Blog post

How to write a CV with no experience or qualifications

It’s an age old problem.  You need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience. 

Reading a job spec where even the desirable requirements send you running a mile, nevermind the essential stuff, can be pretty demoralising.  

The good news is, with our grad hacks below, you'll have a lot more to talk about than you first thought.

If you've just graduated, you’ve got heaps of skills and attributes in demand.  Talk yourself up by:

 

  • Emphasising you are driven towards achieveing goals and are willing to work hard.

 

  • Showing an ability in the pursuit of greater knowledge in your chosen subject.

 

  • Proving you are self-motivated and have the ability to work to deadlines effectively.

 

  • Have a shiny new qualification in your chosen subject!

 

Extra curricular activities:

If you’ve been involved in any teams, out of college activities or coaching roles, these are great opportunities to give you the chance to cover off skills employers are looking for like, communication, organisation, leadership and motivation to name a few.  That’s what employers want you to demonstrate!

Even if your main out of study activity was socialising, but you’re starting to get an idea of the sort of jobs you want to pursue, don't worry, simply attack it another way.

Voluntary Work Experience/Temp Jobs

Employers look on voluntary work experience very favourably as it shows you are committed, determined and willing to put the effort in to get what you want.  

Or getting a temporary job might just be a little bit easier than a permanent position first up as by the nature of the conditions is less likely to need lots of experience.  So it’s a great way to begin. 

Even if you don’t start in the right department, it’s all about getting a foot in the door.  Whether you end up delivering the boss a coffee or filing until you’re riddled with paper cuts, sticking with a temporary appointment will allow you to gain experience, and at the very least, have something positive to talk about in your application and hopefully interview for the one you really want.          

Research

Don't overlook this.  When thinking about what experience you need and what a company is looking for, it’s worth calling in any favours you have with friends or contacts you’ve made along the way. 

Speak to someone who works in HR.  It doesn't matter that they might not work in the industry you're aiming at, you're looking to rinse them of their insight for things like top tips for interviews, what employers are looking for or why one CV will be looked at and another one won't.     

Remember.  Little or no work experience doesn’t mean your CV has to be a big blank canvas. So before cranking up the font size to fill up the page; highlight key skills mentioned earlier, write a well focused personal statement and evaluate all your experience that makes you a great candidate. 

You’re in the job seeking game to get the best result.  It isn’t always easy but these tips are ways to significantly improve your chances. 

Work with what you’ve got and you might just be surprised at what you can achieve.

Good luck!