If you just graduated from university, it’s intimidating to search for a job with no experience. I get it.

Many freshers think that filling a two-page resume will seem attractive to employers. But that’s just not true: using bigger fonts, larger headings, different fonts, or including unnecessary information will fill the pages, but won’t make you fill the vacancy. You can’t fool employers to think that giant fonts will reflect experience. You can though, grab their attention without adding your religion and marital status to fill the white space.

Don’t you worry, I got your back!

Follow these simple tips to create a strong resume without making it look like a birthday party.

Write a good summary:

Your summary comes right after your contact information. It reflects who you are in short. It is important to present yourself in descriptive expression other than generic ones. Avoid a summary that says how hardworking you are and how you would be interested in joining a “reputable company”. Ready-made summaries that seem no different from others don’t attract the recruiter’s attention. Instead, highlight the key skills that will help you get the job. Get creative and personal when talking about why you fit this particular role.

For example, if you’re applying to a sales position you can highlight that you studied abroad, and the experience opened your eyes to the amazing cultural differences across the globe. Sure the experience itself isn’t directly connected to the role but your personal experience shows maturity and understanding any hiring manager would want in a sales employee.

Maximize on your education:

As a fresh graduate, the most important qualifications you have are your education level. Usually, the education section in a resume is written following the professional experience section. However, as a fresh graduate, your education is a major point of emphasis. At this point in your life, most of your employability skills were gained through academic pursuits rather than professional ones. You should focus on mentioning the projects you worked on and definitely mention your grade if it’s high and if you’ve graduated with honors. You can briefly present your graduation project and your role on the team to reflect how you acquired certain skills and put them in action. Remember that, currently, your degree is probably one of the most employability factors, so make sure your education section is placed at the very beginning of your resume.

Include your internship/student activity

Internships are always considered an added value in a fresh graduate’s CV; it’s how you gain real on the job experience. In your resume, mention the details of each internship and talk about how you applied the knowledge gained in an actual work environment, use brief bullet points to better explain to employers what was your role during the internship, what projects you worked on and what skills did you gain through working.

If you don’t have an internship experience, you can always talk about what skills you gained through your participation in student activities/competitions or graduation project(s) at the university. Remember that employers also have been in a university campus before, they know that joining student activities is a good environment to acquire basic communication and teamwork skills.

Find a link

This one takes a bit more effort and customization, but you’ll be glad you took the time. While applying for jobs, chances are you’re interested in the role and company for a reason. Make sure you do your research to find out what skills are needed and find a way to tie your professional experience and skills with it. An attractive resume is not about quantity, it’s rather about how relevant this information is to the job. It’s common (as a recruiter) to come across resumes that include a huge number of activities, courses, and certificates. But it’s always confusing to find that all these experiences and learnings are not related to the role whatsoever. If you’re going to add any piece of information make sure it would demonstrate a skill that is needed to perform the role. You will come across as a focused candidate with solid experiences and skills.

Keep it neat and professional:

Your CV should be just as neat and professional as a CV for someone who has been working for years. Your inexperience is not an excuse for an unorganized or unprofessional CV. To ensure that your CV is organized and professional  be sure to follow these tips:

  • Use bullet points: Bullet points are neat and make it easier for employers to quickly scan your CV for important details.
  • Proofread: A spelling error can be fatal to your application. Don’t let simple errors get in the way of your dream job.
  • Use a nice template: Your CV should be eye-catching and easy for your employer to read.
  • Contact info: Don’t forget to include an accessible phone number and email address so that potential employers can contact you with ease. Still using that embarrassing email address that you made when you were a kid? Time to update it to a simple, more professional one

How to write a CV when you do not have experience is no rocket science; it is the same as when you have experience, only that the information you include is less. Most importantly, Remeber to focus on your achievements and avoid cliches.

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