Congratulations, you’ve graduated! Now it’s time to get out there and start your career.
The problem is, a degree doesn’t guarantee your CV will get noticed.
But don’t worry; we can teach you how to make your qualifications and transferable skills work for you with our helpful writing guide.
Check out our new graduate CV example below for those without experience.
Fresh Graduate without experience CV example
This example CV demonstrates how to structure and format your own CV as a new graduate, so that it can be easily digested by busy hiring managers, and quickly prove why you are suitable for the jobs you are applying to.
It also gives you a good idea of the type of skills, experience and qualifications that you need to be highlighting in your CV.
Fresh Graduate without experience CV structure & formatting
First impressions count, so a sloppy, disorganised CV may cause your CV to be overlooked..
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step; if your CV lacks readability, your written content won’t even be seen.
How to format your CV
- Length: Two sides of A4 makes for the the perfect CV length, though one page is okay for less experienced applicants. This forces you to make sure that every single sentence adds value to your CV and ensures you avoid waffle.
- Readability: To help busy recruiters scan through your CV, make sure your section headings stand out – bold or coloured text works well. Additionally, try to use bullet points wherever you can, as they’re far easier to skim through than huge paragraphs. Lastly, don’t be afraid of white space on your CV – a little breathing space is great for readability.
- CV design: Don’t waste time adding fancy designs to your CV. It generally adds no value to your application and may even end up distracting recruiters away from the important written content.
- Photographs: Headshot photos aren’t requiered in a CV by most employers, but some creative and artistic industries like to see them. If you decide to inclide one, make sure you look smart and professional in the picture.
Quick tip: Creating a professional CV style can be difficult and time-consuming when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To create a winning CV quickly, try our CV Builder and use one of our eye-catching professional CV templates.
When writing your own CV, break up your CV content into the following key sections:
- Name and contact details – Place them at the top of your CV, so that employers can easily get in touch.
- CV profile – A punchy sales pitch of your key experience, skills and achievements to reel readers in.
- Core skills section – A bullet-pointed snapshot of your abilities.
- Work experience – A well-structured list of your relevant work experience.
- Education – An overview of any relevant qualifications or professional training you have.
- Hobbies and interests – A short description of any relevant hobbies or interests (optional).
Now, let’s take a closer look at what you should include in each section of your CV.
CV Contact Details
Write your contact details in the top corner of your CV, so that they’re easy to find but don’t take up too much space.
You only need to list your basic details, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Location – Don’t list your full address. Your town or city, such as ‘Norwich’ or ‘Coventry’ is perfect.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update these before listing them on an application.
Fresh Graduate without experience CV Profile
It’s ideal for busy recruiters and hiring managers, who don’t want to waste time reading unsuitable applications.
Think of it as your personal sales pitch. You’ve got just a few lines to sell yourself and prove you’re a great match for the job – make it count!
CV profile writing tips:
- Make it short and sharp: It might be tempting to submit a page-long CV profile, but recruiters won’t have the time to read it. To ensure every word gets read, it’s best to include high-level information only; sticking to a length of 3-5 lines.
- Tailor it: Recruiters can spot a generic, mass-produced CV at a glance – and they certainly won’t be impressed! Before you write your profile (and CV as a whole), read through the job advert and make a list of any skills, knowledge and experience required. You should then incorporate your findings throughout your profile and the rest of your CV.
- Don’t add an objective: If you want to discuss your career objectives, save them for your cover letter, rather than wasting valuable CV profile space.
- Avoid generic phrases: Clichés like “blue-sky thinker with a go-getter attitude” might sound impressive to you, but they don’t actually tell the recruiter much about you. Concentrate on highlighting hard facts and skills, as recruiters are more likely to take these on board.
Example CV profile for Fresh Graduate without experience
What to include in your Fresh Graduate without experience CV profile?
- Summary of experience: To give employers an idea of your capabilities, show them your track record by giving an overview of the types of companies you have worked for in the past and the roles you have carried out for previous employers – but keep it high level and save the details for your experience section.
