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  1. #1
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    Default No education and no experience, what to put in my CV?

    If you're new in this thread, I suggest you at least skimming through all the posts, especially since Page 3 if you're extra short on time. A lot of stuff was commented on, explained, answered and suggested.

    I've been actively looking for a job lately, spending little time in front of the screen and all, but so far unsuccessfully. Therefore, I've decided to write a decent CV, however when I thought about it... What CAN I put in there? I've no education and no experience!

    I can put a list of what I can do or what I have done but can prove that I have or is insignificant compared to actual job experience.

    So what should I do? Here's what I came up with so far, though it's translated, so don't pay attention if there's issues with the vocabulary or grammar. Of course there's name, phone, address, email as well in the real CV, and it has structure, but other than that, there's nothing else in it.

    Experience:
    For the past 8 years, I help my dad sell his merchandise during the yearly fair

    Achievements:
    I freely speak and write in English and Hungarian
    I have a solid understand on how technology and computers work
    I have put together and took apart hundreds of computers
    More than once I've installed FTP/SQL/PHP/MAIL and game servers in both Windows and Linux environment
    I've created hundreds of sites for me and others
    I've successfully administered gaming communities and websites
    I've configured hundreds of computers for me and others
    I've diagnosed technical and software-related problems of hundreds of computers
    I have a solid understand of programming logic, as well as some minor experience with C, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, JAVA and RUBY languages
    I've successfully organized, planned and distributed the workflow of administration and programming teams for a game server
    Often I'm able to intuitively figure out how software works, even if I haven't seen them before

    Behavioral characteristics:
    I'm oriented towards the goal
    I'm able to express myself well
    I'm able to solve conflicts
    I'm able to talk to various different people
    I'm able to make decisions quickly
    I'm open to new things
    I'm fair
    I've good organizational and planning skills
    I'm able to motivate people
    I enjoy challenges
    I seek improvement
    I always try to do things the best I can
    I'm intuitive
    I'm very rational
    I've a critical/analytic thinking
    I see the world realistically
    I always have many ideas
    I'm ambitious

    Interests:
    Technology
    New inventions
    Here's what I can say about myself in a short casual-sounding column:

    I have a lot of various experience with everything PC-related - software, hardware, from building computers to using various software and even teaching university students (friends) how to use software I have never seen in my life - I get it intuitively. So far, everything I've done was out of curiosity, so at home, for friends, etc., but no employment. I have lots of interests and various "mental" skills, like ability to motivate people or talking them into doing something, organizing an event as in "do that, then that, then we're gonna do that..." kind of way, so in the end the plan would be executed without any hick-ups and efficiently. I have various experience with all of that, whether family-related, friends-related or my personal projects-related. Unfortunately - all that is "unofficial," I have not been employed nor took money for any of it, I don't have a paper nor could I get a reference from some workplace for doing anything.

    So what should I do? What can and should I include in my CV? I bet at least some of you had to write a CV recently and would have some advice or comments. I've also created a project that made money before the worldwide financial crisis, but I can't mention that for other reasons which I won't mention here as well.
    Last edited by Typoz; 03-10-2013 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #2
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    You could add some flaws: too perfectionist, too sincere, etc.



    edit: Ok, seriously now, the "Behavioral characteristics" part looks pretty silly, imo. Unless that's strictly necessary, I'd remove.

    Also, this sounded like you wasted 8 years of your life:
    For the past 8 years, I help my dad sell his merchandise during the yearly fair
    You gotta sound like a winner, you know? Kind of a big deal, and whatnot.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    You could add some flaws: too perfectionist, too sincere, etc.



    edit: Ok, seriously now, the "Behavioral characteristics" part looks pretty silly, imo. Unless that's strictly necessary, I'd remove.

