CVs (Curriculum Vitae)

We strongly advise you to arrange to meet with an adviser so we can support you in creating a quality CV.

 

A CV is both:

  • A document that contains your personal, educational and employment detailsand
  • An advert to market yourself to an employer. It needs to make you look interesting enough to invite to an interview

Some CV Examples

What should a CV include?

A CV will usually include your:

  • Name, address, email address and contact number
  • Personal profile
  • Education history and qualifications
  • Skills and work experience – including paid work, work experience and voluntary placements
  • Particular skills. For example a First Aid certificate or a driving licence
  • Hobbies and interests – particularly if these include responsibilities and skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for
  • Two References (or ‘References available on request’).

What should a CV look like?

Your CV should be:

  • Word-processed
  • Short, punchy, jargon-free and to the point – no more than 2 pages
  • Neat and tidy
  • Checked for spelling and grammar
  • Clear with a simple font and size which is easy to read – for example, Arial 12
  • Not ‘jazzed up’ with different fonts, bright colours, borders or clip art
  • Up to date
  • Not have any gaps in your education/employment history
  • Tailored so that it is relevant for each job you apply for

CV Advice from real employers:

Content:

  • Don’t use text speak – we will throw your CV away
  • Don’t use large fonts – it makes us think that you have nothing to say and you are just trying to fill the page
  • Don’t just write one block of text with no paragraphs – we might receive hundreds of CVs for one vacancy – if yours is too difficult to read, we will not bother
  • Add any voluntary work you’ve done 
  • Put something in about absence, attendance and punctuality – if you had really good attendance at school then tell us – we need reliable people
  • Show that you are flexible – tell us what hours/days you can work
  • Tell us about your interests – don’t just write ‘I play football’ – we want to see your interest and dedication

About handing it in:

  • Make sure you look smart when you hand a CV in – we do notice
  • If you want to work in a fashion store, then show us that you are interested in fashion by the way you dress – both when you drop off your CV and at the interview
  • Never ask your parent or carer to hand in a CV for you – it looks like you can’t be bothered to do it yourself
  • Don’t just walk in and drop off your CV, try to choose a time when we are not busy and ask to speak to the manager. Talk to us, we want to see your personality

CV Speak

You may think you don’t have anything to put on your CV – you haven’t got good qualifications, you haven’t done any voluntary work, you don’t have any special responsibilities at school or college and you haven’t had a full-time job. You may believe that you haven’t got any skills to include – but that’s unlikely.

You will have ‘transferable skills’ that you probably use every day – at home, school, college. An example is ‘being a good communicator’ – someone who is sympathetic, a good listener and able to help others to sort out their problems. This skill is needed for a range of different jobs, for example, a doctor, shop assistant or a teacher.

Think about what you’re good at, how others would describe you, things that you are proud of and what your day to day life involves. Then think about the transferable skills that these demonstrate and turn these into ‘CV Speak’. Here are some ideas:

THIS IS ME… CV SPEAK…
A good laugh Gets on well with people of all ages
Sociable, chatty, bubbly Good communicator, confident
Bossy Has leadership skills
Likes to be the centre of attention Confident
Easily distracted Open to new ideas and suggestions, flexible worker
Bit of a daydreamer Creative thinker
Helped to build a garden shed Construction skills, planning and budgeting skills
Play for a local football team Teamwork skills, shows commitment/reliability
Babysits for family Childcare skills, happy to take on responsibility
Helps out with household chores Organised and efficient, food preparation/catering experience
Took part in school play Presentation skills, confident in front of an audience
Enjoy computer games, using the internet Good IT skills, enjoy researching information
Enjoy fixing my car/bike/scooter Excellent practical skills, technically minded, problem solving skills
Like to do things my own way Innovative, self-motivated
Like to be told how to do things Able to follow instructions accurately, methodical worker
Attended school on time, every day Good attendance records, punctual and reliable
Didn’t take many exams at school but regret it now Willing to train and gain further skills and qualification
Good at getting friends to do what I want them to do Able to organise and motivate others, effective negotiation skills
Always hand homework in on time Able to meet deadlines, excellent planning skills, effective time manager
Friends come to me to talk about problems Sympathetic, good listener, caring attitude
Worked in a school shop Experience of cash handling, happy to take on responsibility
Enjoy drawing and sketching at home Artistic and creative, has a flair for design
Sell things on Ebay or at car boot sales Commercial/business awareness, entrepreneurial skills
Use Facebook to meet new people and keep in touch with friends Excellent networking skills, good ICT skills and awareness of Social Media
I’m a laid back kind of person Able to stay calm and work well under pressure
I always got my homework done before going out Able to prioritise effectively
I was a runner at school, sending messages for staff and visitors A range of customer services dealing with adults and peers

Use positive ‘buzz’ words:

capable friendly enthusiastic calm and relaxed
reliable well-motivated/ keen to learn self-motivated punctual
honest/trustworthy good team worker hard working competent
responsible organised committed adaptable

Use sentences starting with:

I enjoy I successfully I learnt to I took part in
I improved I won I am interested in I set up
I was chosen to I organised I was fascinated by I wish
I have experience of I can I passed I was congratulated on
I am good at I am a keen I raised money for I have good
I want to I helped I learnt that I am I was thanked for

Include phrases like:

taught me take responsibility learnt how to deal with equipment
helped me act appropriately learnt how to follow instructions
negotiating with made me aware of work as part of a team
dealing with problems made me realise use my initiative
new challenges gave me the opportunity be self-disciplined
know how to deal with money communicating with seek help where appropriate
can travel independently giving advice to opened my eyes to
understand how to respond to requests answering questions made me determined
work on my own learnt how to deal with people discussing with

Emphasise your good qualities:

sense of humour hard working neat and tidy
quiet energetic punctual
generous careful caring
like trying new things friendly thoughtful
fit and healthy enthusiastic supportive
smart appearance willing to learn enjoy a challenge

Include experience:

work experience school plays/performances responsibilities at home or school
hobbies part-time work fundraising
dealing with difficulties clubs sports

Include any special skills:

reading working under pressure listening
helping others organising events telephone skills
computer skills map reading/navigating communication skills
languages (indicate whether you have fluent, intermediate or basic skills)

Include accomplishments, achievements and skills you have developed in your social life or out of school activities:

Activity Developed skills
Work-experience punctuality, responsibility, team working
Socialising with friends initiative, conversationalist, ideas person, peacemaker
Hobbies self-discipline, commitment
Sports/music/arts/drama skilful, curious, refreshing, dedication, patience, team player
Computers manual dexterity, coordination, competitive, technical
Reading knowledge, imagination, concentration, calmness
 Travel/holidays inquisitive, knowledge, planning, budgeting, organisation,  cultural sensitivity, leadership, languages
Looking after relatives (older/younger) patience, responsibility, sense of humour
Prefect confidence, diplomacy, responsibility
Voluntary work social conscience, reliability, motivation, caring
 

Languages

intellect, cultural interest, written/spoken ability, interpreter,  sensitivity, communicator
Driving competent, careful, conscientious, safe
Youth Club/Scouts/Guides discipline, loyalty, commitment, group member
If you are a member of a church or mosque or if you regularly go to a temple, think how that may also show your skills of discipline, loyalty and commitment.

 


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