School leaver blog: experience-light CVs, veterinary nurse apprenticeships and more

  • Anna Vall Navés
  • Last updated 13 Nov 2019

Welcome to this week’s AllAboutSchoolLeavers’ blog! This week, we’ll be discussing some of the ways you can make your CV shine, even if you have no experience. We’ll also be taking a look at the veterinary nurse apprenticeship and at the success of Khaliqa Amani, Asian Apprentice of the Year.


Career insight of the week: writing a CV with no work experience

You’re looking for work experience, but the only way to get it is to have previous experience. It can be frustrating when even entry-level roles look for experienced candidates, but it is possible to write a strong CV despite having little to no work experience in your sector. 

One of the best things you can do to make your CV shine when you’ve got no experience is to emphasise your skills. Consider the kinds of skills that might be relevant to your role and that you’ve developed over time. Whether they be time management or interpersonal skills, remember to stress these in the “skills” section of your CV and give examples of times when you’ve demonstrated them (extracurriculars, volunteering, etc). 

You might also want to expand a bit on your interests if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying to. For instance, if you’re applying for a position that requires strong written communication skills, mentioning your blog or some of the short stories you write in your spare time would be a good idea.

And finally, don’t forget to tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for! If you’ve recently completed your A-levels or GCSEs, this might mean you emphasise specific subjects that are relevant to the job (talk about your A* in English if you’re applying for experience in journalism, for instance). 


“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle

Weird and wonderful apprenticeships: veterinary nurse

Working as members of veterinary teams, veterinary nurses provide supportive care for animals receiving treatment within a practice and inform owners about maintaining the health of their pets. The veterinary nurse apprenticeship is a 30-36 month advanced apprenticeship that teaches all of the skills required to work in a practice and that makes candidates eligible for professional registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

If your passion is working with animals, and you’d like to develop both your communication and clinical skills, this might be the ideal apprenticeship for you!

Spotlight on: Khaliqa Amani, Asian Apprentice of the Year

Khaliqa Amani was named Asian Apprentice of the Year last week after having completed her apprenticeship at HSBC in just eight months. She is now working as a wealth propositions manager at HSBC’s UK Head Office in Birmingham. 

Yet Khaliqa had to overcome a major career setback before her great success as an apprentice. Originally aiming to become a doctor, Khaliqa earned a place at university before receiving the news that she did not qualify for a tuition fee loan because she had not lived in the UK for three years. 

The possibility of becoming an apprentice at HSBC UK—which meant she would learn without the debt of a university education—greatly appealed to Khaliqa. Since she completed her apprenticeship, she’s been promoted twice and has been able to buy a home and help support her family aged just 21. 

Christine Foyster, her line manager, said: “Khaliqa’s success at HSBC UK throughout and since her apprenticeship really speaks for itself. Two big promotions within less than two years is a rare occurrence at this organisation… a highly-motivated and passionate professional, Khaliqa has battled against the odds to create the beginnings of what will undoubtedly be a very successful career in the banking industry.”

Recommended reading

  1. With the general election coming up in a month, here’s a guide to everything young people need to know about voting
  2. It’s normal for your career path to take rather unpredictable turns—but don’t just take it from us
  3. Distrustful? Studies show you learn more from being gullible than from being overly precautious. 
  4. Want to know what the next Internet troll will be? “Watch the misogynists,” says Olivia Goldhill. 
  5. Finally, here’s an overview of the debate on no-platforming at schools and universities. What do you think?


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