The paradox of finding a proper job after graduation consists of the fact that you need to have the experience to start a career but at the same time, you need a job to obtain that experience! That is why most of the graduates or people, who want to change something in their career, find it difficult to make the first step and often need some assistance.
However, there are many important qualities, which are taken into account, apart from the working experience itself, so you have a chance to adjust all of your skills and use them to apply for the job of your dreams.
The main trick in writing a CV without work-related skills consists of using various creative tools to show your transferable skills. Here are some tips, which may help you to provide an interesting CV even if you lack work experience and still want to find the job of your dreams.
1. Concentrate on what makes you useful
If you don’t have enough experience, you should always highlight the things, which can be useful for the employer. Try to think from his perspective – what makes you useful? It may be participation in various projects, voluntary work, public services and so on. Make sure all the listed items are interesting for your potential employer.
In such a way, you will be able to emphasize your personal achievements and shift the interest from work-related skills. If you don’t have too many projects to boast, try to divide them into goals, targets, and results to make all the skills as obvious as possible.
2. Give vivid examples
Usually, headhunters and managers spend no more than a couple of seconds, reading a CV. They go through important sections and decide, whether they are interested in knowing more about the candidate. That is why you will only have a few seconds to make a proper first impression.
If you decide simply to convey your strong sides, you will most likely fail. The best thing to do in such situation will be to provide bright examples from your personal or work life to demonstrate the indicated skills. For example, instead of writing that you are able to launch projects, try to give an example. You may say that you have launched a community project with twenty employees and earned $10,000 in the first year.
Try to remind any other important examples to show your communication or managing skills, as it will tell the potential manager more than a simple description of your personal qualities.
3. Be honest
Every day recruiters scroll through dozen CVs and most often they are very alike, so it will be difficult for you to impress them. However, you don’t need to show off or makeup stories, which didn’t happen. You will probably be asked about them in a real-life interview and it would be more than embarrassing when the truth comes out.
That is why it is better to talk about your skills sensibly. Your potential employer knows that you don’t have all the skills of an experienced worker, so he won’t expect something outstanding. You simply need to be honest, demonstrate all your skills and use clear examples.
Honesty is always a great way of delivering information, so you need to be clear and precise to make a good impression.
4. Change your CV format
There are various types of layouts, which may serve different needs. Some of them highlight work experience, while others aim to hide weak sides or lack of education. Try to choose the format, which will suit your needs in the best possible way.
You can put your strongest features first, distracting attention from the lack of experience. For example, write about your education in the first place and make employment less relevant. Indicate all of your social projects, which may be more useful than your paid work.
Don’t worry to experiment with your CV and make it serve your career instead of dragging you down. However, never forget about the style and policy of the company you are contacting. Use classical style and fonts, less visual effects and professional language in order to sound as serious and qualified as possible.
5. Additional activities
Remember that various social projects or volunteer work may be as important, as a paid job, so don’t hesitate to indicate your extra-curricular projects, as you would state a paid job. Indicate the time you have worked on the project, your skills and additional knowledge you have gained.
For most of the companies, such experience can be even more important than a regular job without any interesting and challenging projects. Try to use a vivid language and bright examples to show how diverse your responsibilities were and it will surely drag attention of the potential employer.
6. Use Your Degree
Talking about your degree can be a great way of indicating your transferable skills, so don’t hesitate to use this way of listing your strong sides. For example, if you wrote a thesis, you can say that you are able to analyze and research academic information. If you have completed various presentations, you can indicate that you have experience creating presentations and visual materials.
Don’t think that if you lack work experience you won’t be able to impress the hiring manager: use your skills and degree to show how you can be useful for the company and it will definitely help you to get an invitation for a real interview.
About the author: Brandon Grondwrint, is an HR guru, and consultant at Resumes Area. He has been helping thousands of employees to make up an outstanding CV even with limited experience and lack of key skills.