Use additional experience if you don't have enough related items to put on your resume. If there is absolutely nothing else you can put on your resume that shows your expertise, interest, or experience in the field you're trying to get into, put on there that you were a waitress at Applebees. Or a server at McDonalds. And while that will not necessarily help you get the job, at least you're showing a potential employer that you are hard-working, and have hopefully acquired some sort of transferable skill.
From Burger-Flipping To Getting A Promotion
So, if you are going to put a job like that on your resume, make sure that your bullet points underneath show some sort of transferability to your desired position. For example, if you were a burger flipper at In N Out, that does not really help you in... well, any job outside of burger flipping. But you don't have to list "burger flipping" on your duty list. As a matter of fact, you don't have to list any duties at all. And let's face it: Why would you? There's nothing applicable of any of your duties to a professional job. So instead of duties, focus on your accomplishments. If you were a burger flipper at In N Out, that means you were actually promoted. As I hear, burger flipper is the highest "rank" you can get when working there. So instead of saying "flip burgers," focus on your accomplishment, such as "was promoted twice within one year." Or: Instead of "flip burgers", you "serviced 500 clients a day with a 99%satisfaction rate." See the difference?
THE POINT IS TRI-FOLD
-that means it's a pretty important point
If you have no related experience, HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW THAT THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO? How does your employer know that you have any sort of working knowledge at all? If there is no way you can show an employer on your resume that you have at least an idea of what you're going to do, why would that employer hire you?
And this is how it's done: One of my friends wants to work in event planning, but has never had a job in it, and has never had an internship in it. He also hasn't been in an event planning club. BUT he HAS been in a club that's done events. Before joining this club, he considered wisely which club to join, and picked the one that would help him most. Then, instead of listing this one club in his extracurricular activities, or related experience, he listed all the events he's planned for this one club by name, and then bullet-pointed the tasks he executed for each event. Resume was full, experience was proven, and interest was shown. That's all it takes. He's also a server at a fast food place. No one needs to know that. It is no longer needed.
Secondly: If you HAVE to list unrelated work experience and you have nothing to replace that with, ASK YOURSELF HOW MUCH YOU REALLY WANT THAT JOB. I admit that, sometimes, life gives you certain extenuating circumstances that don't allow for extracurriculars. I also believe, though, that if there's a will, there's a way. If you REALLY want to make it happen, you will. And honestly, that's the kind of attitude an employer will expect of you. They'll expect you to make the impossible possible. Literally. They will give you an undoable workload, and somehow you have to make it happen. Period. Start practicing.
Thirdly: You can apply all you want with a resume with non-related work experience. And you may even be REALLY smart. But don't forget the most important aspect: REALIZE WHO YOUR COMPETITION IS.When you apply for a job you have simply no experience with, you will be competing against applicants just like you, just that THEY have a resume full of experience. And they'll know what to talk about intelligently. Need I say more?
Glad I clarified it. Hope this helps. Don't take unrelated work off if it has a place, but do adjust your bullet points to the best of your ability. Do think outside the box and see if there's any way to replace it with something- anything- related. Good luck! And tell me about your successes!