    Also, this sounded like you wasted 8 years of your life:


    You gotta sound like a winner, you know? Kind of a big deal, and whatnot.
    Nothing's necessary, it's a CV, I can put whatever I want in it. I want it to be relevant to the fact that I'm looking for a job though. Why does it look silly? What I mean is that there are people who are oriented at working quietly and are great at following orders. There are people who have amazing ideas. There are people who can create an efficient plan. There are people who can do lots of small-talk and be great as in sucking up to press or whatever else needs to be sucked onto. The point is - lots of different people, what I wanted to do is define myself, explain who I am, maybe tell them why they should hire me(...). Open for discussion and advice on it, don't take this as an argument.

    ...I do need to tell why I should be hired, and I don't really see anything in my CV that does that. Maybe a motivational letter, which I send as the content in an email with the CV attached makes up for it. Not sure to be honest - can't offer what they are looking for when hiring - education and experience.

    Actually I do feel like I've wasted a few days every year for the past 8 years. But that aside, I'm not sure how I can present that as a "winner" activity nor a big deal. He doesn't make much, so not successful. He's never been in a newspaper and whatnot, doesn't make contacts or anything, so not a big deal either. So I'm open to suggestions.

  4. #4
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Why does it look silly? What I mean is that there are people who are oriented at working quietly and are great at following orders. There are people who have amazing ideas. There are people who can create an efficient plan. There are people who can do lots of small-talk and be great as in sucking up to press or whatever else needs to be sucked onto. The point is - lots of different people, what I wanted to do is define myself, explain who I am, maybe tell them why they should hire me(...).
    Looks silly because that's the equivalent of saying "I'm good in bed" on a dating website. That's the kind of subjective evaluation that isn't meant to be stated, as it makes you look like a try-hard.

    Mention your achievements and abilities then leave for the hirers to deduce the rest.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Looks silly because that's the equivalent of saying "I'm good in bed" on a dating website. That's the kind of subjective evaluation that isn't meant to be stated, as it makes you look like a try-hard.

    Mention your achievements and abilities then leave for the hirers to deduce the rest.
    Makes sense. Any advice is appreciated, or comment on the current CV contents.

  6. #6
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    I've been actively looking for a job lately, spending little time in front of the screen and all, but so far unsuccessfully. Therefore, I've decided to write a decent CV, however when I thought about it... What CAN I put in there? I've no education and no experience!
    Experience is more than holding formal jobs for pay. There is alot you seem to be able to do; the trick is to package it right. First, start your resume with a statement of your career goals in seeking a job at this time. Something like "seeking position in small, dynamic start-up company developing software solutions for . . . ".

    Put your strongest suit first. I would call it simply "Experience". Make an entry for each of the following:

    web design
    Computer assembly and troubleshooting
    Programming

    List a brief example of the kind of work you have done in each, as in "designed and implemented websites for 11 businesses and 24 individuals using [flash, javascript, mysql, or whatever specific methods you want to highlight]. You have alot of computer experience, and if any of it stands out, either one important project, or a series of projects for the same "customer", you can make this an entry on its own, especially if it is for a company or group. E.g. "Provided computer support for St. Mark's Church (2008-2011): assembled 8 computers for staff use; set up LAN; created and maintained website; trained 3 members of Youth group on . . . "

    List your work with your Dad as a sales position. Put it at the end as it seems unrelated to the computer work. Also include any other non-computer-related work experience, even if temporary or unrelated to anything else. It shows you can deal with a standard work environment.

    Then include a section on education. You must have attended some school, even if only with the equivalent of a high school diploma. Include any other structured training: apprenticeships, on-the-job training, individual courses, or self-paced or online courses.

