July 03, 2012

Writing a CV (When You Have ZERO Work Experience)

Yes, it is very simple to write a CV when you have never had a job.

In my post Creating a CV: An Additional Guide I explained that the purpose of a CV is "simply to show your abilities, skills and aspirations to a recruiter or potential employer". This is achieved by detailing your academic qualifications, work experiences, extracurricular activities etc which are avenues for you to acquire and develop skills.

Hence, the fact that you have never worked before doesn't mean that your CV has to be empty or that you cannot write a CV. From my description of a CV above, I have simply tried to explain that a CV is not a document to show where you have worked. A CV is a document that shows your skills and abilities.

If you have not been opportune to have a job before, don't fret; you simply have to demonstrate your skills and abilities by detailing academic qualifications, extracurricular activities etc that have been avenue for you to develop your skills.

How can you do this?

Perhaps you've just finished secondary school or you are a university student and you need a CV to submit an application - you need to show a potential employer that you have something to offer if they employ you. Your CV needs to show that you have potential and that you have something that can be built on.

After my first year in University, I needed a job for the summer period to gain some work experience (and of course to earn some cash). Given that I had never had a job, I used a Skill Based CV which I created with the help of a Career Adviser at my University.

What is a Skill Based CV?
As the name suggests, a skill based CV simply captures your skills (ability to do something; expertise).  In my write up about Employable Skills I stated that there are certain skills which aid your ability to gain and maintain an employment. These skills can be developed during the course of various activities and are not only developed in an office environment.
- A player for a basketball team will have demonstrable 'Team Work' Skill
- A football team captain will have demonstrable 'Leadership' Skill
- A debate club member will have demonstrable 'Communication' Skill.

How do you create a Skill Based CV? 
Step 1 - Identify the core skills for the role you are applying for
When creating a Skill Based CV, it is important that you HIGHLIGHT the core skills for the role you wish to apply for. So, if you were applying for an accounting function your skill based CV must include a section on 'Numeracy Skill' as this is a key skill for an accounting role. Likewise, if you are applying for a Customer Service function, your skill based CV must include a section on 'Communication Skill' as this is a key skill for a customer service role.

Step 2 - List your activities which relate to the identified core skills
Having identified the core skills you need to portray to a recruiter, write down activities you have done that reflect these skills.

This is illustrated as follows;

PHOTO: A Skill Based CV

There you have it. Go get started on yours now!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for yet another masterpiece.

    On point, as usual!