How to make the most of a slim CV

blank cvWriting a CV is always a daunting experience. Selling yourself to potential employers is never easy, and if you don’t have a lot of experience in the world of work, the task of writing an effective CV can seem almost impossible.

However, there are a number of creative ways in which you can “bulk out” a seemingly scant CV and make yourself more appealing to companies and organisations looking for new staff.

The first thing to remember is – you’re not alone. Everyone enters the job market with little or no experience of working. Don’t be disheartened by the fact that your work history may not seem too impressive at first glance: believe it or not, some employers actually prefer inexperienced workers, as they see them as a blank slate with no baggage attached.

No matter how inexperienced you are when it comes to work, one thing you should never do to pad out your CV is make things up. Lying on your CV can have serious legal consequences, and besides, it’s never a good idea to start out on a new job on a dishonest footing.

So what can you do to flesh out your CV if you have little actual experience of working? Well, start out by thinking about the kind of personal qualities that prospective employers will be looking for in their staff.

The ability to work as part of a team, manage your time effectively, pay close attention to detail and meet deadlines – these are the kinds of skills and abilities that all employers value, and they are also qualities that you utilise and develop in every area of life, not just in the workplace.

If you take part in team sports, you can use this as evidence to an employer that you are a real team player. Use your hobbies and activities to showcase elements of your character and personality that you want employers to focus on. Try to show that you can set firm tasks for yourself and meet them in your personal life, as employers like their workers to be ambitious and goal-orientated.

If you have been a student before entering the job market, highlight the fact that you had to manage your own time and work to fixed deadlines. If you are a mum returning to work after taking time off to look after the kids, emphasise your organisational abilities and multi-tasking skills.

With a little imagination and creativity, you can easily show would-be employers your true potential and sell yourself and your skills in an honest and effective way. Look at yourself and your achievements from an employer’s point of view, identify the qualities and abilities that you can offer, and then illustrate these points in a clear and concise manner in your CV.

In today’s uncertain economic climate, presenting yourself in the best possible light on the job market is more important than ever. However, lack of experience in the workplace need not hold you back, provided you can demonstrate how your other life experiences have provided you with the skills needed to be an asset to any employer.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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