Skilled in tea making – What to put on your CV if you don’t have experience

Writing a CV is never easy. There is a lot of pressure involved when you are trying to get the description of your skills, abilities and experience just right so that your CV stands out. So, what do you do when you have little or no experience of the job you are applying for, or you have returned from a break in your working life and find yourself needing to start again? What do you do if all think you can do is make the tea?

Don’t paniccv

Well, the first thing to do is not panic and assume that you have nothing to offer. This is a situation that is faced by thousands of people every year and not only do they manage to get back into work or start a good job, they often get exactly what they are looking for. So here are some pointers.

  1. Firstly, turn it into a positive in your approach. We see people here at Jobwise for all sorts of reasons. A common one is because they are looking for a change from a job role they found themselves stuck in. You have a blank sheet, and that means endless possibilities. So, before you start, let’s get positive and look at this as an opportunity.
  2. You probably do have experience; you just need to dig a little bit. Unless you have been sitting doing nothing for the last few years, you will have gathered some experience. For graduates and new to the workplace school leavers, think about your extracurricular activities. Did you play sport in a team (teamwork) did you volunteer at student university events (organisational skills) don’t forget your part-time work. For returns to work, do the same thing. If you have been a home parent, did you work with the school parent group? Perhaps you volunteered at a charity? Think about anything you have done in terms of work skills.
  3. Present yourself as a book of blank pages, waiting to be filled. Instead of having no experience, try describing yourself in a way that translates as potential. So if you have a wide circle of friends, describe yourself as someone who really enjoys the company of others and likes to fit into a mixed group. If you do DIY, you are probably goal oriented with a sense of purpose.
  4. Admit you don’t have the experience and ask for it. If the bottom line is that you need to learn some skills, but you are confident you have the potential, ask for the training. It is very much a skills shortage workplace at the moment, and employers are looking to train team members who will grow with them. Sometimes a teacup full of enthusiasm to learn will be as valuable as a bucketful of experience.
  5. Start building things to put on your CV. OK, so realistically then, you may not have as many skills to put on the CV as you would like. So why not look for things that will build them? Think about the kind of career you are looking to work in and list the skills you will need. Once you have that, look for unpaid opportunities to practice them. Charities and groups often look for people to help out, so why not consider some that meet your desired skill set?

The start of something great

Not having experience is not the end of the world and done right it can be the start of something great. You may only have a skill in making the tea from your point of view, but you know what? Everyone loves a good cup of tea.


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