Tips on how to write a CV with no experience


Tips on how to write a CV with no experience

by CVMaker

  • CV
  • · January 18 2023
  • · 5 min read
Tips on how to write a CV with no experience

Table of contents

Looking for your first job can be a daunting and stressful time. We’ve all been there: you spend a significant amount of time applying for jobs but receive very little feedback from recruiters or hiring managers. In most cases, a simple, ‘unfortunately, we will not be moving on with your application’ can be demotivating and oftentimes frustrating. Nonetheless, we’re here to help you succeed.

You might still be in the progress of completing your studies or, perhaps, recently graduated, and now the time has come for you to start looking for work. Alternatively, you might have already gained work experience but decided to try exploring a new career path. If any of these scenarios resonate with you, you’ve landed on the right page. To boost your chances of landing your dream job, our CVMaker experts recommend creating ATS-friendly career documents. To learn more about what it is and how to optimise for it, refer to our article on how to improve your CV.

Regardless of your background, we will show you how to stand out and showcase essential information on a CV. Our tips will help you create an industry-standard and keyword-strong CV that will make it harder for recruiters to overlook your application.

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Create a job-specific CV

A job-specific CV is a document that outlines a person's work experience, education, and skills in a way that is tailored to a specific job or industry. Unlike a generic CV, which may be used to apply for various jobs, a job-specific CV showcases the skills and experiences most relevant to the position.

CVMaker experts recommend paying close attention to job descriptions and the company’s ‘About us’ page before starting to create a CV. Find a few jobs of interest that align with your career goals and make a list of all the requirements and keywords. Doing so will ensure you are tailoring your CV, showing recruiters that you truly took the time and effort to apply. Using this strategy will demonstrate enthusiasm and dedication to serving business needs.

If you’re still unsure about the difference between a job-specific CV and a master CV, read the article on how to write a good CV.

Keep your CV clear and concise

No one wants to read long chunks of text with lengthy job descriptions and achievements. These will confuse a recruiter or hiring manager by distracting them from the main points of your CV. Eventually, it will make it harder for them to assess your key strengths and qualifications.

Instead of listing every job and all your responsibilities, focus on highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant. Keep your writing clear and concise, and try not to overwhelm a recruiter with unnecessary details.

Incorporate strong action verbs

Another CV tip is to utilise keywords and action verbs to convey your message more effectively. This tactic will make your CV more scannable by both recruiters and ATS, ultimately leading to more job interviews. Furthermore, they make your CV more concise and to the point. Instead of saying, ‘During my time at X position, the sales grew by 30% over a seven-month period’, consider saying the following: ‘Achieved a 30% increase in sales by initiating proactive customer support and driving new sales strategies.’

Show your personality in a personal profile

If you are applying for your dream job, let your excitement shine through in your personal profile, also known as your personal statement. The general rule of thumb is to keep it brief and to the point, generally no more than six lines depending on your CV template and level of experience. Show why you are passionate about a specific field and believe you are a great fit for the role. Use this section to explain your long-term career goals while keeping it clear and to the point. In turn, this can help to show your commitment and ambition. For more details, see the article on how to write a personal profile.

Personal statement examples for CV with no experience

High-school student

Enthusiastic and data-driven school leaver passionate about marketing. Demonstrated hands-on experience in public speaking, customer service, and team management. Seeking to leverage my communications and analytical skills to kickstart a career in web marketing. Looking for an internship as a marketing assistant in a team-oriented start-up or small enterprise.

Undergraduate student with internship experience

Attentive and organised third-year law student majoring in International Human Rights Law,  experienced in building partnerships with clients and knowledgeable in court procedures and case transcriptions. Adept at legal research, document filing, and time management. In search of an entry-level job position as a policy advisor in a respected and professional law firm.

Data Scientist graduate

Analytical and result-driven data scientist graduate with strong knowledge of JavaScript, Python, Scala, SQL, and R. Experienced in machine learning and statistical tools. Adept at converting complex data into clean and easily understandable results. Demonstrated excellent communication and data visualisation skills. Looking for a new internship to apply for and improve my programming skills.

