Many individuals starting out in the world of being an employee have to begin by pounding the pavement to find a job. Being presentable for an employment opportunity can be difficult, however, when you don't have any work history. Bulking up your resume to show potential employers that you do, indeed, have skills and assets their company needs really isn't that hard, and with some initiative, filling up the employment history section of your resume can be done. There are a lot of easy, mostly hassle-free ways to add to your work history. Volunteer work is a time-honored favorite, as it allows for work experience without needing any prior knowledge. Since most local and state government institutions are perpetually under-funded, they'll assign drudge work to just about anyone.
The tasks aren't glamorous, but the experience is better than nothing. Keeping in mind that, when volunteering and also in general, good job references are important and you should avoid annoying or irritating your supervisor, regardless of whether you receive compensation or not for your duties. Public events are another potential place to earn work experience through volunteering. Galas and tournaments to raise money for a cause usually require a sizable number of volunteers, and since these types of events last only a few days at most, there's no long-term commitment required for work experience that looks good on a resume. If you can manage to land a volunteer position at one of these events that involves organization or management, even better - these skills are highly desired by potential employers.
Independent enterprise is another possible source of work experience. Any serious attempts and efforts you've put into a money-making enterprise, whether your own or someone else's, show initiative and motivation. If you hauled speakers for your friend's garage rock group during a public battle of the bands in your area, you can list that on your resume. If you wrote a poem that was accepted for a collection, even an unpublished small-press business, you can mark the information down on your resume as well. You can also make independent enterprise opportunities happen as well. Independent enterprise isn't quite as easy to come across as opportunities to volunteer, but it's a very good option for gaining work experience.
Though the really important, money-making diplomas will take years to earn, increasing your education section on your resume isn't much harder than doing some volunteering or venturing into independent enterprise. Certification programs, from computer programming to private investigating, often require little more than forty or so hours of instruction and can be taken at most community colleges or similar educational facilities. Ideally, what you learn can be applied to the job you're hoping to land, but courses and certifications also show initiative, something all employers are looking for in first-time job seekers. Bulking up your resume using these ideas involve stealth opportunities - easy to overlook yet potent, if applied properly. Doubtlessly, there are other ways to improve a resume when you have no prior employment, but in truth, anything that shows that you have dedication, initiative, motivation, and ambition is good to add to your resume.
With that in mind, go out there and see what opportunities you can come up with - there's always something better than nothing.
John Edmond owns and writes regularly for Careerbuilder Jobs where you can find more information and advice on all aspects of a writing a resume and job searching.