention that too. Leadership doesn’t need to be in a job to get the hiring manager’s attention! Taking a leadership role in a sports environment is impressive as well. You’re not going to mention specific accomplishments in your resume summary usually (you can do that later in your resume), but you can say things like “proven leadership” or “natural leader”, etc.

2. Put your interests and passions

Are you passionate about startups and technology? Great, put that. Want to make a difference in the world, and focus your career on social impact? Mention that. This can include the grades you received, but also leadership positions you led, and clubs/groups you participated in.

3. Put “hard” skills

If you’re proficient in any tools, technologies, etc… you can include that in your resume summary. Don’t list 20 things. That’s what your “Skills” section is for. But pick the three or four things that are most relevant for the job you’re applying for.

Coming up in this article, we’re going to look at two resume summary examples for people with no experience. .. and in the second example, you’ll see how this would look.

4. Include soft skills

Are you great at analytical thinking? Do you love working as a part of a team? Are you great at multi-tasking and handling a fast-paced team environment? While these shouldn’t be the main focus of your resume summary section, they can be worth mentioning. It’s especially good to include soft skills that you see mentioned in the job description.

For example, if you see they mention wanting someone who’s great at multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment, and you feel that describes you well, then your resume summary is the perfect place to include this.

5. Put statements that will grab the employer’s interest and make them want to ask you questions!

If you mention leadership they’ll want to ask you more about your leadership experiences. That’s a good thing. Remember, whatever you put, they’ll probably ask you about. So as you write your summary for your resume, try to think about what you want them to discuss with you, and what you want a chance to talk about. And try to “tailor” your resume to fit the companies you’re applying to. If you’re applying to large corporations don’t start your summary by saying “Startup enthusiast”.

3 Resume Summary Example for Students, Fresh Graduates and Entry-Level Job Seekers:

In this section, I’m going to share three examples of how to write a summary for your resume with no experience. You can use these resume summary examples as a student, entry-level job seeker, or any job search where you don’t have experience:

Resume Summary with No Experience – Example #1: Economics Student

Enthusiastic, highly-motivated Economics student with proven leadership capabilities, who likes to take initiative and seek out new challenges.

In this example above, you’re showing that you completed your Economics degree and have an interest in the subject, and you’re mentioning leadership and making the reader want to learn more about this. You’re also making yourself sound ambitious and motivated at the end, which is always a good thing (I’m referring to the part that says “who likes to take initiative and seek out new challenges). Notice the format too. This is how I recommend phrasing it. Don’t say “I am a ___”. Just start with the descriptive words.

This is a simple yet effective resume summary example for students OR recent graduates.

Resume Summary with No Experience – Example #2: Fresh Graduate in Computer Science

Computer Science graduate passionate about data engineering and machine learning. Highly-capable leader, having led multiple Senior class projects to completion. Proficient in a range of modern technologies including Python, Java and Scala.

This is another good example of a student or fresh graduate resume summary that still shows your skills and academic focus, even if you have no formal work experience.  In this entry-level resume summary example, you’re highlighting accomplishments and leadership as a student and you’re also showing that you’re passionate about your work. Saying you’re passionate about data engineering is much better than just saying, “Looking for a job in data engineering.” They’ll know you’re looking for jobs because you applied. Taking up space to say it is a bad use of this area of your resume, and is why I never recommend having a resume “Objective” section. The summary exists instead of an “Objective” and is much better.

The example above also included some great programming keywords (Python, Java, Scala) to help get past any automated application systems and grab the hiring manager’s attention very quickly when they first look at your resume. If you work with any tools or technologies that have names like these, you can include it in your entry-level resume summary if you’d like. Other examples of tools/technologies: Photoshop, MS Excel, etc.

If you decide not to include these on your resume summary, make sure to include them elsewhere such as your Education or Skills section .

