Make Your CV Rock Even With No Experience

By Cristina Simmons

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While most job searches require a resume, there are certain professions that will require a CV, also known as a curriculum vitae. Candidates who must submit CV’s are usually going into the following career fields:

If you have been in your career field for a while, you have current and past work experience to speak to in your CV. But, what if you have just completed your Ph.D. and you have no work experience? And, to boot, you are attempting to sell yourself in a job market that may be limited? How can you make that CV “rock” and present yourself as the best candidate for the position? Here are some tips.

Detail Any Research, Assistantships, Internships You Have Held

You may not have paid positions to list as experience, but you really need to look at your academic career and all that you have done related to the position for which you are applying.

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Detail Relevant Coursework

Every position for which you apply will relate directly to certain coursework you have had and not to other courses.

Back Up All Strength/Skills You List with Evidence

You cannot just say that you are strong in research methodologies related to the position. You must “show” this expertise with specific evidence.

Your CV may not be as long as those of experienced candidates. But you can still make is compelling and engaging, if you spend some time in careful reflection on all that you have really accomplished in your graduate program.

Be honest about your skills

Talk about your skills sensibly. Remember, the employer does not expect you to have wisdom and expertise at this point. Make a list of top your top five skills, and find examples where you demonstrated it. If you want to say you have leadership skills, you could talk about an event you organised. Are you good at communication? Provide an example of how this has helped you in work or on your course.


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