- Relevant skills: Highlight your skills which are most relevant to graduate jobs, to ensure that recruiters see your most in-demand skills as soon as they open your CV.
- Vital qualifications: If the jobs you are applying to require candidates to have certain qualifications, then you must add them in your profile to ensure they are seen by hiring managers.
Quick tip: If you are finding it difficult to write an attention-grabbing CV profile, choose from hundreds of pre-written profiles across all industries, and add one to your CV with one click in our CV Builder. All profiles are written by recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
Next, you should create a bullet pointed list of your core skills, formatted into 2-3 columns.
Here, you should focus on including the most important skills or knowledge listed in the job advertisement.
This will instantly prove that you’re an ideal candidate, even if a recruiter only has time to briefly scan your CV.
Vital skills for your Fresh Graduate without experience CV
Customer Service – highlighting experience of working with the public to resolve queries and encourage them to purchase products.
Event Organisation – highlighting experience of managing projects such as taking responsibility for organising and holding an event.
Silver D of E Award – highlighting achievements such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which is often awarded for helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition.
Team Leader – evidencing experience of leading others to achieve a goal.
MS Office – evidencing use of key technologies and software programs which will be used in your future career.
Quick tip: Our CV Builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Your work experience section
Now that recruiters have a good overview of your skills and abilities, you need to jump into the detail of your career history.
Give them a more thorough insight into what you can do by creating a detailed list of your relevant experience.
Start with your current role, and work backwards through all the relevant positions you’ve held.
This could be freelance, contract or voluntary work too; as long as it’s related to the role you’re applying for.
Structuring each role
Lengthy, unbroken chunks of text is a recruiters worst nightmare, but your work experience section can easily end up looking like that if you are not careful.
To avoid this, use my tried-and-tested 3-step structure, as illustrated below:
Provide a brief overview of the job as a whole, such as what the overriding purpose of your job was and what type of company you worked for.
Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.
Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.
Lastly, add impact by highlight 1-3 key achievements that you made within the role.
Struggling to think of an achievement? If it had a positive impact on your company, it counts.
For example, you might increased company profits, improved processes, or something simpler, such as going above and beyond to solve a customer’s problem.
Sample job description for Fresh Graduate without experience CV
Working for the Oxford Street flagship store of an international fashion retail business. Responsible for creating enticing merchandise displays, providing exceptional customer service and achieving a weekly and monthly sales target.
- Achieve personal sales targets and KPIs and support the store to achieve store targets
- Provide exceptional customer service including tailoring services and selecting appropriate products to meet individual customer needs and expectations
- Manage customer complaints through to a satisfactory resolution, escalating the issue to the Store Manager if necessary
- Manage the checkout including processing orders, refunds and credit notes, and processing transactions via both cash and card
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Education and qualifications section
After your work experience, your education section should provide a detailed view of your academic background.
Begin with those most relevant to graduate jobs, such as vocational training or degrees. If you have space, you can also mention your academic qualifications, such as A-Levels and GCSEs.
Focus on the qualifications that are most relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
Hobbies and interests
The hobbies and interests CV section isn’t mandatory, so don’t worry if you’re out of room by this point.
However, if you have an interesting hobby, or an interest that could make you seem more suitable for the role, then certainly think about adding.
Be careful what you include though… Only consider hobbies that exhibit skills that are required for roles as a Fresh Graduate without experience, or transferable workplace skills.
There is never any need to tell employers that you like to watch TV and eat out.
Writing your Fresh Graduate without experience CV
Creating a strong CV as a Fresh Graduate without experience requires a blend of punchy content, considered structure and format, and heavy tailoring.
By creating a punchy profile and core skills list, you’ll be able to hook recruiter’s attention and ensure your CV gets read.
Remember that research and relevance is the key to a good CV, so research your target roles before you start writing and pack your CV with relevant skills.
Best of luck with your next application!