Tips to Write CV with No Work Experience

How to Write a Great CV with No Work Experience, Best guide and Tips on How to write a CV when you have no work experience. The best way to start writing your CV is with a short summary, which consists of 3-4 sentences that describe who you are and what you can bring to the company if employed, highlighting your skills and qualifications. The sentences should be short and concise and not simply a repetition of your cover letter. Have a look at the job description and try to find the skills and qualifications they are looking for and include these in your summary.

Then you should list the qualifications that you have. As you have no or very limited work experience, it is highly important that you lead with what you do have. Always start with your most recent qualifications and then in descending chronological order.

Identify your most impressive qualities

Writing a CV is essentially about putting together a personal sales pitch. The first thing to do, therefore, is figure out what you’re selling! Make a list of all the things you’re good at, regardless of whether they’re “professional” qualities or not. Then, match each item on your list to one (or more!) of the top skills employers look for.

Are you a star on the hockey pitch? That’s teamwork and drive. Do you write a blog which always has your friends in stitches? You’re creative and good at written communication.

Open with a personal statement:

This will be the very first thing any potential employer will read, so getting it right is key. Top tip? Keep it as short and simple as possible. 150 words is about right.

Start by introducing yourself with your education level and a top skill or two (“I am a hardworking and self-motivated recent graduate”). You’ll go into more detail later, so only add in your degree subject or university if you feel it’s particularly impressive or relevant to the role you’re applying for.

The experience section on your CV

Following this comes the part that you may find the most challenging; the experience section. When writing a CV the lack of direct work experience may make this section seem redundant; however you can still try to draw on different life experiences with the view of highlighting any direct and transferable skills that you have. Group your experience under sub-headings; Research skills, Time management skills, Team work, Project management etc. Explain how you have gained these skills, using situations from internships, voluntary work and extracurricular activities.

Make sure you also set out what you’re looking for. If you’re applying for only one sector, this can be specific – “I’m looking for roles in PR” – but if you want to keep your options open, keep it general: “I’m looking for a role which will challenge me.”First Resume Example with No Work Experience

Tips to Write CV with No Work Experience

List skills rather than roles

Most CVs begin by listing the candidate’s most recent employment(s), but if you haven’t worked before or have only worked in unrelated industries, it’s much better to start your CV with a list of skills you’ve acquired. Employers will see them as much more interesting and relevant than your stint stacking supermarket shelves!

This is where that prewritten list of skills and examples come in useful. You can quickly cross-reference different experiences so you have multiple examples under each heading, with the evidence to back up your claims. Using examples makes a skill-based CV much more powerful – and believable!

Additional skills as life experiences on your CV

Use the interests and additional skills section to link the skills and knowledge you have that are important for this role. For example, if you may have been a captain of a sports team (leadership skills), if you have traveled (cultural awareness), maybe you were an editor or worked on a school paper/magazine (able to meet deadlines in pressured environments) etc.  Any positive life experience is a benefit to your CV.

The last thing you need to think about is the layout or “flashiness”. We live in a world with limited employment; you need to make sure that your CV stands out from the crowd. This doesn’t mean that you have to put it on luminous paper and cover it in glitter; it must remain professional and be in-line with the type of job you are applying for. You can play around with the format, colours etc, and it is important to make sure that everything is easy to read, not too crowded and the information is clear.

Happy job hunting!

Treat your extra-curricular activities like jobs

Just because you weren’t paid for something doesn’t mean you didn’t gain valuable business skills from it. List your volunteer roles as you would a job – detailing the length of time you volunteered, relevant tasks you undertook and the skills you developed.

Often, you’ll find extra-curricular roles are more similar to the graduate jobs you’re applying for than any casual work you undertook. Prioritize them as such. If you’re applying for copywriting roles, employers will be more impressed to hear that you wrote for your student newspaper than that you worked for a local fast-food restaurant.


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