    Then make a list of skills. This is just a list, without the explanations in the experience section. There is some overlap, obviously, but it should look something like this:

    SKILLS
    Languages: Hungarian, English
    Programming languages: C, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, JAVA and RUBY
    Software packages and operating systems: Windows, Linux (Ubuntu), Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, Matlab
    Strong technical writing and oral presentation skills

    Finally, if you have done any volunteer work, or belong to any community organizations, or have received any awards, list these here. If not, don't worry about it. These would include things like (in the U.S.) being an Eagle Scout, or tutoring kids, or belonging to a professional society.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #7
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    That model looks awesome. Good job, Coriolis.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  8. #8
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    @Coriolis I appreciate your post, it was very informative and gave me lots of ideas and insight.

    Before I proceed with your advice, I want to confirm a few things by providing more information on my experience, capabilities and goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    First, start your resume with a statement of your career goals in seeking a job at this time.
    The career statement obviously must be job and company-specific, however most job ads ask to write a motivational letter as well. In such case, I usually include the motivational letter as contents in the email and leave the CV as an attachment. I think the motivational letter would at least partly overlap with the career goal statement. Reading Essentially the same thing twice isn't something I'd like to provide the potential employer with - do you think that I still include it in such situations (which is most cases)?

    Put your strongest suit first. I would call it simply "Experience". Make an entry for each of the following:

    web design
    Computer assembly and troubleshooting
    Programming
    My experience with that is very brief. Mostly my "site creation" skills are as in getting a CMS and configuring it towards the subject's liking, making minor changes to the template in HTML, CSS and PHP, sometimes SQL. So almost no creation process involved.

    I have created a web interface for a program using SQL, PHP and some CSS/HTML however, but as I see it, it was a simple project. Basically it took the data that the software wrote into a database server and displayed it. Then, there was a possibility of changing some of the data, like deleting the entry or marking it as "done."

    I have also created (or actually radically modified, so there was the skeleton on which I could build up) the design of around 5 to 10 templates for various CMS using HTML and CSS, including HTML5 and CSS3 recently. Also very brief experience with Javascript, used it in 2 sites I think. Other than that, done some editing to make plugins work the way I needed them to.

    ---

    Computer assembly and troubleshooting - definitely lots of experience, once I was troubleshooting a server rig in a datacenter as well. I had rented space there and the tech guys were unable to solve it, so I solved it myself after a couple days of waiting and asking for updates.

    ---

    Programming - I have only worked on small projects like calculators, text-based games, pong, twice or trice on a side-scroller, but never finished that one. I don't have enough nerve to code, even when I wanna reach the goal. Programming is quite tedious to me, I get bored rather quickly. So that was C, C++ and RUBY. I've helped a university student with Java a bit, so basically I only know the syntax. Along with all that comes the understanding of how programming works, how to make a program work, how to code it so the possibility of bugs would be minimized, etc..

    List a brief example of the kind of work you have done in each, as in "designed and implemented websites for 11 businesses and 24 individuals using [flash, javascript, mysql, or whatever specific methods you want to highlight]. You have alot of computer experience, and if any of it stands out, either one important project, or a series of projects for the same "customer", you can make this an entry on its own, especially if it is for a company or group. E.g. "Provided computer support for St. Mark's Church (2008-2011): assembled 8 computers for staff use; set up LAN; created and maintained website; trained 3 members of Youth group on . . . "
    I haven't worked for a company nor have I been employed or took money for it (which would be freelancing). My experience is related to individuals, mostly to people who wanted a site for their gaming server, some of the more advanced workings for myself. Most of them probably were underage even. As for computer diagnostics, that was for me and people I know/knew, mostly classmates or friends of friends. I haven't done any important projects, or at least nothing that hit the news nor worked for a group or a company. As I've mentioned in the OP, I was involved in a successful project, but I cannot mention that. I have maintained a site with ~10-20k visitors a month and other sites with less, but those were gaming-related sites as well, they aren't up anymore. As for my training experience, only showed a few university students on how to use software neither of us knew how to use, but that's very brief, took maybe an hour or two, a bit longer with Java, and that's a maybe.

