The best approach to writing a resume when you have no formal education-meaning college education-is to focus on what you do have. Perhaps, you may still be in high school, have just graduated from high school, or have completed a GED. In any event, you need to create a resume, as all jobs that you will apply to require a working resume. Though you may not have a formal education to add to the normal requirements of a professional resume, you do have skills, achievements, and valuable characteristics that can make you a great candidate for certain positions.

Thus, choose to do a skills based resume over the traditional chronological one. A chronological resume will list education and the chronology of your employers and positions. A skills based resume will focus on what skills you have to offer a particular job-thus, putting less emphasis on the fact that you have no formal education, and instead, have job and or job-related experience through the skills you have to offer.

Start by breaking down the possible skill sets you have to offer. Common ones successfully used are: communications skills, leadership skills, analytical skills, etc. Brainstorm specific competencies and situations in which you showed proof of these skills, and list as bullet points below each area. Next, cross reference your brainstormed list with the job description; to ensure that you have included all skill sets that you possess, as well as ones that the position requires that you have, that you may have overlooked. Next, fit it into a standard skills set resume format, such as the example listed below:

Michael Ferguson

1628 Brannon Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071


Advertising Account Executive with a nationally recognized firm
Advertising Sales
  • Exceeded profit goals for present employer in 1st and 2nd quarters
  • Initiated a new brand concept with client success
  • Cold called and canvassed community for potential ad clients
  • Implemented ad campaign (print/web) for existing ad client
  • Gained recognition as company’s top sales employee for 2009
  • Responsible for training new Advertising department representatives on protocol, phone/in person sales, and administrative necessities of their job position
  • Mentored new and existing Advertising Sales Representatives for optimum sales generation
  • Coordinated new sales techniques for new Advertising Sales Representatives
  • Ensured in the utmost in dialogue with supervisors and staff for optimum team achievement
  • Developed sales presentations for success in various genres of communication to include: newspaper, radio, brochures, tv, and billboards
  • Created and delivered cold call print advertising materials around the community
  • Liasioned with various company departments to ensure comprehensive project success was achieved.

Advertising Sales Executive, Success Advertising, Los Angeles, CA, 2006-Present
Administrative Assistant, Rogers and Rogers Advertising Services, Los Angeles, CA 2003-2006
Canvassing Representative, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA 2001-2003