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3 ways to impress with your CV when you have no work experience

Apprenticeships and traineeships can help you achieve your dream career even if you don’t have a secondary school certificate or other types of qualification.

You’ll still need to apply for a position, however, and that usually includes sending a CV outlining the skills and experience that you believe make you a suitable candidate. But what can you put on your resume if you have no previous work experience?

Are you still looking for the right apprenticeship or traineeship position? Sign up to Apprenticeship Central and search for vacancies in your area. You can also upload your CV and read our FAQs to learn more about how to make the most of the experience.

Remember, employers who take on apprentices and trainees understand that you probably won’t have years of experience or industry qualifications, so don’t panic. Nevertheless, here are some tips that can help you stand out from the crowd when applying for a position.

CVs and apprenticeships and traineeships.

Write a tailored cover letter

Cover letters are an excellent way to display your enthusiasm and passion for a role. You may not have relevant experience, but this is a great opportunity to tell employers exactly which attributes make you the right person for the position. Don’t forget to mention any hobbies or interests that directly tie into the organisation’s areas of business.

Experiment with the format

Many CVs have a traditional layout where you list your academic achievements followed by previous jobs and work experience. This can be difficult for recent school leavers or other people that have been out of the workplace for a long period of time, as they might not have enough relevant information to include. Apprenticeship Central offers Resume Builder tools that allow you to pick a template that best showcases your particular range of skills.

Include extracurricular activities

Your experience doesn’t have to be paid work; there are many activities you regularly do that give you transferable skills. Play sports after school? Highlight how this requires teamwork and leadership. Perform voluntary work for local charities? Emphasise how this has helped you develop your interpersonal skills. Most hobbies and interests can provide useful abilities for the workplace.

This advice should help you build a CV that plays to your strengths when you don’t have much on-the-job experience. However, your CV is just the first step of the application process, so be prepared for a potential interview with your prospective employer before you’re likely to be offered a position.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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