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Asked by Diana on March 22, 2017

Hi, I am about to turn 24. I haven't had an official job before. So, what can I write for job experience if I am not really an expert on anything that I am applying for? Can I make up past work history so I get noticed and be called for an interview?

Answered by Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, on March 27, 2017

Hello,
No. I would not recommend making up anything on your resume. That is going to give the interviewer a bad impression if they do decide to bring you in, as you wouldn't be able to answer questions pertaining to these made up jobs. They also will likely run an employment check and see that you've not had a previous place of employment. I would focus on what you have done. Are you a member of any organizations? What position do you hold within those? What are your responsibilities? Did you play any sports or participate in extracurriculars? What did those teach you? Show them what you have done in the past, whether it is an official job or not, and how those skills would apply to what you're interested in.

Good luck! 

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Answered by Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on March 28, 2017

Hi good question.  It is always hard to know what to put on a resume when you have no paid professional experience. I strongly recommend that resumes be accurate and not only include real jobs, but also reflect actual job titles and dates of employment.   It is an automatic rejection in many organizations for applicants putting false information on a resume or job application.  Also in our digital world, you never know when that old false resume will rear its head in the future.  I would echo Ashlyn that extracurricular or volunteer activities have a meaningful place in a resume.  You might also consider including a course project in your chosen field as an example of the scope of your knowledge.  If you led a group of students completing the project, include examples of you demonstrating leadership and teamwork. 

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Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on May 22, 2017

Hi there, chances are your work experience has given you some valuable tools (customer service, de-escalating tense situations, etc.) that are currently needed by many employers. With this, focus on your strengths and where you see weaknesses, learn how improve those skill sets instead of making up experiences. Even if offered the position, the majority of employers would rescind their offer after the employment and educational verifications didn't match what you originally stated.

Best of luck in your job search!
-Bri
former recruiter

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