Do you want to apply for a job but you don’t have the experience that the hiring managers want? While this can be a tricky situation especially if are entering the job market, you don’t need to fret. Most job seekers always find themselves in a loop of being unable to land their dream job due to a lack of experience. And this in turn makes it harder for them to gain experience. Fortunately, we’ve put together a simple guide that will help you write a good CV when you don’t have the required experience. As you are going to see, there’s nothing impossible in life. You have to do the right things and believe in yourself.
1. Identify your strengths
You need to keep in mind that there are a lot of things apart from experience or internships that can increase your chances of landing your dream job. Community projects, extracurricular activities, volunteering, and academic projects are all great ways that will help you develop the skills that you need when you don’t have work experience.
Go through the job description carefully to find out what the employer wants and figure out the parts of your experience that go hand-in-hand with them. And then focus on these when writing your CV. For instance, if you want to switch industries, you should consider focusing on a project that you took in your previous job that required the relevant skills.
If you’ve recently graduated, you should consider highlighting a specific piece of coursework that you worked on. Or any extracurricular activities or school projects that you participated in that are relevant to the job. Focus on what you did to achieve the objectives.
2. Use the ideal layout
When it comes to organizing your CV, you don’t have to use the traditional employment history format. Using this format will focus on your lack of experience. When you don’t have work experience, a functional CV is ideal for you. This type of CV focuses on your skills and experience instead of your experience. After writing your personal statement, you’ll have a section to list your achievements and the skills you possess.
This means you can focus on the skills that you’ve developed over the years thus allowing you to switch the focus of the hiring manager to your skills. You can list your work history and other relevant qualifications towards the end of your document. However, they won’t be prominent. Keep in mind that your aim is drawing attention to the things that make you the ideal person for the job. And this means putting your strengths where they’ll be noticed.
3. Highlight key qualities
When writing your CV, you can always say that you are a team player or a hard worker. However, this doesn’t amount to much if you fail to include evidence to support your claims. You always have to demonstrate your desirable traits with examples to stay ahead of the crowd. While this can be difficult without experience, it will pay off in spades in the long run. Think of the things you’ve done over the years that have prepared you for the job you are applying for. You’ve probably participated in numerous events or charity projects. This is one of the best ways to show the hiring manager that you are organized, resourceful, and a good team player. If you’ve volunteered, you can use it to demonstrate your passion for a particular subject or sector. Are there extra-curricular activities or courses that you’ve taken or started to demonstrate your drive and passion?
Whenever possible, use figures to demonstrate your success. For instance, the percentage of increase in sales and revenues or the time that you saved due to your creativity.
4. Clarity is key
Most applicants without job experience tend to compensate for their lack by including irrelevant details and writing long paragraphs. Doing this will not help you at all. Hiring managers have read lots of CVs. Therefore, they’ll see what you are trying to do. No one enjoys sacrificing their time and energy to read chunks of irrelevant texts and overinflated points.
You need to be clear and concise. Highlight the most important details with short and direct points. The goal is to make it easier for the hiring manager to locate important information. Use the right keywords in your CV when listing your skills, experience, and work experience. Look at the job description to find out the keywords that you should use in your CV. Remember, most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems to find the relevant keywords in your document. If you fail to include these keywords, your CV will be discarded before the hiring manager reads it.
5. Write a good cover letter
A good CV will help you achieve your goals when it’s combined with a strong cover letter. You need to include a cover letter especially when you lack relevant work experience. It helps you show your potential employer how the skills from different life experiences can be transferred to the job. Focus on relevant skills and attributes and explain how they are connected to the job you are applying for. Here is a short guide on writing a good cover letter.
Defining a cover letter and its importance
If you’ve never written a cover letter, you are probably wondering what it is and its importance in helping you land your dream job. A cover letter is a brief note that you write to the recruiter together with your CV and other job application materials. When written well, a cover letter allows you to speak directly about your skills and experience and how they are connected to the job that you are applying for. It also helps the hiring manager to see how original and likable you are.
Tips to write a good cover letter
1. Write a cover letter for every job
It’s easy on your side to submit the cover letter that you used in your previous application. All you have to do is change the name and address of the organization and send it. However, most potential employers want to see how excited or passionate you are about their organization and position. Therefore, you have to write a custom letter for every position you apply for.
While you can recycle a couple of phrases and sentences from your previous cover letter, you should never consider sending a generic one. You don’t want the hiring manager to think that you are mass-applying for every job that pops up. If you have a hard time writing a good cover letter, you should seek help from graduate cv writing service. By working with experts, you’ll get to submit an engaging document and impress the hiring manager without spending a fortune.
2. Address the recruiter by name
You need to use the first and last name of the recruiter when writing your cover letter. Always use the right title such as Ms. Or Mr. You don’t want to lose your job opportunity just because you used the wrong title or worse, misgendered someone. Avoid using generic salutations such as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
3. Write an opening sentence that hooks the reader
Your opening sentence will determine how the hiring manager perceives your entire cover letter. Your document should be conversational, friendly, memorable, and relevant to the job you are pursuing. You need to introduce yourself briefly and mention the job that you are applying for. Also, add how passionate you are about the job and your previous accomplishments.
The most important part of your application is the “why”. You need to be clear about why you are applying for the job at the specific organization. Have you been using their products or services? Do you want to solve a problem that they are experiencing? Do you love their brand and product development process? Conduct extensive research on the organization to find out.
4. Show how a great hire you’d be
The one thing you should avoid when writing your cover letter is focusing so much on how the position will be good for you. In most instances, hiring managers are aware of this. And what they want to know is what you are going to bring to the table. After writing a good opening, you should focus on a few key ideas that will support your cover letter. These points should show that you clearly understand what the hiring manager is looking for and how your background is aligned with the position. Look at the job description to get some hints. What are the problems facing the organization that you can solve? If you have a hard time identifying your strengths, think of what your best friend, boss, or mentor will say about you.
5. Finish strong
You might be tempted to end your cover letter quickly. However, your closing paragraph allows you to emphasize your passion for the organization and how you are the ideal person for the job.
Getting a good job after college or changing fields is not easy. However, writing a good CV and cover letter can greatly increase your chances of landing your dream job. If you are having a hard time writing these two documents well, you should seek expert help.