In this article, we'll cover:
The importance of the experience section in your CV can't be stressed enough. This is where you not only present your employment history but also demonstrate your expertise and abilities. For that reason, the work experience listed on your CV needs to include relevant points and highlight your professional achievements to prove that you’re a qualified candidate.
Different types of experience to include in a CV, such as:
Since this is the most important part of a CV, it can be pretty tricky to write, especially for those having limited or no relevant experience.
But don’t worry! We'll guide you through how to structure the experience section in your CV and add achievements for a spotlight effect. We also include great CV examples for students with no experience for your reference.
The work experience section of your CV lists the history of your employment from the most recent to the oldest in reverse-chronological order. You can include any work experience into your CV as long as they're relevant to the position you're applying for.
When screening a candidate’s application, the hiring manager will most likely scan through the job experiences on the CV first. They expect to see what responsibilities you have handled in your previous roles and what achievements you have accomplished in the field. Hence, they can somewhat evaluate your capabilities and qualifications for taking on this new role and determine whether you can bring value to their company.
With that said, there are different kinds of experiences that can be listed under the work experience section in a CV.
Below are 4 different kinds of experiences that can be listed on your job application’s CV, especially CVs for beginners with no experience:
Professional work experience listed on your CV can include all paid and unpaid work with an aim to prove that you’ve gained relevant professional experience in the field. Hence, the hiring manager can assess your expertise and see if you’re suitable for the position.
With little or no work experience, fresh graduates can shine by listing internship experience on their CV. By providing details on what relevant skills and knowledge you've acquired through the internship, you can get a leg up in your choice of profession.
Volunteer experience refers to any unpaid work you’ve done that could be relevant to your application. Aside from showing your skills and abilities, volunteer experience on a beginner’s CV can also say a lot about an applicant’s personal traits.
What else to put in a CV with no experience? If you're writing a CV for teenagers with no experience, you could include your part-time jobs instead. (Yes, it counts as working experience!). Even though some might be not relevant to the job, the employer can still assess your soft skills and personal qualities.
Make sure to keep this short and clear with a larger font size so the hiring manager can spot it easily.
Acceptable section headings:
Unacceptable section headings:
Simply put, this is the name that describes your job role or position in an organization/company. For example, you can write “Volunteer of the Smile Foundation” if you're writing a CV with volunteer experience, or “Student Council Officer” in a CV for teenagers with no experience.
When listing job experiences in a CV, you can just use the exact name shown in the job ad if it's exactly the same or similar to your profession. That will be best to keep things simple and grab the recruiter's attention. If not, write an accurate job title as what you actually did.
It's quite simple to write it right - just simply follow the format below:
[Company Name], [City/Country]
Depending on the space you have on your CV, you can provide a brief description of the company, ideally within 10-15 words.
Note that it's okay to not include the location of the company/organization if you're listing a freelance work experience.
Here, you'll need to list the month and year when you started and quit the job. The standard format looks like this:
[MM/YYYY] - [MM/YYYY]
If you are still working in the current position, you can list the work experience in your CV like this:
[MM/YYYY] - Present
Most importantly, use consistent formatting for every experience in your CV.
Here comes the key details that the potential employer wants to read. Let us show you some great tips for getting it right:
Let’s take an application for a teaching position as an illustration.
Here’s an example of job requirements for elementary teachers:
After knowing the requirements of the position, you’ll know how to write teaching experience in a CV:
Elementary Teacher | Axis International School, Denver
July 2018 - Present
Listing achievements along with experiences in your CV allows the hiring manager to see how well you can perform at work and what contribution you've made to the organization, rather than what tasks you were expected to fulfill.
When well-written, key achievements in the experiences in your CV can make a great impression on the employer and give you an advantage over other candidates.
Accomplishments can be numbers like quantified results or a prize you're awarded in the field.
📚 Further reading: How to Write Achievements in a CV? [+ Examples]
Check out examples of work experiences in a CV below to help you understand the correct format and how to write the work experience in your CV perfectly.
IT Support Analyst | LABO Tech
Mar 2018 – Dec 2021
Research Assistant | Imperial College London
06/2015 – 07/2018
Student Council President | Nanyang Technological University Singapore
Spring semester 2021
If you're a teenager or college student looking for a part-time job, internship, or volunteer work, you’re still probably (and understandably) still unsure of what to put in a CV with no experience.
Let us show you how with 3 useful tips!
A functional CV, also called a skill-based CV, emphasizes a candidate's skills rather than professional experience. For this format, the skills section is placed before the education or experience in your CV and is kept specific with detailed examples of how you utilized the skills in previous non-work experiences.
The functional CV format is a good alternative for those lacking relevant experience in the field such as students, recent graduates, and career changers.
📚 Further reading: List of Important Skills for a CV [+ How to Write & Where to Put Them].
Don't worry if you haven't had any format working experience yet.
Other experiences you've gained from volunteering and being an active member within an organization can also showcase your personal traits, skills, and qualifications.
Here’s how you describe organization experience in a CV:
Have you done anything interesting in your free time that also benefits your future career?
If so, feel free to add them to your CV. By doing so, recruiters can have a clearer picture of your skills and abilities.
Examples of personal projects to in a CV for beginners with no experience:
Depending on the amount of experience you already have, you can list a certain number of experiences on your CV:
Regardless of your background, keep in mind the following things when writing the experience section in your CV:
Aside from experiences, these are other points that you could include in a CV with no work experience:
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--- Originally written by May Luong ---