16 Good Skills to Put on a Resume With No Experience

16 Good Skills to Put on a Resume With No Experience was originally published on The Muse, a great place to research companies and careers. Click here to search for great jobs and companies near you.

Looking for a list of good skills to put on a resume with no experience? Yes, it exists. When writing a resume for your first job, finding the best tools to show employers what you have to offer can make all the difference, whether or not you have work experience to back it up.

Today’s job market is highly competitive, with companies seeking versatile candidates who possess a wide range of skills and the ability to adapt to challenging situations. The good news? You can check all those boxes, even without formal job experience.

Your entry-level resume should demonstrate your strengths and qualifications, while also being an accurate reflection of who you are—which means, not turning it into a compilation of buzzwords. Here’s a list of the best skills to put on a resume when you have no experience. (Keep these in handy for your job hunt, and get ready to stand out!)

Once you perfect your resume, check out open jobs on The Muse and maximize your chances of getting hired »

What are entry-level resume skills?

When it comes to what skills to put on a resume, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Yes, there are a couple of general skills that hiring managers typically look for. But specific roles may demand specific abilities.

For example, if you’re an entry-level candidate applying to a sales associate position, your communication and customer service skills are going to be way more important than your Photoshop knowledge.

“When candidates have no experience in a position, recruiters look for skills that align directly with the role,” says Prestina Yarrington, Growth & Development Coach and former Global Talent Acquisition Senior Manager at Microsoft. “They’re looking for a skillset match between the candidate’s resume and the job description.”

The key is to identify past experiences that have helped you develop skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. “These can be exhibited through your education, internships, or volunteer work, which may have allowed you to become familiar with the skills needed for the role. It can also include work you may have done as a member of a club or organization,” Yarrington says.

Examples of skills to put on a resume with no experience

OK, you understand now that your resume should be tailored to each job. But to get you started, here are 16 great skills to put on a resume with no experience—from soft to hard skills.

General and behavioral skills

Need some key skills to put on a resume for an entry-level position? General and behavioral skills—also known as soft skills—are a good place to start. Why? Because they are essential and highly valued in nearly every job out there.

By showcasing these skills on your resume, you’ll be giving the hiring manager a glimpse into who you are and how you might act in the work environment.

1. Creativity

Most employers really value creative candidates because they’re the ones who bring fresh ideas and innovation to the company. Even though this skill is often linked with traditional creative jobs like writing or design, it’s actually useful in any work setting. You can leverage creativity to solve problems and handle tricky situations with ease.

Read more: 16 High-Paying Jobs for Creative People

2. Leadership

Companies crave employees who can motivate, engage, and manage others. That’s why leadership skills can be a surprising asset on a resume with no experience. To demonstrate this quality, reflect on situations or relevant experiences from your past where you had the chance to effectively lead others. This could include team projects or involvement in extracurricular activities, for example.

4. Attention to detail

Another skill that can catch the recruiter’s eye is attention to detail. People with this skill are typically meticulous, organized, and dedicated to high-quality work. However, it’s important to find a balance. While a keen eye for detail is valuable, it shouldn’t become an obsession to the point that slows you down.

With that in mind, to showcase this strength on your resume, highlight how your attention to detail helped you excel in a project or solve a problem. Focus on the positive impact it has on you.

3. Organizational skills

Are you an organized person? Have you ever had to multitask and handled it like a pro? If so, think about adding organizational skills to your resume. Employers really value this ability—especially in roles where you’ll be dealing with a lot of tasks every day.

5. Communication skills

Whether you’re working directly with the public or not, communication skills are a must on an entry-level resume. Regardless of your position, you’ll likely need to communicate with your team, boss, and colleagues daily—be it in person or via email. So, make sure to highlight your ability to convey information clearly and express yourself effectively.

6. Ability to learn quickly

As an entry-level employee, you’ll be constantly learning a lot of things. That’s why you should highlight your ability to be a quick learner on your resume—it shows you’re ready to soak up new knowledge and contribute effectively to any team, even without formal experience.

Mention a previous project where you started with minimal expertise and quickly absorbed new information. Even better if you provide examples illustrating what you learned and how it improved your performance.

7. Adaptability

The job market is constantly evolving. New technology, tools, and apps pop up all the time. Not only that—companies themselves are always changing, requiring employees to take on new responsibilities and adjust to new scenarios. By demonstrating your flexibility and willingness to embrace change, you can make your resume stand out.

Read more: 3 Ways You Can Deal With Change at Work

8. Public speaking

Even if the job you’re applying for doesn’t involve much public interaction, public speaking is a great skill to put on a resume with no experience. It signals you’re a confident person who can communicate effectively. Plus, it’s a useful skill to have in many work situations, such as presenting projects or leading discussions and meetings.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are those you can apply to any job, regardless of the title or field—which makes them highly prized by hiring managers. “For entry-level positions, recruiters are looking for transferable skills the candidate may have demonstrated in another role. For instance, problem-solving, teamwork, or critical thinking skills,” says Yarrington.

However, it doesn’t mean you should copy and paste the list onto your resume. Your choices should be tailored to the specific role you’re seeking. “This can be taken directly from the job description. Try to stay away from general broad terms. Recruiters are looking to find a match for the position,” she says.

Read more: How to Read a Job Description the Right Way

9. Problem-solving

Problem-solving is one of the best skills to put on a resume with no experience because it shows your ability to tackle challenges and find solutions. Since most professions involve facing certain challenges sooner or later, employers highly value candidates with this capability.