Career change CV

Enthusiastic and detail-orientated French-English translator who aims to change career as a Technical Writer. Quick learner with demonstrated communication skills in different multicultural and professional settings. Eager to kickstart a career in an international and team-oriented company as an intern or entry-level writer.

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Leverage transferable skills

Transferrable skills are abilities that you can apply to a variety of different jobs and industries. These are often broad and valuable as they show that a candidate can learn new things, think critically, and work effectively with others.

In some cases, you will have some of the required skills, not all, but one approach is to identify transferable skills. CV experts advise turning these skills into professional hard or soft skills. Remember that the skills you select should align with your desired job goals. With little to no work experience, we encourage you to emphasise transferable skills gained through training, projects, volunteering, or other extracurricular activities that would strengthen your CV.

Examples of transferable skills:

  • Critical thinking

  • Adaptability

  • Teamwork

  • Project management

  • Leadership

  • Data analysis.

To learn more about the different types of skills on a CV, read our article on what skills to put on a CV.

Utilise the additional experience CV section

Most employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience, even if the person doesn’t have a degree relevant to the job. If you’ve run out of ideas on what to add to your work experience section, consider creating an additional experience section to elaborate on volunteering, hobbies and interests, student societies, or other side activities. Even if you have non-paid work experience, you can still benefit from the skills and achievements you’ve gained.

If you lack relevant experience in any of the fields mentioned above, then another solution could be to create a project-based CV. It is a less common type of CV that focuses on tangible skills and accomplishments gained through concrete projects. But remember that a traditional way to create a CV is to use a chronological format. If that’s your goal, consider sharing your portfolio or website in your personal details section instead of going in-depth about your transferable skills and projects.

Draw attention to your education and qualifications

Another CV tip for someone with no work experience is to change the focus of your CV to education and qualifications. Don’t hesitate to place education above work experience if that is more relevant to the position.

Tips on what information to include in the education section:

  • Degree (bachelor’s, master’s, PhD) with the final grade 

  • Thesis title and final grade (only if it is 70 or more)

  • Degree description

  • Relevant courses

  • Honours degree or certificate

  • Erasmus program.

Writing a degree description is a strategic way to showcase the relevant knowledge that would set you apart from other candidates. If you lack work experience, use it to highlight transferable skills from your studies that you can apply in a corporate setting.

Pro Tip: If you’re still unsure how to write a CV with no experience or qualifications, think outside the box and show you have the potential to be a valuable asset to the company. Re-consider your strategy and shift the focus to achievements to demonstrate your potential.

Apply a skills-based CV layout

Do you feel you don’t have enough experience to include in your CV? Experts at CVMaker recommend creating a skills-based format. This type of CV emphasises your qualifications and skills. It’s best suited for those new to the industry or changing careers. If you want to learn more, see how to write a skills-based CV.

Key takeaways

Landing your first job or changing careers can be a challenging time in your life. However, with these CV tips for no experience, we have equipped you with the latest and best CV writing strategies to help you land more interviews. Before you consider any of the above, start by identifying your career goals and strengths, as this will set you up for success.

Additional tips on what to put on a CV with no experience or qualifications:

  • Choose a CV format: chronological, skills-based, or combined.

  • Use clear, precise, and to-the-point language.

  • Proofread yourself or with Grammarly.

  • Avoid using colloquial terms or slang. 

  • Exclude outdated or generic information.

  • Carefully read the job post description, brand values, and goals.

  • Tailor your CV to each job you apply for and log all your past experiences in a master CV.

  • Avoid plagiarism.

Next steps?

CVMaker provides over 20 professional CV and Cover Letter templates. Additionally, we have a CV Builder with a built-in job finder tool which you can use to apply and manage your job applications across different sites in the UK.

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Updated January 18 2023


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