Resume Summary Example with No Experience #3: Math Student Graduating Soon

4th year mathematics student passionate about statistics and data analysis. Proven project leader. Active member of Boston University’s Mathematics Club. Speaker at 2018 “New York Young Mathematicians Conference.”

This resume summary example for students shows how you can list accomplishments even if you’ve never formally worked before. Did you participate in any clubs at school? Have you led any class projects? These are impressive pieces you can add to your resume summary with no experience formally working. 

How to Write a Resume Summary For Students/Fresh Graduates – Quick Recap

  • Skip buzzwords like “hard-working” and put real academic accomplishments instead, like projects you produced and tasks you led
  • Include what you’re interested in and passionate about to show them why you are applying for this position
  • Mention hard skills like “Java Programming” or “Excel,”  especially if they’re listed on the job description
  • Include soft skills as well like, “excellent at multi-tasking”, especially if you saw these keywords anywhere on the job description
  • Include statements in your resume summary that will catch the employer’s interest and make them want to talk with you and ask you more. Remember – the entire goal of your resume is to get invited to interview. So if you did anything unique like giving presentations, working in an internship , participating in a school club, etc., you can include this in your entry-level resume summary.

If you follow the tips above, you’ll have a great entry-level resume summary that will stand out and catch a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s attention so you can get more interviews.

After you write your entry-level resume summary, here are two more articles that may be helpful when job searching with no experience:

  • The best times of year to job search
  • How to create a great elevator pitch for job hunting

Biron Clark

About the Author

Read more articles by Biron Clark

More Resume Tips & Guides

Crafting the perfect resume for teens (template & expert advice), how to beat applicant tracking systems with your resume, what do recruiters look for in a resume, what happens when you lie on your resume 10 risks, don’t say you’re a quick learner on your resume, guide to resume sections, titles, and headings, 12 resume formatting tips from a professional, how artificial intelligence (ai) is changing resume writing, 22 resume bullet point examples that get interviews, are resume writers worth it, 7 thoughts on “resume summary with no experience: examples for students and fresh graduates”.

This site was pretty helpful in guiding me throughout my school resume, would love other tips would do well.

This is a great guide. If only schools were actually interested in teaching children real life skills like this.

Hi, I am a student who has been finding it very difficult to make resumes due to the lack of working experience. I am currently trying to find a job while studying at the same time. I am in University completing a certificate and will soon be applying for a BA in Psychology and Criminolgy. However, I wish to apply for a part time job in the fashion industry. Can you please leave me some tips about what I can do to ensure that I can find a job without needing experience.

Your page has really helped, Thank you.

Hi, I’m a job seeker with 2 years experience working as a cart collector at grocery store and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, is this a good professional summary?: “Reliable team member with a keen interest in information technology and other applications. Capable of handling multiple projects within deadlines. Eager to apply my professional and academic background as an Administrative Assistant at Bogdan Contracting.”

I’ve been job seeking since October 2018, I’m hoping I can start a career in tech support as soon as possible.

Hi Marcais,

I think it sounds pretty good. My least favorite part is the first word, though. “Reliable” sounds pretty average/boring. Sure, you show up, do your job, etc. That’s what I think when I hear “reliable”. But not much more.

I’d look for a better word to lead off with.

I would like to say thank you for making this article about writing a summary for a resume. For the past couple of months, I have been struggling to find someone who can help me with that because I don’t have a lot of experience in my field (i.e. engineering). I do have one question though. Is it appropriate to use first-person nouns in the summary section? I have seen people do that, but I find it quite odd.

Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you.

Hi Frances,

I’d avoid saying, “I” if that’s what you’re asking.

Just say “Led team of 7 people to accomplish ___”

Just start without a pronoun.

Another example: “Highly-accomplished accounting professional who has ____”

Comments are closed.

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EMCC STEM Students Pursue Pollinator Projects

6 students and 1 instructor smiling and posing around a classroom table, 3 close up photos of bees from the project

Undergrads Study Wildflower Growth; Conduct Native Bee Survey

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) STEM students are busy, busy bees having engaged in Undergraduate Research Experiences, or UREs this semester. Some of our Mountain Lions just wrapped up a study of wildflower growth across different soil types while others are conducting a native bee survey — two things that can’t live without the other.

