Making your first job application might be stressful. It doesn’t sound like a nice process to be scrutinized and have your candidature reviewed by nameless people someplace “out there.” Being completely inexperienced can make you feel completely inadequate and perhaps even a bit ashamed.
You should have complete faith in your inadequacies. Unless you are applying for jobs for which you are severely underqualified, of course. Because you can safely put those emotions and that embarrassment aside if you’re applying for an entry-level position or one that explicitly states “no experience required.”
You’re up against others who are in your same situation as you. They won’t have more experience than you, but their resumes might be stronger. And that’s where this article comes in—to demonstrate to you how to write a CV for a job with no experience, step-by-step and with numerous examples.
1. Begin with a personal assertion
Although the personal statement is reviewed before your personal information in your CV, it actually does. As a result, this is where you’ll create your initial impression and the hiring manager will either be intrigued and continue reading your CV or, at best, go into “scan and skim” mode.
Make the most of your CV personal statement by introducing yourself as a worker (even if you’ve never held a job), highlighting your value to the organization, and demonstrating how your aims align with its objectives. There is a lot to do and only 3–4 sentences, or 50–150 words, are available to do it in.
When introducing oneself, use only acceptable and professional details. Describe your past accomplishments to demonstrate what you can provide to the firm (more on achievements below). Simply by having your ambitions fulfil the needs of the organization, you may show that they are aligned with its.
A worker’s actions and the advantages they provide to their company are often described as an achievement. This entails, at the very least, assigning numerical values to the scales at which you operated. There is no arguing that a statement like “finished several pieces of written evaluation” is less informative and less remarkable than “completed over 20 significant assignments, writing a total of at least 40,000 words over two years.”
Another thing to watch out for is the possibility that an applicant tracking system (ATS) will process your application before recruiters even view it, especially if you’re applying to large firms or for popular positions. You can increase your chances of passing by taking a few easy measures.
Prior to anything else, make sure you include the firm and job title that are listed in the job advertisement. Then, try to include a few of the advertisement’s keywords into your text. However, don’t force it—you want your writing to continue to be readable and sound natural to human recruiters.
Your personal statement, which is essentially a summary of your resume, should be written last even though it is the first substantial section of your resume. Once you’ve prepared your work history and abilities summary, you’ll be able to do the task much more effectively (if any). So put it on the back burner for the time being and return to it later.
2. List your Qualifications.
What exactly do you bring to the job if not experience? Experience is actually just a skill-indicator. To put it clearly, if a person stays on the job for a few years without being fired, you can usually presume they have developed and shown a specific set of talents.
As a result, you need a format for your CV that will highlight your talents rather than the traditional (reverse-)chronological format, which puts your work history first. A CV format called the skills-based (also known as functional) format does precisely this.
This is undoubtedly the ideal style to utilize when writing a CV for a job with no experience even if it’s not what recruiters are used to seeing (by far, the chronological format). It can also occasionally cause ATSs to malfunction. Here, the focus is primarily on the abilities you offer to the position.
Examine the job description to which you are responding and make a note of any abilities mentioned there. Look at other advertisements for similar positions in comparable companies if the job posting doesn’t specify many talents (or any at all). Online general research is advised. Get a sense of the abilities needed to perform this job well (hard and communication skills).
Make 3-5 of these skills that are the most crucial or in-demand subheadings in your skills section. Under each category, include 2-4 bullet points that indicate how you’ve used the relevant ability. The goal is to persuade hiring managers that you actually possess these skills.
Be as specific and as quantitative as you can. Transform ambiguous claims like, “I practiced public speaking by going to conventions,” into compelling accomplishments like, “I spoke at 13 different conventions in front of a total of over 650 people.” Place an emphasis on academic and faux-academic contexts above hobbies and other pursuits.
3. Tell us about your education.
Your education is a major factor in establishing clear, measurable differences between you and other inexperienced candidates. Many jobs do not require it, and some only require English and Math GCSEs. It is far from being the end-all and be-all for many jobs. But it’s nonetheless significant.
Put the information in reverse chronological order in your schooling section, beginning with the most recent events and working your way backward from there. Include your anticipated completion or graduation date if you’re still working toward a particular qualification.
4. Include more parts
When you apply for entry-level positions, you’ll be up against those who have little to no work experience. Depending on the position, they can have educational backgrounds and skill sets that are extremely similar to yours. The question then becomes: How do you differentiate yourself?
By adding more sections to your CV, you can differentiate yourself from the competition. By doing this, you can concentrate on the characteristics of your life that are both highly outstanding and directly applicable to the position you’re going for. You will therefore have various sections for various job applications.
Consider the qualities you possess that make you the ideal candidate for this particular position but do not fall within the education or skill categories. You can include sections on your extracurricular accomplishments, conferences you’ve attended, awards or competitions you’ve won, as well as your hobbies and interests.
Just keep in mind that anything you offer must be pertinent to the task at hand. The only rule in this situation is basically this one, but it’s a crucial one. The capacity to speak another language is something that is relevant in almost all professions. Therefore, even if you won’t utilize them at work, add those.
6. Don’t forget to attach a cover letter.
It’s quite simple to become fixated on one aspect of your application—how to build a CV for a job with no experience—and forget about everything else. Your cover letter is another crucial component. The only time you shouldn’t include one is if you were instructed not to.
Your cover letter will adhere to the typical UAE business letter format if you choose a solid guide. This will automatically lock-in how you format your cover letter heading, choose your salutation, and end the message. A lot of stuff will seem little, yet it can be very important.
The element of your cover letter that you have complete control over is the body. There isn’t a right or wrong method to approach writing it, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t incredibly effective and utterly bad approaches as well. Once more, an excellent manual will set you on the right track to impressing recruiters.
A good cover letter will draw attention to your resume. It only needs to do that, but it’s easier said than done. Such a cover letter will begin with a paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention and demonstrates your suitability for the position. Its main body paragraphs will contain examples of your accomplishments.
A strong call to action that expresses your passion for the position and your desire to advance to the following and related phases of the hiring process will conclude an excellent cover letter. Keep in mind to keep your cover letter brief. It should ultimately be between 250 and 400 words.
Several last-minute considerations before pressing the “send” button
Your CV must appear professional from a distance and when viewed closely by the grammar police. This entails attending to both the word-by-word, letter-by-letter problems of spelling, grammar, and punctuation as well as the big-picture issues of format, CV layout, and overall style.
If you follow this advice, you’ll produce one or two pages of content. Edit and reorganize your work ruthlessly until it neatly (but not tightly) fits on one A4 page. However, keep your contact information near the top of your CV and think about increasing the size of your name by at least two points to make it stand out.
To ensure that it will print out legibly, keep the rest of your text at a size of 11–12 points. The vast majority of recruiters still favor printing out resumes, especially during the shortlist and interview stages, even in this day and age. Pick a resume typeface with a professional appearance, such as Noto, Garamond, Arial, Liberation, or Calibri.
Make your resume easily navigable at a glance by clearly dividing it into parts and subsections using subheadings and lots of white space. Avoid using color excessively and don’t feel the need to use any at all, but if you do, make sure it is neutral, presentable, and legible on a white background.
You now understand how to create a CV for an unexperienced job. One more CV tip: if you haven’t heard back after a week, follow up with a brief phone call or email. This has a far greater impact than you may imagine, and it will at the very least offer you a sense of how your application is progressing.