It’s a tough call to write a CV anyway, but with the added pressure of having little or no work experience the job can be quite intimidating.
Let’s get the basic structure in place first, before we go into content. Your CV should have ‘the basics’, these are:
1. Your contact details. Your name, address, contact telephone numbers and email.
2. A personal profile. This should shout about your academic achievements also, particularly if they are directly related to your chosen career.
3. Education and academic achievements. It makes sense to have these first as predominately this is what is going to sell you.
4. Employment history. Work experience can also be included here.
5. Professional development or additional qualities, i.e.: languages, courses, driving license etc.
6. Interests and hobbies.
When completing your personal profile, it’s important to relay any business related achievements, sometimes, if no work experience is held, a school project can be something to elaborate on, to prove your skills and expertise.
Try, if possible to extend information on your education. Include all subjects studied as these can be a useful way to keyword the document and assist recruiters and employers in finding your CV online. Again, any key achievements are important to emphasise. Maybe you headed up a project at school or indeed played a key role that contributed greatly to the success of the task.
With regards to employment history, let’s not kid ourselves that we can make you a marketing guru if your only experience has been in a high street store. Pinpoint areas of transferable skills and make the most of the roles you have had. Do not write a job description, it is largely irrelevant, instead highlight customer service testimonials, sales achievements and responsibility extended.
Until more can be added onto your CV, we often include interests and hobbies for school leaver CVs. Try not to make them too outlandish or controversial and be more descriptive than just plain old “socialising”. This is an opportunity to highlight extra-curricular activities that might have taught you team building or leadership skills.
It can be a hard task to complete a first time CV but once the structure is in place and you have secured your first role, the CV can be updated with key achievements and take on a more business approach.
In the meantime, including some referees and making certain that these people can convey skills and work experience as well as personality traits that will aid the decision making process is the way forward.