You've probably already been told that CVs are important.
Whether you're at the start, middle or end of your career, potential employers will almost always ask to see them.
In order to turn a good CV into a really great one, we need to first of all need to understand what potential employers are looking for in a candidate. Towards the bottom of this post, you'll find one of our CV examples that highlights what information you should aim to include on your Curriculum Vitae.
You should also check out our post How to Write a CV for more information.
Why do I need a CV?
Think of yourself as a brand new smartphone (stay with us on this...)
There are lots of smartphones on the market, so what helps someone pick you over another one?
In the same way, there are other people out there looking for similar jobs, so what things might make an employer choose you over someone else for an interview?
That’s where your CV comes in.
Your CV is one of the best ways of advertising yourself to an employer. It gives you the chance to show them that you are qualified, skilled, motivated and ready for work and to explain what sets you apart from the rest, all in a page or two.
Sending your CV is also often the first piece of contact you will make with a potential employer, so it's important to use it to make a good first impression.
What's special about my first CV?
Your first CV is a bit different because you won’t normally have as much work experience to put in there.
Instead it’s mainly a space to list your skills, interests, education and achievements.
Once people have been working a while, they might use a ‘chronological’ CV, which lists the places they have worked in order of date along with their main responsibilities. They don’t need to spend as much time highlighting skills as their work experience and responsibilities show this.
When you make your first student CV, what you need to do is show you have what it takes to do the job without the work experience.
For this reason, a first CV should be skills / qualifications based rather than chronological. We looked at 'soft skills' in an earlier article, well this is the place to talk about them.
What should my first CV look like?
While you might get some good design ideas form looking at CV examples online, remember that a Curriculum Vitae is a unique thing, so think first before you download just any old free CV template.
Your CV layout is also important, so take note of where each section appears in the template below. A poorly structured CV layout can put employers off hiring you, so try to make your Curriculum Vitae look as presentable as possible and easy to read.
Check out our free CV example template below to give you some ideas on where to start with making your first student CV:
Getting the hang of it? Take a look at our list of CV do's and don'ts to help you prioritise what info to include.
What do you think of our free CV template? How does it compare to your current Curriculum Vitae?
Thanks to Right Futures and Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form for providing valuable input into the SkillUp series.