Information To Provide on CV, When Lacking Work Experience
People think of their resume as a collective of their education, skills and professional experience. Many employers rely on resumes as form of job applications for the open positions within their organizations. Thus it is very important that you have a well-written CV prepared when searching for jobs.
Creating a CV is not an easy task, even if you are a professional with years of experience and many skills. However, composing a CV when you are looking to completely change careers, or when you are fresh out of school is much more difficult, because you do not have any experience to highlight. If you are changing careers, and nothing from your past professional experience qualifies you for the new job you are seeking, highlight those qualifications that can be transitioned along the various industries.
For example, if you’ve managed people, no matter the type of business, you should highlight this under your experience. Rather than not highlighting your professional experience, even if it is not directly related to the job you are seeking, you should consider writing a professional profile, or summary at the start of your CV. The summary will allow you to address the career change by highlighting your skills and how they relate to your career objective.
In addition, this is one situation where it is OK to reference any volunteer or community service work that you have done if it can help promote your qualifications for the job. If you are fresh out of college, and don’t have much to bring to the table in terms of full time professional experience, don’t get discouraged in creating your CV. Focus on highlighting your skills and your education. Avoid using a professional profile, or summary.
Rather, list your career objective and start the CV by listing your education. Make sure to mention any awards or honors you received while in school. Following your education, list all the skills that will qualify you for the job you are seeking. Make sure to mention any courses, such as project management or business communication that you have taken and can apply at work. Instead of listing any experience, title the section “Previous professional Experience” and divide it into categories applicable to your career objective. For example, instead of say that you spent a summer working at the Gap, use a sub-heading of “Customer Relations” and list any responsibilities where you have provided customer service.
Tap into any community service, volunteer, or school club positions you have held in order to highlight your abilities and showcase that you are the best candidate for the job. Don’t be afraid of not having the right experience, or not having any professional experience to include in a CV. Focus on what you can do rather than what you don’t have the experience in doing and you will have a winning CV.
LISTING YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
One of the biggest concerns in creating a CV has to do with your professional experience. Before you begin your CV, consider the following questions: What is your career objective? Are you changing careers or looking for professional growth? What experience have you had so far that will help in meeting your professional goals?
To get started in developing your CV, list all of your previous experience, in chronological order, starting with your latest job on a piece of paper. List the dates of employment, your job title, the full company name and the location of your employment. Now, consider just how much experience you have had. In recent years, it has become more commonplace to change jobs more frequently and not build your career in one place.
As such, it is possible that someone with ten years of professional experience following college has had over three jobs. That doesn’t seem all that much to include on a CV, right? Consider someone with over 30 years of experience. It is important to set limits on what you include and what you can freely exclude from your CV under your professional experience. Ideally, your CV should not exceed two pages.
Depending on the type of jobs you have held and your responsibilities, having only two pages doesn’t account for a lot of space. The best practice for listing your experiences is not to exceed the most recent five jobs you have held. Again, keep the mind the length of the CV when you are deciding on the number of jobs you will list – if your last five jobs and their accompanying responsibilities will take over one page alone, than consider narrowing the experience down to the three most recent positions you had.
Also, consider the time you spent at each organization you have worked for – list up to the last ten to fifteen years of experience. It is not necessary to list every job you’ve ever had to showcase your qualifications and years of experience. If you have a long professional career, focus on the last three to five jobs, but use the profile or summary at the beginning of the CV to highlight the number of years you have spent working, or the number of years you have spent in a certain industry, acquiring specific skills.
When listing your experiences, it is important that you do so in chronological order without skipping any of the jobs you have held. While you may feel that certain jobs are not particularly complimenting to your current career objective you should not avoid listing them on your CV. Work on highlighting the responsibilities that are transferable across various industries.
Leaving any unexplained gaps in your work history will raise questions by your potential employer – thus don’t create those gaps on your CV by listing your experience out of order or by skipping jobs you have had.
Finally, make sure that your cover letter accounts for any additional qualifications you would like to bring to the attention of your potential employer that you didn’t include on the CV. Your CV should be concise, well written, and sell you as the best candidate for the job. Just remember that it is quality over quantity that counts.