How do I write my CV with little or no work experience?
It doesn’t matter if you’re just leaving education of if you’ve decided you want a change of career, either way you may be struggling to complete the work experience/history section of your CV.
No matter what the reason is you shouldn’t be put off from completing your CV and applying for a role to get your foot on the ladder. Here are some great tips to help you complete this important section of your CV.
Use your education as experience
You went to college or university for a reason, and those years spend conducting research and writing assignments should not go unnoticed. A big misconception about writing the ‘work history’ section is assuming it only applies to real paid work rather than voluntary or educational. This isn’t true, and anything and everything you’ve ever worked towards and achieved should be present on your CV – assuming it relates to the role you’re applying for.
If you’ve just left education and are now applying for your first job, you are unlikely to be applying for a management position, so the employer is going to be well aware that lots of school leavers will be sending in their CV’s. At this stage it’s all about getting your foot in the door and starting your very first job, so don’t be afraid to put down your achievements to date.
Use your assignments and projects
Utilising your projects from your course or degree is a great way to complete a CV, and this could apply to literally anything. For example, you may decide that communication is really important for the role, so why not document your presentations. Another great way of showing how you could apply yourself in a real working environment is by noting your time spent volunteering. This could have been in a charity shop or for an event. Any type of volunteering work will look great on your CV as it shows you are not afraid to work – especially when you are giving up your free time and not getting paid.
Highlight transferable skills
Another reason why you may have little or no work experience for a particular role is because you have decided to change career completely. However, this doesn’t mean to say that you can’t highlight any transferable skills, achievements or qualifications.
The best way to do this is to make a note of the important skills needed for the new role, and then search for something similar within your work history. Let’s say for example that having great communication skills is going to be vital for the new role. This now means that you can search back through your past roles, no matter how different, to highlight your great communication skills and how you applied them.
Sure, having extensive work experience in the same role/industry is going to be the ultimate goal, but this doesn’t mean to say that you can’t change career and prove to the new employer that you’re up to the task and can show how you’ve already built up the skills needed to move to a new venture.