Many people struggle to write their first CV/resume because they assume CVs/resumes are for people with work experience. That is not true – even if you don’t have any work experience, you still have to provide a CV/resume to potential employers and recruiters. So, how do you write a CV/resume without work experience? Follow our helpful tips here…
Begin with a profile section
The first section of your CV/resume should be a professional profile section. The profile section should be a summary of your skills, achievements and goals. These achievements may be your education and qualifications, or they may be voluntary jobs you did. Say what makes you suitable for the job. If you are applying for roles in one sector only, mentioned this in your profile section. Example: “An economics graduate looking for a job in the finance sector.” Make it brief, about 150 – 200 words.
List important courses in your education section
List your degree, grade and university. Have you taken courses that are relevant to the job you are applying for? Make a list of them and mention your achievements/results. Use keywords from the job posting to tailor it to the role.
You may not have the experience in a work environment, but many employers are happy to consider a candidate who has the knowledge and experience in an education setting. So, don’t be put off from applying if you can do the job just because a company hasn’t hired you before. We all begin from a place of no-job to first-job.
Make a list of your skills instead of jobs
Make a list of all your skills, achievements and any voluntary work. Think about the way your education, any voluntary work or hobbies can help you to excel in the job. If you are applying for a role in marketing for example, use your social media experience and the numbers of followers to help you to land the job.
If you have a lot of followers, you can list this as an achievement with sentences like: “Increased Twitter followers by 80% in 5 months by following and interacting with people who share similar interests.”
Tailor your CV
The most important part of writing a CV/resume is tailoring it. Tailor your CV/resume to the job you are applying for. Use keywords from the job description when you write your CV/resume.
Are you looking for a job in writing or editing? Did you have a degree in English? Link your studies and experience in writing and editing to the job.
Make the most of the hobbies/interests section
In your hobbies and interests section, mention the things you enjoy doing. Do you enjoy reading? How many books do you read in a month? Do you enjoy keeping up to date with financial news and the economy? List the ways in which you do so.
Of course, not all hobbies have to be linked to the job you are applying for. Sometimes showing your personal interests can also appeal to a future employer. We know someone who connected with a future employer by mentioning that she takes belly dance lessons! It is an interest completely unrelated to the job she applied for, but it was an interest her employer shared.
Include a cover letter
To some recruiters, no application is complete without a cover letter. Your cover letter is your polite greeting to a recruiter, but also a chance to expand on some things you wrote on your CV. Take the time to write a cover letter that explains your interest in the role and how your skills and interests make you a suitable candidate.
A cover letter is important for other reasons, too. It will not only showcase your enthusiasm and interest in the role, but also your communication skills. By sending a well written cover letter, you may well impress a hiring manager.
Is there anything else I can do to secure an interview?
If you want to really impress a hiring manager, take the time to learn more about the company who posted the job and the position. Tell them what makes them the ideal company to work for and how you can grow with them.
It will show that you are a serious and committed individual who takes the time to learn about the position and the company before you make the application.
The more enthusiastic you come across, the higher your chances of getting an interview.
If you would like one of our experts to give you a free CV/resume or a cover letter review, please get in contact and send us your document.