Leaping into the job market can be a very scary thing, particularly if you do not have a lot of job experience. Looking at job postings, you are constantly seeing requests for CV’s, previous work experience, qualifications, and more! If you are a student or a first time job hunter, these expectations can be a bit overwhelming, and make you feel unqualified for many jobs. However, it is really quite simple to write a solid curriculum vitae (or CV) even if you do not have a lot of past job experience. Read on for a few suggestions on how to make yourself a desirable job candidate, even if you have minimal experience in the workplace!
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel, Use a Template
First of all, find a CV template to work from. A lot of word processing programs have a resume or CV template built into them, or you can easily find a free one to download online. While searching for a template, it could also be a good idea to contact someone currently working in the field where you are searching for a job. They could send you their resume, or give you some pointers on what skills, qualifications, and experience you should highlight. Additionally, if you are searching for jobs online, look for a standard online template – there is often a standard resume format you can follow, and easily upload it to job search and application websites. Check sites like Monster and CareerBuilder.
If you need to write your first resume, look at this wondeful guide on academichelp.net
Tell Your Professional Story
Once you have found an acceptable template, take some time to review every section. Even if you do not have directly applicable work experience, think about how your education, extracurricular, or volunteer activities might pertain to the type of job you want. For example, if you are applying for some entry-level jobs with a focus on administrative work, highlight the work you did with a campus organization or political campaign where you organized volunteers or fellow students. Think about your past and your interests, even if you do not have experience with a similar job, look at the qualifications and tasks required for the job, and find experiences in your past to match them.
One Size Does Not Fit All
While you should work with a template to get started, you will need to tailor your CV according to each job for which you apply, unless, of course, they are all very similar. But quite often, new members of the workforce apply to a wide range of jobs. In this situation, you should review your CV each time, and give more space to experiences and qualifications depending on what the requirements are of the job for which you are applying.
It’s often a good idea to use online CV templates to save time doing this. These allow you to make tweaks and send out newer, more bespoke versions of your file that can better fit the recruiter’s requirements.
Proofread, proofread, proofread!
The final step before submitting any kind of job application is to proofread it. Read it through yourself, send it to a friend to read, do whatever it takes to confirm that your CV is error-free. Nothing will discount you from consideration for a job faster than glaring grammar errors.
With everything in place, all you need to find a great first job is a little luck and persistence!
This is a guest post by Mary Johnson, who is a freelance editor specializing in topics such as career and education. Mary is currently working for an online job search website Tothego.co.uk