I have a 1 year cashier and customer service experience working in a coffee shop. Now I'm looking for a similar position in Tim Horton's or McDonald's. Some of the job advertisements say in the experience part: "No experience" but not "not required" afterwards, does that mean that I shouldn't have any previous experience? If it does, what should I write on my resume for previous work experience?

I have only worked for this coffee shop - I don't have any previous jobs apart from that.

  • This feels like it could be reworded into a question that has value, with a decent edit. – Fiona - myaccessible.website Aug 13 '14 at 12:26

"No experience [required]" and "[Experience] not required" mean what they sound like. Previous experience is not required. They don't mean that previous experience is forbidden or that you're automatically disqualified because you have previous experience.

What should I write in my resume in my previous work experience?

I'd suggest including your 1 year of experience at the coffee shop. It's relevant to the new positions that you're applying for.

The best-case scenario is that having the experience listed makes you look like a more desirable candidate than other applicants with no experience (you'll need less training, and 1 year is long enough to show that you're probably trustworthy and not a job hopper; not that job-hopping is much of a concern for these kind of roles).

The worst-case scenario is that they've stated 'no experience' because what they're really looking for are young candidates (i.e. under age 20) so that they can hire someone for less than the full minimum wage. In which case your experience won't help you (or hurt you), since the deciding factor will be whether or not you're over 20 years old.

So either listing your previous experience will benefit you, or at worst listing it will neither help nor hurt. That means the previous experience should be listed, in my opinion.

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  • Of course not hiring somebody based on their age ( outside of those jobs that require a worker to be a certain age ) is likely not legal. – Donald Aug 12 '14 at 11:44
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    @Ramhound - Exactly, which is why instead of saying "teenagers only" an employer might say "no experience" and then dismiss experienced applicants as "overqualified". It's still essentially age discrimination, but good luck proving it. – aroth Aug 12 '14 at 14:41
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    The other factor is that "no experience" sets the expectation that this is entry level pay. They don't want to pay for your experience, although it may (or may not) make you a more desirable candidate. This becomes a much bigger factor with a higher level job. If the posting is a senior clerk with 5-10 years of experience and you have 20, I may even make the offer, but don't expect that I'll be paying for a super-advanced senior clerk who would make significantly more - I have the money for a senior, if you're willing to take a pay cut, I'm glad for your skills. – bethlakshmi Aug 12 '14 at 16:51
  • @Ramhound In the US, it is legal to discriminate against teenagers - eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm – emory Aug 13 '14 at 2:28
  • @emory - I am more then aware that is the case. – Donald Aug 13 '14 at 10:43

I am fairly sure that "no experience" is short-hand for "no experience required". I can't guarantee that some prospective employers won't be pointy headed but the worst they can do to you is say "No". In which case, all you have to do is take your talent somewhere where it's appreciated.

Put your experience in your resume, especially if the implication is that you can provide a reference e.g.

Maria's (1 Jul 2013 - 1 Jul 2014)
Cashier and customer service person for a coffee shop

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Some of the job advertisements say in the experience part: "No experience" not "not required" does that mean that i shouldn't have any previous experience?

There might be some offers that explicitly want people with no experience at all. Reason for this can be varied:

  • They don't want you to have better salary expectations than what you have today - a.k.a. we're going to pay you minimal wage.

  • They want to educate and form a fresh new mind, someone who doesn't have previous (mis)conceptions regarding a topic acquired in a previous job.

  • They want very young people to join their company.

Regarding your question - What should i write in my resume in my previous work experience? - I think you have to put all your experience in there, regardless of the fact that they indeed are looking for people without experience. In that case, they won't even call you, so both parts do not loss time in interviews or alike. If what they meant was no experience required, then you are in a privileged position in comparison with the other candidates. So, putting all your experience in your resume looks like the best way to go for me. Hope this helps!

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