How to boost your CV when you have no work experience

No work experience? Here are a few ideas of how you still can make your CV stand out to a potential employer.

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When applying for a job, an impressive CV that shows off your work ethic and passion is essential. And, undoubtedly, the section on work experience in your CV can help improve your chances of being employed.

But, what if you do not have any work experience? After completing your studies, finding a job without any work experience can be very challenging for new graduates.

Here are a few ways to build a strong CV — even if you don’t have work experience.

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Image: Adobe Stock

TALK ABOUT YOUR SKILLS

When writing a CV  you need to remember that the employer does not care about your wisdom or expertise. At this point, they simply want to know what you’re capable of doing.

Being honest about your skills, and providing examples of where you’ve demonstrated them, is the best way to get an employer interested.

For instance,  if you state leadership under your skills then provide a scenario where you had to use such skills.

SHOW YOUR POTENTIAL

An employer needs to know and be convinced that you are capable of taking on a task, or responsibility, that goes with the job.

State your efforts and how far you are willing to go when it comes to your job.

Include the challenges you’ve faced in your student life, how you overcame them and what you learnt from them.

PUT EFFORT IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT

When applying for a job, always ensure that your personal statement or summary is intriguing as it is one of the first things a recruiter reads on your CV.

Remember that this is not a story however but a brief description about why you’d be a great employee. Therefore, keep it short and concise.

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Image: Adobe Stock

HIGHLIGHT ACHIEVEMENTS IN YOUR CV

Bringing up achievements in different contexts can help reinforce the potential employer’s impression of your skills.

Identifying your achievements may make it easier for them to get a sense of what kind of a person you are.

For instance, your achievements could show that you’re proactive and alert on what is happening in their industry. Make it concrete and specific though.

MAKE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS RELEVANT

Relating your skills and qualifications in a meaningful way to the recruiter is often challenging.

It is not enough to have a qualification, you also need to tell the employer how you can help their company and what it would mean if they hired you.

Outline in specific ways how someone with your qualification could be an advantage to their business.

WRITE A COVERING LETTER WITH YOUR CV

A CV alone doesn’t have enough space for the applicant to go into detail about why they are the best person for the job.

For someone without work experience, a covering letter is extra-important. This is a chance to show the recruiter why they should hire you, particularly if you have no experience.

The letter has to be professional and to the point. Make sure there are no careless grammar or spelling errors.

DO UNPAID WORK

Your CV does not need to be lacking in work experience forever. If you do not have any paid experience, then volunteer for unpaid work. Ideally, look for a position as an intern in the field that you are hoping to work in.

Or, if you can’t find someone willing to take on an unpaid intern, then volunteer at a charity or NGO. This will show potential employers that you are committed to finding a job.

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