As a seasoned recruiter, I tend to work with professionals with lots of experience.  I’ve not worked with many clients with no work experience.  So, when I’m working with clients or writing blogs about how to write a powerful CV, I’m normally talking to candidates with lots of work experience to share.

So, when I was tagged on Facebook to help a business associate’s son write his first CV, I thought about writing this blog.  How to write a CV when you have no work experience.  Here are some points to consider:

Here are some points to consider:

Academic Qualifications

Unlike a person with lots of experience to share, it’s okay to go into a little more detail about the content of the qualifications.  You can give the reader some detail about the modules and if you achieved some good results it’s great to share.

You can also share a bit more information on training courses or certificates.  If you’ve taken it upon yourself to learn something new make sure you share this too.

Voluntary Work

Seriously consider seeking out some opportunities to volunteer.  When you start searching and researching your local community, you’ll notice lots of different and varied types of volunteering jobs.

Here are some useful links and organisations that are actively advertising for volunteers:

If you are particularly sociable, then you might like to work in a shop or at a charity event.  You’ll be using lots of different and valuable skills.

These skills are often called transferrable skills and here are a couple of examples you’ll be demonstrating when you volunteer at an event:

Communication: Cheering on participants, giving instructions, sharing helpful information or giving directions.  If you attend an outdoors event like Race for Life, for example, you may even be asked to use a two-way radio.  This is a very different way of communicating and needs to be concise and accurate.

Teamwork:  Working with lots of people from different backgrounds and level of volunteering and work experience.  It’s a great place to network too!  You never know who you will be meeting at these events.

Basic health and safety awareness:  Just making sure there are no obstacles on the course, picking up litter, being generally observant of the crowd and participants, uneven ground etc.

Hobbies & Interests

Here’s a great opportunity to not just talk about your hobbies and interests but to shout about your achievements, awards or medals. This is not the time to be shy or bashful!

Again as you don’t have any employment history taking up space add a little detail in this section to explain what you had to demonstrate or do to achieve this level, grade or award.

Don’t just list the common hobbies such as reading, cooking and spending time with my family.  Recruiters can receive hundreds of applications and CVs and it will get a little dull reading the same hobbies and interests.  It doesn’t really demonstrate that you have thought this

Writing a list of generic interests don’t really demonstrate that you have thought this through and doesn’t tell the reader anything about how unique you are in comparison to other candidates.


Try to paint a clear picture of you as a person in the workplace.  With no work experience, it’s difficult to think what you would be like or how you would behave.  Think very carefully about your current key characteristics.  If you need some ideas, ask your family or friends how they would describe you or have a look at the list below.

  • Ambitious
  • Dynamic
  • Energetic
  • Considered
  • Calm
  • Approachable
  • Highly organised
  • Sociable
  • Quietly confident

Hope this blog helps you to start thinking about writing your first CV.  If you still need a bit more information then visit these blogs:

If you need a template just send me an email