Before you begin worrying yourself with the fact that you have little to no work experience, just remember that everyone has to start somewhere. We’ve asked the consultants at EduStaff to offer some tips on how to best write your CV when you may be lacking in work experience.
Jobseekers tend to focus on the ‘previous experience’ section of a job advert and can rule themselves out of the role before they’ve even had a chance to look at the rest of the advert. “Use your CV as a chance to showcase your skills and character”, says Senior Consultant John Cobb. “Employers want to know if you are a good fit for the whole company, so tailor your CV to highlight how you possess the personal qualities asked for in the advert”.
Adding examples to demonstrate these traits is another way to make your CV stand out, and these can range from extracurricular activities to personal projects.
Make the most of your educational achievements. Stating that you have a degree is great, but how is an employer going to know that this will make you right for the role? “Any qualifications are gained through developing a certain set of skills, even if you don’t realise it”, Cobb explains. “If you’ve completed a group project, describe the role you took in the team and how you contributed to its success”.
Completing a dissertation or long piece of work can be impressive to employers if you describe how you did it and how it will benefit the company. For example, organising your time effectively and conducting your own research can be great skills for most roles; now all you need to do is say how you would adapt this to the role you are applying for.
Not having work experience allows you be a little creative with the layout of your CV.
You don’t need to follow templates or a strict chronological order where previous work experience sections usually sit high up on the page. Put the most important information first, as an employer will make a decision if they want to keep reading based on their first impressions of the CV.
“Making the CV relevant to the reader is the key to a successful resume, regardless of your experience”, says Senior Consultant Jonathan Sammons. “If you’ve written a good piece of coursework on a relevant topic, or completed a course or tutorial of your own volition, let the employer know straight away”. If you are applying for a creative role such as a graphic designer, use your CV as a chance to showcase what you can do, and what you can bring to the company.
Don’t be tempted to ramble on in your CV to fill up space – employers would rather read short, snappy points than a long paragraph explaining something that could’ve been condensed. If you’re worried about blank spaces, play around with the format and structure to fit everything nicely onto one page.
*This is a collaborative post.
*How to write a CV image from Shutterstock.