Be sure to provide an example of a situation where you were faced with a problem and successfully find a solution to overcome it.

10. Teamwork

Being a team player is key. Employers seek candidates who can collaborate well with others and offer support, rather than competing with them. Most work environments rely on teams to achieve common goals. This includes everything from group discussions and brainstorming meetings to depending on your colleague to get your job done. Think about a chef who depends on the waiter to deliver the food to customers—that’s teamwork in action.

Read more: 4 Tips to Help Control Freaks Be Team Players

11. Critical thinking

Another highly demanded skill is critical thinking. It involves analyzing complex situations and making informed, intelligent decisions to solve problems or improve processes.

Similar to problem-solving, this skill demonstrates that you’re able to handle obstacles effectively. When crafting your resume, look for situations where you used your critical thinking skills to overcome challenges.

12. Time management

Time management is also a key skill to add to your resume, especially if you’re new to the workforce, given how fast-paced many workplaces are today. It requires the ability to prioritize projects and handle multiple tasks simultaneously while meeting deadlines. Employees lacking time management skills are less likely to thrive in such environments, which could lead to delayed deliveries and low productivity.

Technical skills

Who says entry-level resume skills can’t be technical? Also known as hard skills, they can be self-taught or acquired through certifications, work experience, and college education. Unlike behavioral and transferable skills, technical knowledge is typically more specialized, only applicable in specific fields.

14. Software programs

Are you a Photoshop expert? Can you edit videos using Final Cut or Adobe Premiere? These are good skills to put on a resume, particularly if you’re applying for roles in social media, content creation, or marketing.

Do you have experience working with Excel or Google Presentations? Many office jobs require knowledge in one of these software programs. While more experienced professionals may omit them from their resumes, entry-level candidates should do the exact opposite and highlight this kind of skill.

15. Writing

Writing is one of the best examples of technical skills to put on a resume for first job, as many professions rely heavily on it. For example, roles in social media management and content marketing require strong writing abilities.

Read more: 9 High-Paying Writing Jobs for Word People: Editors, Writers, and Beyond

Even seemingly non-technical roles like receptionist or secretary often require strong writing skills. While graduates from journalism or literature may have an advantage, those from different backgrounds can still get online certifications in creative writing, technical writing, and more.

16. Social media management

If you think about it, almost every business—big or small—has a social media presence nowadays. That’s why social media management is a skill worth considering for your resume, especially if you’re interested in job opportunities related to content marketing or creation.

Like the others skills on this list, social media management is something you can develop through personal projects or certifications.

How do I list my skills on a resume with no experience?

You’ve learned what are some skills to put on a resume as an entry-level candidate. But how do you list them effectively? Ideally, each skill should be linked to a specific experience you’ve had. No worries though—even without formal work experience, there are some creative ways to showcase them and grab the attention of recruiters.

Use a minimalist template

You might have some amazing design skills (put that on your list!), but your resume isn’t the place to show them off just yet. Focus on keeping your resume minimalistic and clear.

“Although most candidates put a lot of effort into the specific template used or the formatting of their resume, which is often aesthetically pleasing, the overall content of the resume is what we pay attention to more,” says Yarrington.

Read more: 40 Best Free Resume Templates to Use and Customize

Leverage the resume summary

The resume summary is the very first section of the document. It’s used to highlight your main goal and your most important qualifications. As an entry-level applicant, you can take advantage of this section to tell a bit about yourself and list some of your best skills.

“It’s a great idea to start with a summary briefly stating the intended career goals and highlighting key strengths that are relevant to the position,” says Yarrington. “For an entry-level position, it may be beneficial to include the desired next step in the career journey—this shows a desire to commit to learning the necessary knowledge and skills to progress.”

Here’s an example:

Creative and detail-oriented computer science graduate with internship experience in web development. Proficient in HTML, Java Script, and CSS, with a solid understanding of software maintenance for engineering applications. Seeking an entry-level position to expand my knowledge and further develop my skills.

Create sections related to your skills

If you’ve never had a formal job before, you can create sections to include relevant experiences related to the skills you want to emphasize. For instance, “education and academic success, notable achievements or awards, and volunteer work,” says Yarrington.

It could be something like:

Volunteer Experience

Food bank of West Virginia

Volunteer Shift Manager, January 2023December 2023

  • Managed the food pantry operations, developing a new organization system that resulted in a 35% decrease in waste
  • Trained over 15 new volunteers, guiding them through all our internal processes and systems
  • Created and implemented a new shift calendar to better accommodate the needs of both new and existing volunteers, resulting in a 10% reduction in absenteeism

Literally create a skills section

This skills section can be added at the very end of the document, below your experiences and education. There are two different ways to do it: vertically or horizontally.

Example #1:

Relevant skills

  • Creative writing
  • Editing
  • SEO
  • Critical thinking
  • Adaptability

Example #2:


Creative content writing, SEO, editing, critical thinking, adaptability, attention to detail

Prioritize quality over quantity

Don’t go listing every skill under the sun to fill up a page. Be truthful, and most importantly, focus on the quality of your resume.

“Is it geared towards the role you’re seeking? Have you highlighted skills from the position that can be found in either your education, volunteer, or organizational work? Is the resume spell/grammar checked?” Yarrington asks.

Imagine claiming to be detail-oriented and then submitting a resume that doesn’t align with the job description or, worse, is full of grammar mistakes. That’s definitely not the impression you want to make.

“Many people miss small things when it comes to this,” she says. “It can convey whether or not the candidate pays attention to detail or reviews their work before submitting it. These are soft skills that are vital in an entry-level position.”