When taking your first step into employment after education or making a career change, it’s essential to tailor your CV to the role and industry you’re pursuing to make your skills a custom fit.
However, without any industry-specific work experience, it can feel impossible to showcase why you’d be the ideal applicant.
Thankfully, there are numerous ways to build your skills, boost your CV and increase your chances of landing that all-important interview:
Volunteering is a great way to highlight your marketable strengths, whilst also demonstrating how you’ve been able to juggle studies and additional responsibilities. If you haven’t volunteered yet, there’s no better time to get started. Ring up or call by your local charities and offer your help.
While any form of volunteering shows a great work ethic and transferable skills, it’s always best to gain experience which will benefit the role you seek to gain. For example, if you’re looking for an entry-level marketing role, you might help a charity run their social media profiles.
Document this experience in the same way to any career history, providing dates of involvement as well as any duties you undertook. It’s always good to finish with a couple of quantified achievements, too, for example, “Increased Facebook page following by 30%, which increased online sponsorships by 10%”.
2. Undertake Personal Pursuits
Work experience isn’t limited to paid employment or internships – your transferable skills can also be displayed through your personal pursuits, too. Activities such as blogging, vlogging or freelancing can further highlight your suitability for your chosen industry.
This type of experience can be easier to obtain than part-time employment or placements, but still allows you to demonstrate your passion for a sector and build transferable skills. Consider setting up a blog which discusses issues and topics dedicated to the field you’re looking to explore or undertaking another personal pursuit relevant to your target industry.
Personal pursuits can be an enjoyable happy and earn you a little extra cash, whilst also boosting your CV. You can then showcase links to your personal pursuits or a portfolio of work as part of your CV – winner!
3. Gain some Experience
When you’re looking to transition into employment or are seeking a career change, gaining first-hand experience of your chosen industry will help to enhance your CV.
It’s hard to gain a permanent, full-time role with no experience, but did you know that you can also include placements, internships or work experience completed during your studies and freelancing in your work experience section?
So, consider taking a short internship or work experience placement or browse sites such as PeoplePerHour for relevant freelancing opportunities. Then, showcase the skills you acquired and how these will enable you to transfer into permanent employment, in your CV.
4. Take a short course
When taking your first step into employment, your educational history should be a focal point of your CV. Include an educational section, which documents the level of qualifications obtained and the institute in which you attended.
Tailor your educational history to the field you’re applying to, showcasing the strengths you gained through completing certain courses. Also, look to include any specific accomplishments such as achieving top of class.
However, you should also consider taking on additional short courses to boost your skillset. For example, if you’re looking to start a career in sales, courses on presentational skills or negotiation tactics could seriously boost your CV.
Plus, increasing your skills doesn’t just need to be classroom-based. Whether it’s watching educational YouTube videos, reading relevant books or following online tutorials, taking the initiative to boost your knowledge and skillset is bound to impress recruiters.
About the Author
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV– he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.