What do you do when your work history doesn’t match the skill set for the job you are applying for? Use your transferable skills! An important part of your time at University is getting your degree; that goes without saying. But employers will look at extra-curricular activities to differentiate the run-of-the-mill applicants from those they can see as a good fit with their company. Use them!
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to get some extra experience on your CV – volunteer with a company, and you not only help that company, but help your employability as well. For example, if you are studying towards a career in law, volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor through http://icva.org.uk/ will gain you valuable skills and knowledge in the judicial system.
Have you been back-packing around the world on your gap year? Have you spent the summer working in a Summer Camp or driving across the USA? Travelling shows prospective employers that you are flexible, cultured and independent. Demonstrate the skills you used on your CV: Did you learn a new language? Did you have to organise yourself and others? All of these skills enhance your employability.
Think that your student job in a bar while you were studying has no place on your CV now that you are applying for a graduate job? Don’t be too quick to wipe it! A part-time job while you were studying shows employers that you have good time-management skills, are not afraid of hard work, and have well-developed interpersonal skills to boot!
If you have something to say, then say it! If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a subject, but don’t have a lot of experience, then starting a blog can demonstrate to employers that you have the skills and knowledge required. It’s a great way to demonstrate your writing skill as well as helping you to develop your own voice.
Interests (not hobbies!!)
Make the most of the ‘interests’ section on your CV by highlighting how your interests make you the perfect fit for the company. Any interest you have, be it photography, playing the violin, sports or even bird-watching, can prove that you have one skill or another; motivation, passion, a drive to succeed. As long as you can link your interest with a skill that is required by the company, include it on your CV!