The wildflower study started last fall when  Quail Forever , a wildlife habitat conservation group, donated a rather large sum of wildflower seeds to EMCC Biology Professor Dr. Catherine Parmiter to use in her classes. They couldn’t have come at a better time as her colleague, Professor Thasanee Morrissey, who also teaches biology and is the Program Analyst for the STEM Center, just happened to be looking for a research opportunity for her students.

They decided to create a URE for five of their students and the Pollinator-Wildflower Research Initiative was born. The goal of the initiative was to determine which type of soil wildflowers would grow best in, with the understanding that more healthy wildflowers attract pollinators such as bees.

First, with the help of their Life Sciences Division colleagues Drs. Neil Raymond, Rachel Smith, and Jarod Raithel, along with the Facilities Department, an area was cleared next to the EMCC Community Teaching Garden where they constructed 16 research plots with four different soil types — native soil, pea gravel, compost, and sand. Next, they asked the MakerSpace to create some appealing signage to mark off the area. Then they planted nine different varieties of wildflower seeds and turned on the irrigation. After that, they monitored the plots weekly and kept track of the plants’ growth with written observations and digitized images.

Natalia Quinones, one of Dr. Parmiter’s students who is graduating this spring with an Associate in Biological Sciences and then transferring to  Arizona State University (ASU) to study microbiology, said one of the reasons she signed up for the URE was to boost her resume.

“I hope that this experience will allow me to join other research projects when I transfer to ASU,” she said.

Dr. Parmiter said the selection process for research opportunities at the university level is very competitive.

“Gaining research experience at the pre-Associate Degree level is essential for students such as Natalia as she navigates her transfer to ASU and later to medical school,” Dr. Parmiter said. 

For this URE, Natalia and her lab partner were responsible for identifying the types of flowers in each substrate of soil and measuring the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and pH content in each plot. 

“I learned more about plant growth and development,” Natalia said. “I gained more knowledge and new vocabulary about the subject. And I learned how to edit and rewrite procedures.”

Dr. Parmiter said Natalia’s field observations and attention to detail were an asset to the team.

“She is an excellent student researcher,” Dr. Parmiter said.

Natalia also works as a part-time lab technician in EMCC’s Life Science Lab, another gold star on her resume.

“I started as a student worker in September 2022 and the lab technicians were always patient and allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them,” she said. “And since they knew I wanted to pursue an education in microbiology, they educated and taught me skills that would apply to my field of study.”

Students who participated in the Pollinator-Wildflower Research Initiative will earn  Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO) scholarships after they submit their research summaries.

“This scholarship is encouragement for all of the hard work that has gone into this project,” Natalia said. “It also shows that the school supports undergraduate students to work outside the classroom and gain hands-on experiences.”

Cierra Herrera, one of Professor Morrisey’s students who participated in the Pollinator-Wildflower Research Initiative, is also big on hands-on experiences. 

“I learn best when I am doing, and I learned a lot,” Cierra said. “I love to learn and put that knowledge into practice and that is exactly what UREs do.”

Cierra, who is also one of EMCC’s  Animal Ambassadors , will graduate this spring and then transfer to the  University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa . She plans to double major in Animal Science and either Plant and Environmental Protection Services or Marine Biology.

“I’ve always been caring and conserving before I even knew what that meant,” she said. As unusual as it might sound for a 10-year-old, I hated wasting paper, always recycled, loathed littering, and it always hurt me to see animals suffering, especially because of us, and when we can do something about it. As I continued to go to school and learned more about biology, endangered species, and why they are being endangered, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help these animals.”

