What to include on your CV under work experience, if you have no work experience?

Work experience is any involvement, practice or know-how of a job or work environment. It is any skills or knowledge you gained while working or performing particular tasks. You can include any work experience gained through formal (e.g. permanent jobs) and informal (e.g. casual jobs or volunteering) work.


How to create a CV if you have little or no work experience?

Creating your first CV can be difficult when you do not have a lot of work experience to include. The skills-based CV is the best format to use to grab employers attention if you do not have much experience. The skills-based CV directs the employer's attention to why you are the right person for the job. This type of CV focuses on your skills, other experiences, achievements and how they match the requirements of the job advert, by repeating back what employers are looking for.


Mention other social involvements that are also of value, such as:

  • Volunteer experience or unpaid work experience e.g. mentoring or coaching a team.
  • Social involvement: Have you done any work in your community or church? Do you play a team sport?
  • Achievements: Any rewards, trophies or certificates from academic or leisure activities.
Think about what you have learnt through all these experiences, and highlight your strengths with examples (write 1-2 lines about it).

Work experience doesn't need to be a job in an office or store. It could be anything you have earned money for, like babysitting or helping out a neighbour. These experiences are informal jobs that can teach you valuable, marketable skills. You can give examples of the skills you learnt in each, for example, responsibility, numeracy skills, customer service experience.


For all your experiences, formal or informal, you should also include the following information:

  • Name of the place, company or institution (Where have you worked or gained experience from?)
  • How long you worked there (When did you start and end?)
  • Position (What was your job title or role?)
  • Responsibilities (What tasks did you do?)
  • Achievements (what did you learn or skill/s did you gain?) or what ideas did you contribute to help the organisation or institution?


Tips:

  • List your experiences from the most recent or current job, back to your first job/experiences/involvements.
  • Mention relevant work experiences for each job application, first.


Remember to include the work experience that is most relevant to each job you apply for. Ensure that your work experiences match the skills and qualities you gained and mentioned in your Skills and Qualities section of your CV. It is important that you create a link between what you have acquired (skills and qualities) and where or how you developed them (work experiences) for employers.


Next Step: Find out what education and training to include on your CV.