How do you write your first CV and show an employer you’re employable when you’ve never had a job? Write about what you’ve learned at school, that’s how!
Many of you will never have had a job so you might be unsure about how to produce your first CV and write one that makes you sound employable. If you’re worried about your lack of experience, and how to identify your employability skills, read on – there are lots of ways to write your first CV and evidence all the skills employers look out for – without ever having had a job.
What are employers looking for on your first CV?
There are certain set of skills that all employers look for. These include: communication, problem solving, team working, organization, and numeracy and literacy skills.
You can’t just list these skills on your first CV and hope that it’s enough to get you the job. Your future employer will want to see some real evidence of these skills on your first CV. So, how do you show them that you have these skills and qualities if you’ve never been employed?
The following skills are the best ones to highlight on your first CV:
Skills and qualities you should list on your first CV
Communication — this is about your ability to talk to and understand and communicate clearly with other people. They might be clients, team members or bosses. You have probably written essays or projects, given presentations or perhaps been on the debate team, so draw on this and add communication skills to your first CV.
Problem-solving — no manager wants an employee who just sits there doing nothing, when they’re faced with a problem or difficulty. No one will expect you to know everything and problem-solving also includes knowing when to ask for help.
Team work —there aren’t many people who work totally alone. It’s important to be able to work well with other people, which will involve communicating with them, recognising your role in the team and working towards a common goal. If you have done any kind of group work at school, then you should have some evidence of this to write about on your first CV.
Organisation — you can evidence organisational skills on your first CV by giving an example of an event or trip that you have planned or stating how well you’ve managed your workload when completing a project or whilst studying for several different A-levels.
Be aware of CV scanning software
Recruitment agencies and large companies tend to use scanning software to filter CVs. It’s important to make your first CV fit the job that you are applying for – one CV will not work for all!
You need to go through the job description and make a list of the skills required for the job. These will be clearly stated in the job advertisement. You will also need to make sure that your CV uses the same terminology (keywords) as the advert, otherwise the software these companies use to scan CVs might reject your application, even though you’d be perfect for the job – and that’s bad for you and for the employer!