One of the biggest issues for a job hunter is having an empty CV with a lack of relevant skills for the profession. For instance, if you’re a student just out of Uni, you may be struggling to land your first job when you have so little experience. Or even if you’ve been working for years but decide you need a change of career, you may find it difficult to book any interviews without industry-specific experience.
Don’t fear: there are quick and easy ways that you can bulk up your CV to appeal to employers, giving you a better chance at securing your dream job.
Volunteering is an excellent way to boost your CV and gain vital experience, and with the variety of volunteering opportunities available, there will always be a prospect relevant to your desired career.
By volunteering for a charity helpline, for example, you can display your communication skills to prospective employers. Furthermore, you can show your ability to adapt to new environments, work under pressure, and deal with difficult situations. Charities and not-for-profit organisations constantly have opportunities to get involved in, and volunteering for them in-house or at particular events they’re running can show your interest in helping others whilst demonstrating your passion about a particular issue. This will make your CV stand out from the masses.
Politics is another area that is easy to get involved in, as political parties and organisations are always looking for help, especially during important campaigns. If you are interested in a career in politics, or within the non-profit sector, working for a political party can show you are dedicated to a cause and are motivated enough to use your spare time to make a difference in society.
Websites such as vInspired and m4mp are excellent for finding volunteering opportunities, or you can contact your chosen organisation directly.
Blogging is an excellent way to show potential employers that you have outstanding writing, design and photography skills – and there are numerous ways to start blogging online.
By creating your own blog and including a link to it on your CV, you can showcase your budding initiative to hiring managers, plus you can alert them to the field of work you are interested in. For example, you could start a fashion blog or a food blog, depending which industry you want to pursue a career in.
Alongside your own blog, you can prove your social media skills to potential employers by marketing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and so on. Social media is a huge part of branding and marketing, thus most businesses will appreciate your proficiency in this area.
There are plenty of other ways to write articles and blog pieces online too, requiring less setup than starting your own blog. Tremr, for example, is an online blogging platform that enables people to publish articles about current affairs and politics. Another is The Tab, an online student news platform, which is an excellent resource that allows students to publish articles online to gain essential experience and exhibit their writing skills.
3. Apply for work experience
Gaining work experience is an invaluable way of filling up your CV with excellent experience because, not only will it greatly improve your chances of getting a job, but it can help you understand the industry you are going into in more depth.
On-the-job experience takes the form of internships and work experience placements. The majority of these opportunities are unpaid, although most will cover your travel and food expenses, and the placements will last anywhere from a week to several months.
By contacting companies directly, or searching graduate websites for available work experience placements, you can find work opportunities relevant to your ambitions, whether that’s events, media, or the industrial sector.
It is also important to always use your contacts. If you know someone in an industry you are interested in, ask if they would allow you to shadow them for a week or so. Even work experience in an industry or role you might not be considering as a career path could be valuable; all experience is good experience, as you’ll learn a lot of transferable skills, plus you may even discover that you prefer this line of work once you explore it.
4. Book onto a short course
Many universities and colleges offer short courses for the general public. By completing a short course in something you are interested in, you can bulk up your CV whilst refreshing your skillset, which may help you secure a job in the future.
The University of London, for example, has a large selection of short courses varying from Business, Innovation and Marketing to Chinese Culture and Society. With additional qualifications on your CV, you can illustrate your keenness for development and you’ll have an added selling point over your peers when applying for jobs.
We have a variety of job opportunities available, from graduate level all the way through to senior roles, with some of the world’s most renowned companies. You can visit our jobs page here or contact us if you’d like to discuss your job search in more detail.