    List your work with your Dad as a sales position. Put it at the end as it seems unrelated to the computer work. Also include any other non-computer-related work experience, even if temporary or unrelated to anything else. It shows you can deal with a standard work environment.
    I haven't had any work experience that's non-computer related. I'm adept at figuring out how some piece of electronics work, building it, etc.. But that's not employment nor does it pay.

    As for the salesman position, it is related in a way, but I'll cover that a bit later in this reply.

    Then include a section on education. You must have attended some school, even if only with the equivalent of a high school diploma. Include any other structured training: apprenticeships, on-the-job training, individual courses, or self-paced or online courses.
    I do have a high-school diploma, but that doesn't mean anything at all. I think it's implicit, so I don't think it's worth mentioning in the CV, I'm not from a poor village or something like that, we have schools and people go there. I don't have any other diplomas and haven't attended any training. The only "training" is what I do by myself either for my own interest or because I need to get something done. I read a lot, but I can't try things related to networking, I've only had brief experience with that when I was 10 or so, helped to setup a LAN by configuring part of the computers after shown how to. I wouldn't even remember it now.

    Maybe you also meant something like "10 steps to learn ..." by the "self-paced" part. I don't do that, I just take it and learn it my way, then do what I wanted to do with that knowledge.

    Then make a list of skills. This is just a list, without the explanations in the experience section. There is some overlap, obviously, but it should look something like this:

    SKILLS
    Languages: Hungarian, English
    Programming languages: C, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, JAVA and RUBY
    Software packages and operating systems: Windows, Linux (Ubuntu), Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, Matlab
    Strong technical writing and oral presentation skills
    As for programming, I'm not sure if I should mention them - as I've mentioned, the knowledge is brief and I don't enjoy it much. As for software packages, do you think software like antivirus configuration (as far as I'm concerned, most of my contacts don't get how to configure it), etc., should be mentioned?

    Finally, if you have done any volunteer work, or belong to any community organizations, or have received any awards, list these here. If not, don't worry about it. These would include things like (in the U.S.) being an Eagle Scout, or tutoring kids, or belonging to a professional society.
    I haven't nor do I belong to any community. I've search for volunteer work that's related to what I'm seeking, but unfortunately handing out food and clearing up the streets isn't something that is.

    ---

    I feel like I should mention my career goals as well.

    At the moment, I'm looking for an entry-level IT-related position. I understand that that's the best I can hope for with my resume, and even that would be HARD to get. Later on, I see myself in the management, perhaps related to evaluation as in "can that work? What would be the outcome?" In the very long run, however, maybe in my early 30s, I would like to start my own company. Anything further than that is irrelevant.

    By entry-level position I mean something like this (how I image them - best to worst):

    1) Consulting the workers in a company about their PC-related problems (printer doesn't work, mouse broke, etc.).

    2) Setting up new hardware and configuring it so that it reflects what the company needs (install Win8 on 25 PCs, re-configure LAN to work with them, install and configure the software in them, connect them all throughout the weekend). Although, that may get monotonic quickly...

    3) Troubleshooting PCs, configuring them, changing parts, making orders, getting them out of BSODs, etc. (but NOT administrating servers).

    4) Selling computers and hardware in a store (anything above that isn't entry-level).

    I am not aware of any other entry-level positions (so please mention if you are) that don't require programming or visual design, which I've little interest in.

    Setting up new hardware may lead to managing the guys who set up the new hardware, overseeing that it goes well and that we get all the hardware we've ordered, etc..

    I also do not know how prospective they would be, but here's how I imagine it:

    Consultation may lead to management IF I get to talk to the guys in charge (not the management), but that's unlikely.

    Assuming troubleshooting isn't a small company with 2 people in it, it could lead to managing the teams of troubleshooters or later even managing the guys who manage the teams of troubleshooters.

    Salesman could probably lead to sales manager that would work with important big-time clients - companies.

  9. #9
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Picture of a spunking dick always worked for me.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Picture of a spunking dick always worked for me.
    What's your problem?

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