What to do when you have no work experience for your CV
After a chat with a student on Twitter recently, I learnt that she was struggling to write her CV because she had no formal work experience. So, I have been inspired to write a blog post to help students and school leavers with no formal work experience to write their first CV. Alternatively, I can write your CV for you. I know how to best present your key skills and attributes and what other information can be used to show you off positively to an employer.
Are you sure you have Zero experience? Let’s think again!
Firstly, have you really got NO experience at all? Maybe you have done some baby sitting or a paper round? Or, have you helped at a charity event or a school fund-raiser? Did you do any ‘work experience’ via the school, whilst you were studying for your GCSEs? Have you done any community work?
All this is vital experience that you can put on your first CV, even if it is not related to your intended career. Even something simple like babysitting can demonstrate to an employer that you have worthwhile ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills. Using babysitting as an example; it shows your trustworthiness, patience, ability to communicate, etc.
Think again… have you really got NO experience? Would a parent really leave their child in the care of someone who was reckless, lazy and mute?
We can best demonstrate limited experience, our CV writing prices start from £49.99 for students, school leavers and graduates
Using a skills-based or functional CV format
If you haven’t had a formal first job, don’t worry, employers are used to receiving what we call a ‘skills-based’ CV from school leavers and students. This a CV format that focuses more on your hard and soft skills, as opposed to formal work experience. Throughout life, everyone picks up practical skills; a home, at school, at college or at university and these can be used to give an employer a better insight on you as a person and your competences.
Try to think about what you have done and what skills you have demonstrated, particularly skills that would be useful in the industry you are targeting.
If you want to be a Counsellor, you need to emphasise your soft skills, such as your ability to listen with an empathetic ear and your ability to make sound judgements and recommendations.
Maybe you are looking for a customer services role? What experience do you have demonstrating your people skills? Can you show an employer how you have used problem-solving skills? Can you make quick and clear decisions?
We can demonstrate your skills, our CV writing prices start from £49.99 for students, school leavers and graduates
What positive things can you include on your CV?
- Extra Curricular Activities
- Presentations Given
- Debates Engaged in
- Competitions Entered or Won
- Special Projects Submitted
- Awards Gained
- Team Collaborations
- Prefect, House Captain, Team Captain
- County Level Sports
- Duke of Edinburgh Awards
- Internships Completed
- Community Work
- Voluntary Work
- Raising Awareness
- Raising Money
- Helping out with a family business
- School Work Experience
- Saturday or after-school jobs
- Seminars Attended
- Campaign Involvement
- Soft and Hard Skills
You see, when you REALLY think about it, you do have lots of skills and experience. Ok, they may not all be work-based but if you are just leaving or about to leave school, college or university, an employer knows work-based experience is going to be limited. Afterall, your lack of experience is why graduate and entry-level jobs are not as well paid.
If you still don’t have any experience, then we strongly suggest you put yourself out there and get some. There are hundreds of charities looking for willing volunteers and they often depend on voluntary workers to survive. Whilst you might not want to get out of bed for no money, think about the long-term benefits of volunteering both for you and the charity you are helping.
Finding Voluntary Work
Here are some good links to find voluntary work in your area: