Tag Archives: CV

Strategies for Writing a Resume With No Job Experience for Students

This entry was posted in Articles, CV writing and tagged , , , on by Andres Herrera.

Many students believe that they can’t get a job because they don’t have suitable “work experience”. You shouldn’t let that dash your hopes. Experience isn’t the only factor considered by an employer. They are looking for so much more.  You can still write a mind-blowing resume even if you don’t have the exact skill set or level of experience required for a job. With these great tips, you’re going to be writing a resume that will end up with the employer dialing your number.

Choose a format

There are a variety of formats you can use. However, the most popular formats in use today are the functional, chronological, and hybrid (a mix of the first two) templates.

The functional template is used when the job seeker doesn’t want to put the focus on work experience but their skills and achievements. The chronological template shows work experience from the most recent to the least, that is, in reverse-chronological order.

Candidates with little experience tend to prefer the functional template. Although, employers lean more towards the chronological or hybrid templates. The most important thing is that you remain consistent with the format, irrespective of the one you choose.

Have an eye for detail

You need to have a keen eye for detail when writing your resume. It’s very easy to make mistakes with your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Such mistakes will give your resume an amateurish look. Make sure to go over your work again and again so you don’t miss anything. As a job seeker with no experience, a missing detail is not in any way going to help your cause. Try to use a tone that keeps your reader engaged and still maintains the required formality.

Begin with a summary

Nothing beats giving a good first impression, and a good summary at the top end of the resume is a fantastic way to do that.

The summary should be a brief account about you profession-wise to make sure your prospective employer keeps reading. Now, as a student, you might be wondering what you can possibly hope to write here, but don’t worry about that, we’ve got you covered.

Education and Relevant Skills

As you have “zero” work experience, you should put more time into developing the education and skills section of your resume. What skills do you have that correlate with the job? What can you offer to the employer? Is there anything you have studied or done in school that may help with the job? As a high schooler, you can even talk about the coursework you have done that would be relevant to the job and what you learned.

Don’t leave out volunteer work and extracurricular activity

A lot of employers place high value on volunteer work. So, if there’s any volunteer experience you have that showcases your skills (including new ones you may have picked up), you should put it on your resume. You should include only extracurricular activities that have given you transferable skills for the job you’re applying for.

Internships

Most students grow cold feet when it’s time to fill the “work experience” field. However, internships, whether paid or unpaid, can also be considered as work experience. Apart from being a great source of experience, internships are a fantastic way to build connections that may help you find a job later. Before applying for a job, it is advisable to do an internship or two to better your chances.

Keywords

Employers usually scan through resumes using an applicant tracking system (ATS) or some other method. As unfair as this may seem, it’s just the way things are. To help with this, you should draw up a list of specific words to include in your resume.

You could easily google keywords that match the job your applying for, but it’s best to source these keywords from the ad for the job or similar jobs. Take care to avoid catchwords like “go-getter” and “team player”. If these are the only kinds of words you can find, you should fit them together with your achievements.

Send a cover letter

It’s a great idea to send in your resume accompanied by a cover letter. A good cover letter could be a defining factor in convincing prospective employers to bring you in for an interview. This is why they are especially vital to a student applying for a job without any experience.

Showcase your personality

Employers are not only out to find candidates with great work experience, but are also interested in finding people with personalities that match what the company is all about.

Showcasing your personality in your resume can put you in pole position to be selected for the job even if you don’t have exactly what the company is looking for.

Think outside the box and consider the personal traits that the employer thinks every employee at the company should have. Remember, at the end of the day, employers are looking to employ a person, not a piece of paper.

When writing a resume: No experience, no problem

After reading through these strategies, you should be able to craft a great resume that’s unique and compelling regardless of experience. As a student, it’s important to have a nice resume to keep your name high on employers’ lists.

Author: Tobias Foster
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Tobias is a journalist and editor with more than 5 years of experience including, a stint at BrillAssignment. He has also worked as a contracted college paper and thesis writer. Philosophy, marketing, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He is a master of his craft.

What do Recruiters Look For on a Resume at the First Glance?

This entry was posted in Articles, CV writing and tagged , , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

A resume is your representative or even an ambassador while applying for jobs. Hence, it’s most important to create a superb impression that can get you that interview call and possibly the job.

Therefore, here’s a vital question: What do recruiters look for on a resume at the first glance? What are the elements that should feature on a resume and how long your resume should be to attract employers?

Understandably, these may sound complex questions. However, with some effort, you can create a wonderful resume that actually catches the attention of recruiters at the very first glance.

resume writing

Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

What Recruiters Look on Resume at First Glance?

There’re five major elements of your resume that recruiters look for at the first glance. I’ll explain their relevance and how you can improve your resume to make it appealing.

1. Your Career Objective

There’s a huge debate among Human Resources circles whether a career objective on a resume is relevant or not in today’s era. Personally, I believe it is very relevant and important too. That’s because a well-written career objective actually leads a recruiter tor read the resume further.

Unfortunately, most jobseekers tend to write very uninspiring or vague career objectives, which can fit almost any entity for any job. This puts off recruiters. Hence, there’re very high chances your resume might get rejected merely because your career objective is poorly written.

A career objective is your personal vision and mission statement. It should clearly outline what’re your professional and personal goals in life. Yes, personal goals too. Because a career isn’t merely about a job. A career defines your whole lifestyle for a major part of your working life.

2. Skills

It’s worth remembering that skills are totally different from work experience. You might have several years of experience at a specific job. That doesn’t necessarily imply that you possess the skills that a new job requires. Therefore, one of the things that recruiters look on your resume at first glance is your skills that would prove useful to the business, if they hire you.

Therefore, before drafting a resume, the first thing to do is read the job post or job advert thoroughly. Comprehend what skills the recruiter is looking at and the nature of their business. And leverage your skills in line with the recruiter’s needs. Obviously, you won’t have all the skills that a recruiter requires. However, you can pitch as many skills as you have and point out their relevance to the recruiter’s business.

A common mistake that most jobseekers commit is to send a general resume to every recruiter. This doesn’t really entice a recruiter to shortlist you for an interview. Therefore, customizing a resume to suit the skills set required by a recruiter works wonders.

Also, include your soft skills because they matter a lot nowadays. Recruiters also look for desirable soft skills from a resume.

3. Career Graph

If you’re a fresher, the career graph doesn’t matter because you would be applying for the first job. However, do not forget to include any internships and traineeships that you’ve done while completing a course.

Secondly, also highlight any projects that you did while being a student or intern. These could be individual or group projects. The reason: projects speak volumes about your soft skills and aptitude for any specific job.

And for job seekers with some experience, recruiters look at your career graph for an altogether different reason. They wish to learn whether you’re progressing or stagnating in your career. However, a stagnant career graph isn’t something to worry about if that’s exactly the reason you’re looking for a career change.

If your career is going upwards, the recruiter would most likely be impressed and shortlist you for an interview call. That’s because career growth indicates you’re serious about your works and life and interested in the field.

4. Gaps between Jobs

Gaps between jobs on your resume are definitely something that catches the eye of a recruiter at the first glance. Because these gaps can indicate some serious flaws in your career. It indicates you’re changing jobs frequently and these could be due to negative reasons such as addictions, termination, and undesirable behavior, inability to get along with colleagues and seniors, or overall ineptitude, among others.

If you can genuinely justify gaps in your career, it’s fine. If not, never try to patch them up by giving false dates of leaving and joining any job. A simple Employee Background Screening (EBS) check will expose the truth. This can cost your job. Worse, it can create a very poor impression about you in the overall job market and several recruiters might not even consider you for employment, despite having all skills and qualifications.

Never fudge your resume to cover up gaps on your resume. If you’re asked to explain, provide the genuine reason without justifying yourself.

5. Professional & Social Affiliations

Your professional and social affiliations on a resume matter a lot. You could be a member of a professional guild or forum, alumni, social, or even sports and cultural organization. These affiliations always have a story to tell about you which a recruiter will try and grasp at the first glance.

For example, membership of a forum of professionals shows your interest in a specific field and career. It means, you have a vast resource of talent from where you could get ideas or solutions that might help your employer too, albeit indirectly. Membership of a social or cultural organization speaks of your personality traits.

At the same time, be a bit careful if you’re adding affiliations to any political or religious organizations. The employer may see things in a different light. While you can mention these political or religious affiliations casually, never use them to leverage your application for a job. That’s in very poor taste.

In Conclusion

If you pay attention to these five elements that recruiters look on a resume at the first glance, there’re high chances you might land an interview call. Also, I would suggest you read the difference between a curriculum vitae and a resume because the two are distinct and different documents.

Author: Natasha Shetty

CV Writing Tips for Landing Your Dream Internship

This entry was posted in Careers advice, CV writing and tagged , , on by Andres Herrera.

An internship could be your first step into a dream career. Unfortunately, however, places are often limited to school leavers and graduates all vying for the same positions.

To secure an interview you will need to outdo the competition with a really strong CV. Let’s take a look at some top CV writing tips to help you get that internship.

Writing a CV for an internship position

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

Before you start

Before you rush off and start writing your CV, you need to do some research. Check the internship’s job description to find out everything you can about the role you are applying for.

You should check:

  1. Which keywords have been used?
  2. Which skills are needed?
  3. What experience do they want?

You will also need to know more about the company and industry in general.

Now you know what the employer is looking for, you should aim to demonstrate why you are the perfect fit by including it in your CV.

Writing your CV

When it comes to writing your CV, keep the recruiter in mind at all times. Thanks to your research, you know exactly what they are looking for — so tell them what they want to hear! Of course, you could always hire a professional CV writing service to do this for you.

Divide your CV into these five sections:

1. Contact details

Contact details are an absolute must on your CV. Include your name, address, telephone number and email so the recruiters can get back to you if (and when) you are successful.

2. Personal statement

Add a personal statement to your CV to briefly tell the employer why you will be perfect for the internship position. Don’t go over the top — a short paragraph detailing who you are, what you can offer and your career aims is enough.

3. Employment history

As someone taking their first steps into the industry, you may not have an extensive and relevant employment history — don’t worry, we’ll discuss that later.

But if you do have the industry-relevant experience, make sure to include it. Add your role, the name of the company, its location, website and the dates you were employed.

Next, detail your responsibilities and successes for each role — again, make sure to highlight any achievements that suit the role you are applying for.

4. Education and qualifications

Add your education plus any academic or professional qualifications you might have. Include the name of the institution, qualification and dates you attended.

If your recent school or university education is relevant to the internship you are applying to you can give your education more prominence, particularly if you are lacking relevant work experience.

5. Other skills

Finally, an ‘other skills’ section is a great place to include extra-curricular activities that are relevant to the internship. If you have done any volunteering that your potential employer will find attractive, then make sure to add it, highlighting the internship-relevant parts.

Overall, you should keep your CV to a maximum of two A4 pages in length.

What to do if you lack experience

The reason you are applying for an internship is probably that you want to gain more industry-relevant work experience. So what should you do to make sure your CV shines if you haven’t already worked in that industry?

  1. Highlight relevant strengths. Just because you may not have had a job in the industry, that doesn’t mean you have no experience at all. Work experience, volunteering, community and academic projects all count. Remember to highlight skills that you know the company is looking for.
  2. Push your best skills. If you are going to include more general skills, make sure you back them up with relevant examples. For example, if a company is looking for someone who is a “team player”, then you might want to highlight a time you worked successfully in a group. Wherever possible, include tangible results such as a percentage increase in sales.
  3. Utilise the layout. You don’t have to stick to the traditional method of laying out a CV in chronological order. Instead, put your most relevant experience at the top to highlight your most applicable skills to the role.
  4. Include a cover letter. Cover letters are a great way to highlight your most relevant skills and how they will benefit the company you want an internship with. Include a cover letter and let the recruiter know why you are the person they are looking for.

Conclusion: CV Writing Tips for Landing Your Dream Internship

Writing a CV for an internship and writing a CV for a job are very similar skills.

You always want to know what the employer is looking for and then demonstrate, with tangible results, why you have those skills.

Similarly, there are things in both you definitely don’t want to include. Typos are a big no-no, as are jargon, buzzwords and lies.

The main difference between the two CVs is that when you apply for an internship you may not yet have the relevant work experience. Instead, highlight other areas of your life that demonstrate why you are going to be an asset to the company during your time there.

Author: Andrew Arkley
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Andrew is the founder of PurpleCV, one of the UK’s leading CV writing providers. He has personally written over 3,000 CVs, has over 15 years’ experience in recruitment at a senior level and has conducted thousands of interviews, so he knows precisely what it takes to land a job!

 

 

How to Get Your CV Noticed by the Right People

This entry was posted in Articles, Careers advice, CV writing and tagged , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

So, you’ve decided it’s time to find a new job and you’ve created a killer CV to help you do it.

Now you need to elevate your job search and ensure your CV is being seen by the people who’ll give you access to the role of your dreams. But how can you do this?

With so much competition for the top roles, it’s essential to get in the mindset of a marketer and ensure your CV is being seen by the right people.

In the guide below, we’ll look at five ways you can get your CV noticed and secure yourself that all-important interview.

How to Get Your CV Noticed by the Right People

Start with a strong CV

Before your CV is seen, you need to make sure it’s up to scratch. This means choosing a clear and concise layout which enables the recruiter to quickly find the information they need.

Be sure to highlight your relevant key skills, top achievements, qualifications and previous work experience. Also, use keywords and skills from the job description throughout, to prove to the recruiter that you’re a good fit for the role.

Additionally, before you do anything with your CV, you need to make sure you’ve proofread it several times. If you submit an application that is full of mistakes, you might stand out – but for all the wrong reasons!

Sign up to job boards

Once you’ve written a strong CV, it’s time to start putting it out there. One of the best ways to find the best roles and get noticed is by signing up to job boards.

It might sound simple, but most candidates don’t utilise this trick – and recruiters often use the sites to search for potential hires.

Simply register for your chosen job board(s) and upload a generic version of your CV. You can even sign up for email alerts from each job board, so relevant roles are sent straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live.

Go to a recruitment agency

In today’s digital world, it might seem a little outdated (and sometimes daunting) to meet with recruiters face-to-face. But this can be a highly beneficial way to get your CV in front of the right people.

Their job is to find you a job, so it’s in their best interest to work closely with you and get your CV out to the right employers!

If you do decide to meet with a recruiter, treat it like an interview. Go along with a copy of your CV, make sure you’re looking smart and be confident in your abilities. The better the impression you leave, the keener they’ll be to put you forward for an interview.

Make the most of social media

Using social media is a fantastic way to be proactive in your job search.

Platforms like Facebook have industry-specific job pages where people can share their vacancies. What’s more, searching for hashtags or following your favourite companies online can help you to find other exciting job opportunities.

However, LinkedIn is the obvious winner in terms of job searching. Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date, with a professional photo, and turn your career interests to ‘on’. This lets potential employers and recruiters know that you’re open to new opportunities.

Consider sending speculative applications

A speculative application is one in which you send your CV and cover letter to an organisation you would like to work for, to enquire about any vacancies. This is done despite the fact they aren’t actively advertising any roles.

Writing speculative applications can be tricky at first, but once you get to grips with this it can be a great way to find your dream role.

To send a speculative application, you’ll need to create a tailored cover letter, which you’ll paste into the body of the email. You should discuss why you’d be interested working for the specific company (generic emails won’t get you anywhere), what type of role you’d like to be considered for and why you’d make a great hire. Remember to attach your CV and add your contact details to your signature.

Get your CV noticed

If you want to ensure your CV is being seen by the right people, then you need to be proactive in your job search. Rather than simply applying to job advertisements, get your CV noticed by following the steps above. You’ll be on your way to securing a job interview before you know it!

Author: Andrew Fennell
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Andrew is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

5 Tips to Make your CV Stand Out

This entry was posted in Articles, Careers advice, CV writing and tagged , , , , , on by Andres Herrera.

While your CV used to be an extensive biography – listing your complete working history in full detail – that won’t do the job in the current market anymore. The digital age completely changed the recruitment industry.

Today, duplicating your CV is as simple as copy and paste, which is why everybody is doing that… recruiters are being flooded by digital CVs! Recruiters don’t read your CV in the first round anymore. They scan. In other words… your first impression is more important than ever. You have to stand out. Fortunately, there are some simple strategies that will do exactly that.

CV building items

Rule #1: Realise… the CV is not about you

I have seen so many people enthusiastically starting their CV with ‘I am a hardworking, motivated individual that is looking for a challenging position in […]’. The mistake? It says nothing and with that single sentence, you are exactly like everybody else and lost your authenticity.

Today, everyone is ‘hard-working’ and ‘motivated’ (and ‘flexible’). When I read that sentence, I literally think: ‘Oh, here we have another hard-worker.’ The terminology is way overused and you know what… what does that even mean!?

Remove these vague statements/opinions at all times and SHOW the recruiter that you are hardworking by listing all your achievements.

Your CV used to be your biography, but in today’s job market, you should change that CV perspective. Write your CV solely about what THEY are looking for. Stand out by thinking about THEM.

