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Whether you’re fresh out of high school, a newly-graduated college student or just someone seeking their first job, you will need a CV to showcase your skills. Writing a CV with no experience is possible and easier than you think but it will require a different approach from the standard CV.
To teach you how to write a CV with no experience, we’ve put together an expert guide with:
Yes, you can write a CV with no work experience. It’s important to know that hiring managers are looking for relevant experience, not necessarily professional experience. The most crucial tips for knowing how to make a good CV with no experience are:
There are three standard CV formats. They’re not interchangeable, so it’s important to understand each of them individually before deciding which one will benefit you the most.
In addition to choosing the right CV format for you, it’s also important to follow the correct CV formatting guidelines:
You can also take away the guesswork using one of our beautiful CV templates. They’re pre-formatted to pass the applicant tracking system (ATS) that most employers use to filter CVs, so you can focus on all the other good stuff.
Now that we’ve discussed CV formats and given you all the formatting tips, here’s how to make a CV with no job experience:
First comes the header with your contact information. Make sure that the phone number and professional email address you provide are the correct ones. You can also include the social media handle to your LinkedIn profile but only if it will add value to your job application.
We highly recommend writing a career objective instead of a professional summary. A career objective is a two- to three-sentence introduction that summarises your top skills and informs the potential employer of your goals in relation to their company or internship programme.
High school student looking for graphic design internship to hone designing skills. Ready to apply collaborative skills and creative abilities to an advertising agency. Possesses basic Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom skills.
It’s a good idea to pay close attention to your skills section when applying for an entry-level job. The job posting will usually have CV keywords that reflect what recruiters are expecting to see in the person who eventually gets the job. Look through the job description for soft skills and hard skills that you should include in the skills section.
Soft skills are intangible characteristics that can be applied to virtually any job, regardless of the industry. Hard skills are abilities aquired through training and experiences that are job-specific.
If you’ve chosen to create a functional CV, you might notice that there are additional skills sections to complete, such as:
Typically, you’ll want to include your education section next. Especially if you’re a college graduate, you probably have more academic achievements than you do job achievements and that means putting your education section above your work experience section. You can also include certifications and extracurricular activities.
Some additional tips to make your education section pop:
High School Diploma | East High School
Hayden, ID | Expected in June 2024
You can list any experience you have as long as it’s relevant to the job. This may include volunteer experience, internships and even extracurricular activities related to your job search — even part-time jobs count here.
List your work history in reverse-chronological order, meaning that your latest or current work experience goes at the top. If you’re using a CV format where you can further explain your work accomplishments and responsibilities, be sure to:
Secretary / Sept 2022 – Current
Hayden High School Student Government Club, Hayden, ID
6. Additional sections
You may need additional sections if you have a lot of achievements or certifications that you want to show off. In a no-experience CV, sections like these can back up your skills and show that you’re the right person for a specific job posting. There are many potential CV sections you could include here, including certifications, extracurricular activities, key achievements, and research or publications.
CVHelp has tons of expert resources to help you write the best CV and jump-start your career.
A cover letter is an incredibly useful tool to land the job of your dreams. It’s especially crucial if you don’t have enough work experience, so use our cover letter resources to create a professional letter for your job application.
Let’s do a quick recap of what we discussed to wrap up:
Yes. Even if you don’t have work experience, a CV will be expected for most jobs. After all, a CV is an important part of communicating your credentials. The key to writing a CV with no experience is to focus on your skills and mention any relevant experience, even if it doesn’t come from a traditional job.
Work experience can come from volunteer work, extracurricular activities (such as clubs) and personal projects. Just make sure that it’s related to the job or internship.
Hobbies can be a good additional section if those hobbies are related to the job you’re trying to get. If you’re trying to become a character designer, listing that you’ve been playing D&D for 10 years can be helpful because you have to design characters for every D&D session. However, it’s not super helpful if you’re trying to get work as a certified nurse assistant.
Connect your hobbies to your job and you can add them to your CV.
It’s typically not required to list your GCSE’s scores on your CV because most hiring managers don’t find it important. However, if you’re searching for a job or an internship in an academic setting, it might be important to list your GPA or the honours you graduated with.
It all depends on the industry and job. Some hiring managers might not bat an eye at the fact that you graduated cum laude (no matter how impressive it is), while others might deem it a great deciding factor.
If you’re writing a CV with no experience, focus on your key skills and any relevant experience you have. You might not have worked at a traditional 9-5 or even a part-time job but maybe you tutored students at your school, volunteered at the local animal shelter or participated in an afterschool program, such as the school newspaper. All of these experiences gave you important skills that you can apply to the job and highlight in your CV.
Writing a CV work history section with no experience can seem daunting but it’s possible and easier than you think. The key is to redefine what “work experience” means to you.
Maybe you haven’t worked at a traditional job but have experience in customer service from volunteering at a local shelter. In which case, you might write:
You should list these experiences in reverse-chronological order. This means that your latest or current job is at the top. Per job, include three to five bullet points.
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