When you start looking for a new job, updating and sending out your CV is probably the first thing you do. Your education and all your relevant work experiences are of course also included. But what if you do not have any relevant work experience? Staffing Specialist Walters People shares 6 tips on how to use your CV to impress potential employers, even if you have never worked before.  

Tip 1: Highlight your education 

Just because you haven't worked doesn't mean you haven't done anything. Perhaps you have followed a higher education course. Of course you have to mention this on your CV. But don't limit yourself to just the title of the course and the university or college where you obtained your degree. Did you pass with honours? Be sure to mention it. Was the subject of your thesis relevant to the job you are applying for? That too deserves a place on your CV. If you did not continue studying after secondary school, it is best to put your secondary education on your CV.  

Tip 2: Promote courses, workshops and hobbies 

Courses and workshops you have attended may also be worth mentioning. A course in photography is not very interesting if you are applying for an accountancy position. But a workshop in accountancy software is. Think about which courses were relevant. Feel free to mention them if you are convinced they add value to your CV. You could also mention a hobby. If the job you are applying for is looking for people who can work well in a team, it is fine to add that you were active in a youth movement or other sports club for many years.   

Tip 3: Internships also deserve a place 

If you did an internship during your studies, it is very important to also mention it on your CV. An internship may not be a 'real job', but you have undoubtedly learned a lot. In fact, internships are just as much relevant work experience. Internships are not only important for your professional, but also for your personal development. Especially when the internship lasted several months, your potential employer will undoubtedly find it a good addition to your CV.  

Tip 4: Don't forget your skills! 

If you have little or no work or internship experience, focus on your skills. Think about your own hard and human skills. Every skill that is relevant for the job you are applying for can be an asset to your CV. Hard skills are acquired through education and experience. Think for example of languages and analytical skills. Without experience you get these mainly from education.   

Human skills - also known as soft skills - have more to do with your character traits: it is everything that makes you unique. If, for example, you can adapt easily, or if you have the ability to think in terms of solutions, then put this on your CV as well. Be careful though: exaggerating in listing skills is not a good idea. As a starting professional, you may appear less credible if you list too many. So try to feel how much you can add, and limit yourself to those that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Tip 5: Be open to further development 

Since you don't have any experience yet, and may not have all the required skills, you can also indicate what you would like to do to develop those skills, or to grow in your role. Are you prepared to undertake further training in evening classes, or would you like to take advantage of the training your potential employer offers? Then be sure to mention this on your CV. This will show the company that you are ambitious and willing to go all the way.   

Tip 6: Get your CV checked    

Finished writing your CV? Be sure to have someone proofread it. Sometimes you can read over your own mistakes, and it's a shame to send your CV out with errors. It does not leave a positive impression, even though you have worked hard on it. Having someone proofread it will help you avoid this.


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