By Vlad Mackevic
Summer is finally here, almost all the exams are over and it’s about time to find a nice summer internship, or at least a job to keep you busy and help you earn some cash and get work experience.
Perhaps you have just finished your first year and are planning to do a work placement after your second year. Then you’d better start looking early and work experience will be only an advantage! But how do you do it if you have little work experience to start with? You need a substantial CV these days!
I have good news for you! I have written a short eBook on how to write a CV with little or no work experience. It is available on Amazon Kindle for $0.99 but you will be able to download the PDF for
FREE from this website!
This article is an extract from the book (Chapter 3: The SMART CV).
Before we start dealing with the specifics, I would like to describe what is called a SMART approach. SMART is an acronym that is widely used in self-help literature and the letters of the acronym can stand for diverse words.
In this book, however, the meaning of SMART is:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievement-oriented
R – Relevant
T – Traceable
Let’s briefly analyse all of them one by one.
This means detail. In order for your CV to be as convincing as possible, you have to give the details, answering these questions: What? When? Where? When describing your education, skills, achievements and work experience, please give the details: dates, places, projects, etc. Do not vaguely state:
Great teamwork skills.
Be more specific! Write something like this:
Took a leading position in a team of 8 people (XXX University Drama Society). Produced 3 shows in 2 years.
That ‘leading position’ could have been an assistant to the executive committee, but it’s a position of responsibility nonetheless. Write it and be proud of it!
Work experience – again, be specific. Mention the What? the When? and the Where?
XXXX University Volleyball society. 2002-2003
Organising official and social events. Managing a Facebook community.
This is all about the facts and figures. Your results and achievements must be measurable. Let’s look at the examples:
Managed student teams for three university assignments with close deadlines. Teams received first class marks for 2 assignments out of 3.
Organised an inter-university conference on green technology, involving 10 speakers from 3 universities.
As you can see from the above, achievements are measured and illustrated with figures. This is what you should do, too.
This is perfectly straightforward. Spend as little time as possible describing your duties (and don’t call them duties – they are responsibilities!).
Instead, focus on your achievements. Write what skills you have developed, what projects you have accomplished and what rewards you got for it.
I cannot emphasise it more:
WRITE DOWN EVERY SINGLE ACHIEVEMENT, NO MATTER HOW SMALL!
And make it look big and important. Because there are no small achievements. They are all yours. And they are all important. They all make you what you are and contribute to your professional and personal development. They make you better. Every single one of them.
I will repeat this several times throughout this book. Your CV must be relevant. It must correspond to the job for which you’re applying. You would not write about your skills in graphic design if you apply for a job as a banker, would you?
It’s very simple – look at the keywords in the job description and make your CV reflect those keywords. If you are applying speculatively (i.e. sending the CV to 100 companies for the same position in case they have a vacancy), then read what the position normally entails and what skills you need for it. One of the best sites is www.prospects.ac.uk.
This means only one thing: do not invent stuff. Do not lie. Just write what you have done. Even if it is not very easy to check whether a company/society exists, the employer might ask you about that non-existent experience in the interview. And you’d better have a well-rehearsed story as well as be prepared to invent more on the spot. Quite honestly, it’s not worth it. It won’t be fun if you’re found out. In short, if you lie – say goodbye.
P. S. If you decided to download the FREE version of the eBook, can we ask you for a small favour? If you like the book, could you kindly go to Amazon.co.uk and write a small positive review? Or maybe go to your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and tell the world that you liked the book? That would really help me spread the message. Thanks in advance!