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Your CV when you have zero work experience

Michelin

After graduation, planning your career should be exciting. But adjusting to life outside the university sometimes turns out frustrating: you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to gain experience. Luckily, you can get a job even with limited or without professional experience. Candidates often rely on transferable skills when applying to a job outside their expertise area. And this is what you can do, too.

Think about the CV as a business card. Here’s some tricks to make it catchy, easy to read and impressive!

Michelin
Skills - find your strong points

Reflect on your strong points; there are several tools for self-assessment: SWOT analyses, online assessment tests.  We presented some in the workshop What would Michelin Man do?, here. Use the results of your assessment to write a summary statement; include your professional goal and the skills that recommend you for the role.

Choose the best structure for your CV

Opt for a template that is easy to fill-in, showcases your skills and has an easy-to-read, clean structure. You can find various CV templates online. Keep in mind that in your resume, recruiters should see these details: a header with your contact, a summary statement, education, experience and skills. Whatever resume format you decide to use, be sure that it remains consistent throughout the document and is no longer than 2 pages.

Play up your degree

You can list the most important courses that you attended, if they are related to the job you’re applying for. You can also mention the name of your thesis, to point out that you are preparing for a certain domain.​​​​

A.L.

I am interested in HR, but I studied economics and management. So, with the help of my professors, I found some interesting themes for my thesis:
Bachelor’s degree in Economics Science: How multinational companies reward employees (HR related: reward and recognition process; Economics related: company presentation, financial analyses)
Master’s degree in Business Consulting: Mentoring and coaching as educational tools for boosting performance (HR related: mentoring and coaching as educational tools; Business Consulting: measuring KPIs).

A.L.
Volunteering? Internships? Traineeships?

Yes! In college, you can volunteer or do internships, then present the experience you gained in a professional manner. Point out the activity, the responsibilities and the results.

A.L.

I coordinated the team that organized a fundraising for Christmas. How does this translate into skills?
Marketing skills: I designed a promo campaign (target audience segmentation, message creation, social media/internal channels plan).
Planning skills: I made a calendar for actions, identified the stakeholders and assigned responsibilities, I set a goal and a deadline for activities, using a Gantt chart.
Management: I coordinated a team of 5 people, with clear responsibilities and tracked their progress.

A.L.
Use keywords

To boost your appearances in a recruiter’s search, use keywords relevant for your domain. The best place to find the suitable keywords are the job ads. Read job ads from your field of interest and identify the keywords to include in your resume. You can place them in the educational section or the skills section - what is important is that they fit in naturally.

 

At the end of the day, the perfect resume is the one that gets you the dream job. At Michelin, we can help you gain experience; draft up your perfect resume and apply for an internship or a traineeship here.

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