Naturally, when Cierra heard about the native bee survey URE, she signed up for that one, too. A perfect complement to the Pollinator-Wildflower Research Initiative, the EMCC Native Bee Project officially kicked off in March. It’s part of a collaborative effort with community colleges in Arizona and California conducting surveys to find out how many different types of bees exist across the two states, something that is currently unknown.

“One out of every three bites of your food you owe to bees,” Dr. Raithel said. “We don’t even have a baseline to know how many bees we have. They are crucial to our survival, yet we know so little about them.”

The EMCC Native Bee Project began over spring break with Drs. Parmiter, Raithel, and Smith spending four days at the  College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., learning how to identify, or “key,” native bees so that they could pass that knowledge on to their URE students. Since then, they have begun teaching their students how to catch, clean, dry, pin, key, and photograph native bees caught on and around campus. It’s a lengthy and sometimes nerve-racking process, but for Cierra, the keys are the bee’s knees.

“Looking at the bee under the microscope is my favorite part,” she said. “They are majestic creatures and so beautiful. It is crazy to see the variation of bees in our lab! They are all so unique.”

The  National Science Foundation -funded native bee URE will last three years with six students participating each semester. The data collected will be verified and entered into  Symbiota , a public database, and each bee will have an identification number that corresponds to the student who keyed it.

“It is mind-blowing just thinking about the fact that a native bee that I, myself, keyed will go into a national database with my name!” Cierra said. “That’s absolutely surreal to me, but it is really happening. It makes me a little emotional just thinking about it because I see it as a big deal and I’m only 20 years old and this is happening along with my fellow peers. I can only think about my future and what it has in store for me.”

Cierra’s professors describe her as a problem solver who never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and dive into the action.

“She was like our wildflower research group’s secret weapon — always diving fearlessly into problems and asking all the right questions,” Professor Morrisey said. “With her sharp critical thinking skills, she was like the Sherlock Holmes of our research team! But what’s even better is her team spirit — she’s the ultimate collaborator, bringing fresh ideas to the table.”

Professor Morrisey’s students wrapped up their wildflower growth URE and presented their findings at the  Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science Annual Meeting on April 13 at Glendale Community College. 

“They did great and had a great experience at their first science conference,” Professor Morrisey said.

Cierra said she was nervous but ultimately enjoyed herself.

“It was really good!” she said. “One of the judges said our poster was eye-catching and easy to follow. He was really happy with our experiment in the design aspect — how we eliminated a lot of bias, controlled all of our variables well, and the quadrat sampling. It was really rewarding to hear that feedback.”

Are you an Estrella Mountain Community College student who would like to join the EMCC Native Bee Project or any other STEM Undergraduate Research Experience? Email Dr. Catherine Parmiter at  [email protected]

Doppler data meets the green screen

Class of 2024 graduate Edward Shaw reflects on an internship with NBC’s Weather and Climate Unit.

  • David Fleming

16 May 2024

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A person stands in front of a weather map that shows temperatures and weather conditions in various locations.

Graduating senior Edward Shaw III of the College of Natural Resources and Environment got a taste of the limelight this past year during a nine-month internship with NBC’s Weather and Climate Unit.

Working both remotely from campus and at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, Shaw had the opportunity to sharpen his forecasting skills, while also rubbing shoulders – sometimes literally – with professional meteorologists such as weathercaster Al Roker.

Shaw, who majored in meteorology in the Department of Geography , received the 2024 Ambassador of the Year for the college and was also his department’s nominee for the college’s David William Smith Leadership Award. As a Hokie, Shaw has been active in numerous student organizations: He was the president of both the Meteorology Club at Virginia Tech and the Chi Epsilon Pi National Meteorological Honor Society as well as the former weather director for WUVT . He was a 2024 recipient of the Thomas M. Brooks Scholarship

Shaw reflected on how he found his way to becoming a Hokie, his experiences as an intern for NBC, and his contribution to the recent coverage of this year’s solar eclipse.

How did you find your way to majoring in meteorology?

