CV advice: how to write a CV with no work experience
If you’re a recent school leaver or early on in your career, you will probably be thinking how to fill out a two page CV with little to no work experience – but don’t fear as we are here to give you a few tips on what to focus on and how you can still create a great CV to impress your first employer.
Everybody has to start somewhere…
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just left school, college or university, you are now looking for a job and are struggling to put pen to paper on your CV. Staring at a blank page can be very disheartening, but there is hope yet.
First of all, you are not the only person in this position and won’t be the last. Everybody has to start somewhere, and it’s how you write your first CV that makes the difference as to how quickly you land your first job.
Focus upon education
Focus upon what you have achieved rather than what you haven’t. Assuming you are applying for an entry level position, the employer will be interested in your education and will expect you to go into more detail as to the projects you completed and the grades achieved.
It’s safe to assume that the role you’re applying for will require you to be a good team player, have good communication skills, be organised, be hard working, be punctual, and also have basic IT skills (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Using your education you will need to demonstrate that you have these foundation skills and how they will apply to the role.
A perfect attendance record, a class presentation, a project, essay or dissertation – all of these academic achievements can show the employer that you are ready for work and have already developed many soft skills. Highlight how what you’ve achieved will benefit the employer and how you can transfer those skills over to the role.
Don’t underestimate voluntary and part time work
If you’ve ever worked for a local charity or even part time on the odd weekend, this is all great work experience that should go on your CV. You may be thinking that it doesn’t really count and the employer won’t be interested, but this is far from the truth.
You don’t have to be paid for it to be classed as work, and the valuable experience you’ve gained from a voluntary position will show an employer that you’ve already had a taste of a working environment. Your interaction with customers and colleagues can demonstrate to a potential employer that you’ve already begun to build up your soft skills.
Part time work will also have the same effect, and you should certainly put this down on your CV. Be careful not to include home chores because mowing the lawn for your Dad is not quite what the employer is looking for. But working every Saturday evening at your local pub is of value to your CV and could be linked with many attributes – working under pressure, interaction with customers, dealing with money, and so on.