Having little to no work experience does not mean you can’t land the job. While experience is an important factor – your skills, approach and outlook are what stand out. This article will show you how to present your education and life experiences in a way that relates to prospective employers.

Understanding the purpose of a cv when applying for a job

The purpose of a CV is to tell the hiring manager what you can bring to the role and how you will support the business in achieving its objectives. It serves to give a quick overview of who you are and what you can do. 

How to write a CV summary with no experience

  1. Analyse your academic and life experience to determine how it could relate to the job posting. For example, if you’re a recent Project Management graduate looking for a role as a Project Administrator, you could include that you’ve managed your general administration throughout your degree, wrote reports for university, effectively managed your time, planned social gatherings, led an assignment, etc. 
  2. Review the job posting to determine what the role needs in a candidate and answer this in your summary. Including keywords and phrases here is important as it demonstrates not only your dedication but will help you pass through online Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
  3. Mention a relevant key achievement from your academic career which could be receiving an award or getting great feedback on an assignment linked to the role
  4. Highlight your skills, this does not only have to be academic

Choose a good professional CV format

Select a CV format which emphasises your academic career, skills and achievements. Include the following sections in order:

  1. Name and contact information
  2. Personal statement
  3. Summary
  4. Core Skills
  5. Key Achievements
  6. Education
  7. Academic/Educational Experience
  8. Key Projects
  9. Volunteer Experience  

Identify and use keywords when writing your resume

Analyse the job description in the advertisement and make a list of the keywords. Work these into your resume but make sure not to include too many. Chances are that the titles of your coursework modules are keywords. You can also have a look at the description of your modules on your university/college website and use some of the keywords they list. 

Write a strong personal statement for CV

A personal statement is key if you have no experience. This is about two lines which describe your career goals, why you want the job and the value you bring. It is different to your summary because it focuses on what you want from the role vs what you can bring. To write a strong statement, look at the job description again to determine what the role provides and relate it to what you want. Avoid generic statements by making them job specific. 

How to write a CV with no work experience

Focus on your education when writing your resume

Your academic experience may not have been a job, but you can describe it in a similar language. Develop a section to write about how it has prepared you to take on a role in the industry.

Include relevant coursework on CV

In the education section, it is a good idea to include relevant coursework. Do not add all your modules, just those which relate to the role. 

List your skills and achievements

Develop a key skills section and add a mix of hard and soft skills learnt through life and academic experience. You can also create an achievements section and include anything you are proud of doing which relates to the job. 

Indeed CV example with no experience


It is possible to find a great job with zero to no experience! Use the above tips or read this article to get started.