When screening applications at QTemps, we see a whole range of experience on CVs. Sometimes people have already done exactly the sort of job they are applying for, and other times people struggle with tailoring the experience they have. At first sight you may not be sure whether it is relevant and how to write about it, but it is all about how you sell it to a hiring manager. In this article we will explain that various experiences are relevant as long as you demonstrate a wide range of skills which are essential for a position you are applying for.
You may wonder whether experience in the hospitality or administrative sectors, paid or unpaid, are all important to include and elaborate on in your CV– our advice is that experience doesn’t have to be formal, paid or from a particular industry, as long as you can demonstrate the right skills for the position you apply for. You can gain and demonstrate valuable skills as part of your course, through getting involved in university activities and societies, and through getting involved in your community. You can then use your CV to highlight these skills and convince employers that you have experience of communicating, organising, persuading, and problem solving – and much more.
Of course, formal jobs can also provide you with these skills – even a part-time job at McDonald’s can be effective on a CV if you highlight relevant skills that it gave you. For example, if the job you are applying for suggests that they need someone who can deal with clients, you can write about how at McDonald’s you communicated with customers in a polite and friendly manner. If the job requires sales skills or persuasion, perhaps you were successful in up-selling (persuading customers to buy additional items). You might also have team-working skills to offer, and have experience working under pressure – both of which would be useful to any high-paced office working environment.
If you still feel that your CV is looking a bit thin and you want to add to your experience of formal jobs, you might want to think about applying for jobs on campus, or internships. See careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs for a range of opportunities.
Ultimately, employers will want to see evidence of work experience and skills on your CV. So gaining a combination of skills through extra-curricular activities or volunteering, and some experience of a commercial workplace or responsibility within an organisation will really help you present yourself to future employers.
Also, don’t forget about our services at Careers & Enterprise – you can come with your CV and we can work on it together. Simply book an appointment!
Julia, Employer Engagement Assistant (QTemps)