3 CV Writing Tricks for Fresh Graduates Applying Jobs Without Relevant Work Experience
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By Lillian Wamaitha,
How can I get a job without experience? Thousands of fresh graduates find themselves sooner than later asking this age-old question. If all jobs require experience, how can you get that first job when your only experience is your degree or diploma?
Soon you will find yourself in the situation where your dream job just got posted, and you’re super excited. There’s just one problem, you literally have zero relevant work experience. Considering that you are a fresh graduate with no internships under your belt, what can you actually put on your CV that makes you look as qualified as possible?
Worry not. There are a few different things you can include, as well as a couple of formatting tricks, that will help you present yourself in the best light possible.
1. Indicate your relevant skills
Naturally we are used to beginning a CV with relevant work experience or education, whichever formatting suits you best. This becomes a problem when the relevant work experience isn’t your strong suit. It is therefore advisable that when composing a compelling CV, don’t waste your time compiling things that may just end up confusing the hiring manager. Instead start your CV by outlining those skills you think are relevant and transferable to the job, for instance research skills. We all have skills that make us special otherwise you wouldn’t be applying for that job. These are the reasons why you think you are suited for the role you are applying for. And why the hiring manager should consider your CV among the thousands s/he has on the desk.
2. Tackling the Experience Part
For entry-level candidates, the experience section is probably the biggest challenge one comes across when putting together a CV. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t want to have an experience section that is empty or filled with experience that is not relevant to the job you are applying for. The trick as most experts would advice is to again focus on your skills. From there you can then group your experience under these skills. Say for instance, you said you have time management skills. You can outline things like how you managed detailed project plan to coordinate activities among team members for final group presentations. Since you may not have a lot of experience, it is important to include coursework, class projects, volunteer work or extracurricular activities that are related to your target job. While these may not be paid experiences, they are still valid experiences that you can list in your CV.
3. Put together an enthusiastic cover letter
Most will agree that this isn’t technically part of your CV, but I am a firm believer of always coupling a CV with a strong cover letter. This is especially important if you have no relevant experience or a winding career path. find a way to connect your passions and life experiences with the company, then explain how that will translate into you hitting the ground running once you’re hired. You’ll find that link is exactly the kind of experience employers are looking for from fresh graduates.
Making it into a new career is hard work. The trick to overcoming this is to really iron out those details like relevant skills and related side projects. Add on a riveting cover letter and, with a combination of networking and some luck, you’ll be sure to grab a hiring manager’s interest soon.