You see… the recruiters’ job is simple; finding the best possible candidate and making sure that that candidate is a SAFE CHOICE. He is looking for skills, achievements and relevant knowledge that proves that you will be able to do the job. Your job is simple. List everything the recruiter is looking for, making you that safe choice!

Don’t waste valuable CV space with writing what YOU want. Focus only on the key aspects that will make you an interesting candidate. And then, in the interview, you can talk all about yourself and figure out if you are a match.

Rule #2: Be the specialist, not the generalist

Would you hire a common doctor of a specialised (expensive) brain surgeon when you need brain surgery? I thought so… and so are recruiters.

Often, the company has an open position because of a specific problem. You need to figure out what that is and be the SPECIFIC solution to that problem. Meaning, if their job is all about email optimisation; they are not that interested in ‘just’ a marketer; stand out by being the ‘psychological email marketer’, and write all your relevant achievements/projects towards these key differentiating aspects.

One more example of being the specialist instead of the generalist is with the skills section. I have seen so many candidates, making endless lists of their skills or responsibilities, losing focus of what they are and thus becoming ‘no one’ in that massive CV pile. You should pick the 5 most important skills and stick with them; in fact, make them the red line throughout your CV and you will be instantly perceived as the expert in those areas!

Rule #3: Use a standout CV design

Imagine the recruiter looking at the 50th CV of the day, all looking the same, and then there is your CV that is designed for the first impression. My secret? Include a sidebar in your CV and use this space to highlight your greatest value to the company. This could be either skills, achievements or smart interests/motivation.

Including a sidebar has a psychological benefit as it will stand out in the first few critical seconds, setting the context of the rest of your CV. Meaning… if you highlight how you have the right skills, the recruiter will unconsciously look for confirmation of those highlighted skills in the rest of your CV. You can choose where the recruiter will focus on!

Furthermore, including eye-catching items like skill-indicators or a work-experience timeline will automatically draw the attention of the recruiter, making sure he can’t ignore you.

CV Builder tool

Tip: While these items might be hard to create in a text editor. The online cv builder cv-template.com is specialised in stand-out CV designs. Just follow the CV format and you will have a professional-looking CV in a matter of minutes (every CV format supports this clever sidebarstrategy).

Rule #4: Include Stories in your CV

Humans love stories. In fact, after hearing a resonating story, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, literally boosting emotions like trust and empty. Meaning… instead of being ‘just a candidate’, you can make an emotional connection with the recruiter. Simply by writing appealing stories in your CV.

You might already know that including bullet points in your work experience descriptions improve readability. But you can take these bullets to the next level, converting them into complete ministories that arouses curiosity. (And give you amazing speak material during the job interview!).

The purpose of these story-bullets is not to explain the full story. You should create just enough curiosity to make you an interesting candidate, and thus getting you that ticket to the interview. It’s simple; explain in a 2-3 sentence what you did, what the result was, and a little about the context. Moreover, make the story specific (using exact numbers & percentages) to improve trustworthiness and memory retention.

An example of a bullet point could be; “Increased online conversion in 2 months with 26%, from 1200 to 1512 customers per month, by optimising headlines, bullet points and call to actions.”

Specific, interesting and to the point!

Rule #5: Let every word add value

You might have heard this one before. But still… on average 50-60% of the words on a CV doesn’t have to be there! They take up valuable space but even worse, they actually harm your chances; because either you don’t know how to write a CV or you don’t have anything better to show!

Make sure your sentences are as compact as possible. Remove useless details and focus solely on the most important aspects. And, at all times, avoid vague words like ‘many’, ‘considerably’ or ‘a lot’ – be specific!

As a final check, go through your CV one last time and ask yourself ‘does every word add value’? Are the main keywords there?

After that, look at the readability of the CV design. Have you broken up large text blocks to make it more inviting to start reading? Are you using the same styling consistently throughout your CV? (My CV builder does this for you). And… are all the asked requirements there?

Finally, use the free tool Grammarly to check the spelling and off you go – having increased your chances drastically! Take 2 hours to optimise your CV and your job search will be so much easier. You won’t regret it.

Author: Wouter Lenting
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Wouter is the founder of the free CV builder CV-Template, a tool that allows everyone to create a professionally designed CV with ease. With over 350,000 CVs created, the tool has become a leading CV maker online.