The job search process can feel like an uphill battle when you don’t have work experience. However, you should by no means let that stop you. The applicant with the most experience isn’t always the person who will eventually land the job offer. And that’s because hiring managers look for more than just experience. That’s why it’s crucial to use your CV to showcase who you are and why you are a great fit for the job and company you are applying for. To help you get the job of your dreams, we’ve put together 5 top tips for writing a strong CV with no work experience.
An employer is not only looking at what you have done but what you can do. Draw on non-work-related experience, using your education, interests and hobbies. Relevant interests give you the opportunity to provide a more complete picture of who you are as an individual, as well as offering you something to talk about at the interview. For example, if you are applying for an entry level role marketing or journalist position, you can list as an interest writing your own blog.
Tip 2: List Skills Rather Than Roles
Start your CV with a list of skills that you’ve acquired. Employers will see them as much more interesting and relevant. Use examples to make your skill-based CV much more powerful. The best way to start identifying what you should list on your CV with no work experience, is to make a list of skills and classify them in categories. Then move on to prioritise them in reference to the job description. The last step is to make a note of potential experiences to show where and how you have utilised them so far.
Tip 3: Play Up Your Degree
Degrees are a great source of transferable skills. Make sure to call upon your research abilities, presentation skills and teamwork by giving examples in your CV. Other transferable skills that can be a great addition to showcase your professionalism when writing a CV with no work experience are time and deadline management, computer skills and multitasking. All of these can quite easily be transferred to different role environments and it’s easy to provide examples from your student life.
If you really want to strengthen your CV, then seek some voluntary experience to boost it. Although the work will be unpaid, the experience will be invaluable to your career prospects. Volunteering positions are easier to secure a sure-fire way to boost your employability, especially if you have no work experience. Although unpaid, you’ll definitely profit along the way from the skills and contacts you gain. Try to volunteer in the field that’s relevant to the area you’d like to work in. That way you’ll also develop a range of sought-after, transferable skills, such as teamwork, confidence and adaptability. More importantly, volunteering experience shows commitment, initiative and a strong work ethic, which are all appealing traits to prospective employers.
Tip 5: Add Some Personality
If you’ve won an award or run a marathon, list it in your CV. The ultimate goal is to be memorable, not to convince employers that jumping out of a plane has prepared you for this role!
Finally, if you’re a student or graduate and you’d like help creating a CV then remember that you can also get professional advice and guidance from your university careers service. When it comes to your CV, it’s important to look at the potential skills and personal traits that may be desirable to an employer for a role. Remember, there’s a lot more to you than dates on a piece of paper… For more CV writing tips and fresh UK job vacancies across all sectors, visit Zoek today!