There is nothing that irritates fresh job seekers like that portion of a job advert that asks for xx number of years of work experience required of candidates making application
for the vacant position. Many wonder where on earth can a fresh graduate buy enough years of experience to satisfy the employers requirements.
One thing you must understand is the fact that by the time employers or recruiting agents put forth an advert, they are pretty certain that the job market has many fresh job seekers whose only experience could be in seeking jobs and not having done the job itself. The employers also do expect that some of those “freshers”will apply for the positions.
Then what or how do you present your CV for such a job opportunity yet bearing very little or no work experience at all. I advance to you a number of areas that you should focus on your CV to impress the prospective employer in such a scenario.
1. Hard skills:
In the absence of job experience, you must make mention of the hard skills you possess in your CV. You only need to read any job advert and you will get an idea of what hard skills are. These are the measurable talents and/or certifications one has built courtesy of hands-on practice or training. Things like being an astute programmer, an eloquent public speaker, researching skills, budgeting. etc.
Each job has a set of hard skills needed for its execution. You need to understand your area of specialty and know the set of hard skills that you posses and are of value to the vacant post. Ensure that this is well mentioned in your CV.
If you are currently in or have completed college, you already bear a number of hard skills you can add to your resume. These are skills that you probably learned in your classes, faculties, student politics, volunteer experiences, and internship opportunities.
It is good to know that hard skills can be learnt or acquired by anyone who commits him/herself to. Even if you don’t have one that you need now you can always learn them given that you commit self to it and are patient.
Hard skills alone won’t compensate for lack of required work experience. This is why you need to also focus on your soft skills in your resume.
2. Soft skills:
This is a set of intangible qualities which are important to employers. Though they can be learnt, soft skills are things you were born with a knack for; aspects like attention to detail, strong communication skills, team building and so on. Soft skills are a secret to landing a job without prior work experience.
You may not have many hard skills but you can make up for that with a strong set of soft skills like good communication skill, ability to meet deadlines, and creative problem
If you are entering the working world for the first time in life, you will be surprised to hear that you are full of soft skills. You just have to figure out what they are and learn how to present them.
You need to think of life experiences and obstacles you’ve faced and how you got round them. What skills did you put into use?
Your personality could speak strongly for you the job search process when you are lacking in work experience. This is the sum of your distinctive inner qualities that make up who you are as a person. Always bring out your personality aspects that fit well with the job opportunity available.
While applying for a Public Relations opening, it is worth mentioning the fact that you are an outgoing character, when applying for the engineering job remember to mention that you pay attention to details while being a good listener may earn you an opportunity for the social work vacancy.
Other examples of personality aspects worth mentioning if you got them include; compassionate, artistic, assertive, precise, articulate, patient etc.
Your interests are the hobbies and skills you have developed on your own because you wanted to and not because you were forced. You just have a natural gift for them.
Understanding your interest and mentioning them in your resume will work out well for you especially where you lack the specified work experience.
For example if you are applying for a job with a travel agency, it great to mention in your CV that you have an interest in travelling.
Understanding this four elements and mentioning them in your resume as you apply for the vacant positions will definitely go a long way in helping you secure a job despite the lack of work experience.