Stepping onto the Career Ladder
If you have limited or no work experience, it might seem impossible to stand out from the competition in the selection process. But having extensive industry experience isn’t the only way to get hired. Learning how to write a CV without work experience, is all about focusing on your key skills.
By having a CV that is formatted to highlight your applicable strengths and is tailored to the sector you’re applying to; you’re more likely to grab a recruiter’s attention and land yourself an interview.
Below are the 5 key areas to include in your CV to balance out your limited work experience.
Formatting your CV
Your CV not only needs to be visually pleasing but easy to navigate. Most recruiters are only spending seconds on their first review of your CV, so making it engaging. Break the information into clearly structured sections, use bullet points and bold header to bring forward significant information.
Keep the most important information to the top of the page. Enticing the recruiters to read further and delve deep into your experiences.
A CV should be between 1-2 sides of A4. Avoid using large text or lots of imagery to pad it out. 1 side of A4 that is tailored and detailed is better than 2 sides of irrelevant information.
Start your CV with a killer personal profile, engaging the recruiter through summarising your experiences. This should be a paragraph between 10-15 lines, a synopsis of your education background, relevant skills and extra-curriculum activities.
Give a description of the reasons you’re looking to enter into a specific sector, tailoring your experiences to the role you’re applying to. One size definitely doesn’t fit all, ensure your profile is a custom fit to the job you’re applying to.
Try to avoid using cliches in your CV such as “I am a perfectionist” or “I give 100%.” Be unique in your descriptions.
Highlight your Skills
Before putting together your CV, review the job description you’re applying to and highlight any key words in the advert. Consider how you have demonstrated those same strengths. Be specific in your detail, providing examples and qualify them.
Adding facts, figures or exact occasions to add credibility. For example, if the role is looking for communication skills, discuss times where you presented to your class or got involved in a debate.
Remember to also add core skills required in any role such as being a team player or having a strong work ethic.
Consider the meaning of Work Experience
Work experience doesn’t just refer to paid employment. Consider work experience you took part in at school, describing the skills you obtained. Also, add any personal pursuits or freelance projects you’ve focused on during your education, showcasing the aptitudes you gained that match the roles you’re considering.
Add any links to work you have produced in your spare time. For example, if you want to start a career in design, then add depth about any projects where you’ve produced a website or any designs in your free time.
If you’ve recently left school or university, you need to be demonstrating the experiences you gained throughout your educational history. Look to add information about school projects, thesis or coursework you completed.
Think outside your classes and even add extra-curriculum activities such as sporting team or other organisations. There is no need to add every qualification and grade but instead highlight those that are most suited to the industry you are applying for.