Job hunting can be a stressful time, especially when it is bearing no fruit. As afresh graduate, it is even more daunting with the lack of experience.
What do you put on your CV that can show your ability to deliver on the task?
Here are ways you can write an impressive CV even when you are disadvantaged in terms of experience.
1. A summary statement
Ideally, this is where you should sum up your work experience. Summarize your skills in a way that quickly captures the recruiter’s interest, and shows them right away that you will be valuable to the organization.
Highlight your achievements, the extra value you will bring on board, the industry you’re interested to work in, and your short term career goals. This will set the tone and focus for the rest of your CV.
2. Technical details
When you do not have a truckload of experience to prove your capabilities, you do not want to dim your prospects further by misspelling words. If you write “wrok” instead of “work,” you’ll look lazy to a recruiter. Also, don’t say on your CV that you are “excellent at MS Word” when you can’t put spaces where necessary. Typos give the impression of a lack of attention to detail, sloppiness and an uncaring attitude, and this can knock you out of contention. So put your commas at the right place, capitalize words appropriately, and always proofread your work. With the competition for jobs so tight, you cannot afford to short change yourself.
3. State all your achievements
If you have limited work experience, or have only worked in fields that are not related to the job you are looking for, put down any part-time work you have done, and the skills you gained.
For example, if you held a sales job at a supermarket but you are applying for a job in IT, talk about the experience you gained such as customer service, brand strategy and problem-solving, as opposed to just saying you were a salesperson.
4. Focus on educational skills
Bring out your academic portfolio. This could show that you have good writing skills, and have the ability to do research. If your course had many class presentations, include a statement that you have good public presentation skills, can develop a PowerPoint presentation, and that you can argue coherently and respectfully
5. Do not ignore internship
You gathered some work experience during the internship. Clearly outline the roles and responsibilities you held during your internship period, the skills you gained and any achievements you recorded during that period.
6. Include any volunteer work
If you’ve ever been a volunteer, say this on your CV under work experience. Whether you got paid for the job or not you gained experience. Include every detail, including the role you played, the tasks you performed and the time you spent doing it.
7. Be mindful of keywords
We live in an age where CVs are sometimes sorted by machines, using keywords. This often happens when the recruiter anticipates or receives too many applications. So, while writing your CV, constantly look at the job advertisement and use the keywords so that you do are not dismissed at the sorting stage.
8. Be Honest
Always keep your CV truthful. Present yourself honestly, focusing on your strengths and positive traits. This will be good for your conscience and will help you avoid any future trouble with your employer.
The next time you are updating your CV, incorporate these pointers. Do not let one of these mistakes sink your chances before a hiring manager has even read your name.