How to write a CV with no experience

Are you worried you won’t stand out to employers because you’ve got no work experience on your CV? There’s no need to fret; we’ve collected the best tips on how to write a CV with no experience. We know, creating a CV for your first job can be tough, especially since most schools leave you without these practical life skills. So, read on to learn how to write a CV with no experience. Find out what you should put on your CV and what you can use as substitutes in your experience section. Put these skills into practice by using our professional-quality and free CV maker!

What to put on your first CV

Let’s start with the basics: what to put on a CV for your first job. The key requirements are your contact details and sections for your skills, education, references, and experience (even when you’ve got none - see alternatives below). Starting your CV with an introduction is also always nice to have, and a hobbies and interests section is an optional bonus.

The most important thing to consider is to keep it concise; ideally 1 page, with a maximum of 2. This is because recruiters often have to sift through hundreds of applications, and don’t want to spend too much time on each one. So, let’s learn how to write a CV (aka resume) with no experience by delving deeper into each section. Or, check out our dedicated articles for CV examples and CV templates.

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How to write your first CV introduction

An introduction (aka personal statement) is an important tool, especially when you’ve got no experience. It’s your chance to introduce yourself to employers and make a good first impression. But when you’re looking for your first job, how to write your first CV personal statement can seem confusing. So, let’s go over what to include.

Your introduction is where you really sell yourself; briefly introduce your most relevant education and skills, and what you’re looking for in a job. This can be as broad or specific as you like, but just make sure it’s short and sweet — no more than four lines! Be confident and show some personality, and you’ll be golden.

Alternatives to put in your experience section

When you’ve got no experience, what to put on a CV experience section can be bewildering. So why not just leave it out? Don’t! Just because you don’t have practical working experience, doesn’t mean there aren’t relevant things you can jot down. Some things you can put down include volunteering, extracurricular activities, and internships. Employers love to see these things, as they can show off qualities and skills like commitment, enthusiasm, organisation, and more. So when wondering what to put on your CV if you’ve got no work experience, you still have a range of options to show off your abilities to employers.

If you’ve had a smaller working experience, like handing out flyers or babysitting, still put that down. It’s all useful; even mowing your neighbour’s lawn every other week shows dedication and time management. These tips also ring true for gaps in employment; just fill them with other forms of experience. So, that’s how to write a CV with no work experience - no more empty experience section!

What skills to put on your no-work-experience CV

Having an attractive skills section is key when you’re making a CV with no experience. How do you do this? With strengths and abilities that are relevant to the role and make you stand out from the crowd. For example, let’s say you’re going for an IT role, where computer skills are essential. But everyone says they have computer skills, so what makes you different? Are you proficient with certain software, or do you know how to code in a specific language? Write that down! Additionally, when writing your first-job CV, it’s easy to forget to add the skills that seem obvious or irrelevant at first. But everyday things (for you) like a driving licence and speaking other languages are smart to put on your resume.

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How to write about your education in your first CV

Luckily, the education section is one of the easiest to write because it’s just facts. It’s the schools you’ve attended, the courses you’ve taken, and what you’ve achieved as a result. Make sure you include everything you can to boost your chances, but just ensure it’s relevant; completed a lifeguarding course? Great if you’re going for a summer job as a lifeguard, not so much if you’re becoming a programmer. When wondering how to make a CV with no experience, this section is no sweat!

Get references for your first CV

References and referees are a superb way to impress employers when you’re writing a CV with no experience. That’s because they’re first-hand accounts of your personality, strengths, and weaknesses - recruiters love to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth! Round up your teachers, mentors, or family friends that know you well. They can demonstrate why you’d make a good employee, despite the fact you’ve got no work experience. How do you write a CV reference section, though?

Writing references is super easy; just list their name, contact details, and relationship to you. Then, either the recruiter can contact them directly, or you can show a written statement during your interview. You’ll want to have at least two references, with a maximum of four. Any less doesn’t give the employer enough to work with, and any more is overwhelming.

How to write a CV with no experience: what’s next?

So, there you have it; all our tips on how to make a good CV with no experience. To summarise, create a standout CV via your personal statement, skills, and references, and add any other kinds of applicable experience. No work experience really is no problem! Need some other tips? We have a wide range of articles dedicated to making applying for jobs quick and easy. Check out the wider CV tips category, or browse the other categories: interview and salary tips. So start writing your first CV today, then get your job hunt off to a cracking start by checking out our vacancies.

FAQs about how to write a CV with no experience

  • How do I write a CV for my first job?

  • Follow a template or enter your information straight into a CV creator. Luckily, we provide both; check out our CV templates and our free CV maker.

  • What do I put on my CV if I have no experience?

  • Substitute the lack of working experience on your CV with other relevant information, like volunteering, extracurricular activities, internships, and odd-jobs. While perhaps not an official job, it can show off skills like teamwork, loyalty, organisation, and more.

Explore other job application tips