Meteorology has just always been what I've wanted to do my entire life, even before I knew how to spell “meteorology.” That's what essentially led me to VT. However, it was a tad more difficult to finally decide on college, given the fact that all this was happening at the peak of a global pandemic. I was deciding between VT and another college with meteorology on the East Coast, and ultimately, the undergraduate research opportunities and the Hokie Storm Chase sold me. Four years later, I can say that I made the right choice.

How did you hear about the internship with NBC, and what was the application process like?

I found out about the opportunity to intern with NBC at the 10-year anniversary event for the meteorology program in the fall of 2022. At that event, I was introduced to fellow Hokie Kathryn Prociv ’11, M.S. ’12, who is a senior meteorologist and weather producer for NBC's Weather and Climate Unit.

I talked with Kathryn about my goal to do something in weather and climate communications and showed her my resume and reel. She said that, based on the work I had already done, I should apply for an internship with NBC.

The application process was relatively straightforward. After I sent my resume and application in, I participated in a prerecorded interview where I answered questions via video. Afterward, I interviewed with Kathryn and Erin McGarry, who leads the Weather and Climate Unit.

A person stands at a desk in a television news studio.

What was your day-to-day work like?

I typically worked three days a week, though on several occasions I worked more just because I wanted to. That's how much I enjoyed this internship. My hours would vary by month based on who I worked with. Sometimes, that would mean I worked from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. with meteorologist Steven Strouss to make graphics and approve scripts for the Nightly News with Lester Holt. Other times, I worked from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. I was able to experience every single shift with this internship, and, oddly enough, I enjoyed the 2 a.m. shift the most.

A lot of people wondered how on earth I was able to do that shift and not fall asleep, and then go to class immediately after. The answer? I'm not really sure. I think it was the combination of being able to work with Don Tsouhnikas – who is the original NBC meteorologist and a delight to work with – and an excessive amount of caffeinated drinks.

The biggest exception to my typical schedule was when I visited the 30 Rock studios during winter break, and again during spring break. When I was in New York, I had the chance to work with the on-air talent to refine my craft in front of the camera.

What were some highlights of this internship?

This entire internship has been a highlight in itself. There was never a day I did not want to work and I loved working with every member of the team.

My two New York trips to work in person were certainly amazing, as I met so many people and got to see so much that I had grown up watching. Getting to Facetime Al Roker almost daily and then working with him in person was certainly something I will never forget.

I also helped produce a segment on glasses for the eclipse for our 2024 eclipse special. I interviewed the chief marketing officer for American Paper Optics, and I actually ended up supplying NBC News with eclipse glasses for the 2024 eclipse. Some interns fetch coffee for their employers: I got to fetch eclipse glasses.

Three people pose for a photograph in an office building.

How did your education at Tech or your previous internships help prepare you for this internship?

My time at Virginia Tech prepared me extremely well for this internship, as a lot of the meteorology and data analysis I used was material I have learned from our program here at VT.

My previous internship at WRIC-8 in Richmond – and in particular the support of WRIC Meteorologist Matt DiNardo – also really helped me with the news side of the internship, which included writing articles and putting together a show.

Where are you going next, and what message do you have for future meteorology students?

I currently have a position lined up for my future, but I'm waiting a bit before officially announcing it, so I'll leave that a surprise, although, I won't be going far from VT!

My advice for any meteorology student is to network frequently. It will get you extremely far in life and open all sorts of opportunities if you just reach out to people in the industry.

Current and prospective students interested in learning more about the meteorology major can visit the meteorology major page. With a curriculum that utilizes cutting-edge technology to provide a deep knowledge base about the scientific and human dimensions of weather systems, and hands-on learning opportunities that include setting up remote weather stations or participating in the Hokie Storm Chase, meteorology students in the Department of Geography get to experience and study weather science, rain or shine.

Krista Timney


  • Blacksburg, Va.
  • Career Development
  • Class of 2024
  • College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Experiential Learning
  • Internships
  • Meteorology
  • Scholarships
  • Undergraduate Education

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