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Learn how to tailor your CV when lacking work experience
Faced with a lack of work experience, many jobseekers wonder how they can make their CV stand out from the pile. Before applying, it is important that you take time to tailor your CV. Make the most of your personal skills, present examples of your achievements and don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm and creativity.
Employers need proof that you’re the right candidate. So if you can’t rely on previous work experience in a similar role, you may need to present any voluntary or extracurricular activities, work placements or coursework relevant to the position you’re applying for. In your CV, try to highlight the most interesting aspects of your profile and tell prospective employers how you’ve furthered your skills and knowledge, by providing concrete examples.
So you’ve made sure to include that you are a highly-motivated candidate, that you’re able to easily fit into a multicultural environment and that you’re committed to pushing boundaries and challenging yourself. But this might not be enough; it’s crucial to demonstrate these qualities through concrete and practical examples.
Maybe you have a blog and write regularly, perhaps you’ve volunteered abroad or maybe you’ve spearheaded a project – if it’s relevant and positively demonstrates an element of your character then you should mention it.
Having helped out in a family business or paying your own way through college are examples of other elements that might catch a potential employer’s attention as they could both provide evidence of traits such as humility and work ethic for example. Moreover, it is important to present your soft skills in the best light possible. If you’re a resilient and hard-working person, you can illustrate such qualities by mentioning you have a horse that you are responsible for or that you’ve practised a particular sport for several years.
Make the most of a creative layout
A creative layout can also help you to stand out from the crowd. The usual strict chronological order might work when applying for more “conservative” job positions, but you don’t need to use it in every application.
“Consider putting a summary of stand-out points at the beginning of your CV. Put your name and contact details at the top of the page, then use the [potential] job title itself as a heading. Under this, summarise key details such as years’ experience in a particular skill, project experience, summer placements, or a short branding statement highlighting your strengths and attributes”, states career advisor Clare Whitmell on an article published in the UK newspaper The Guardian.