Here is the definitive example of a good CV layout for students. Everything you need to know about creating your first CV at 16 that will wow employers.
Have you been told that you need to write a CV but haven’t got the faintest idea where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s everything you need to think about when planning out and writing your very first CV – or any CV for that matter – along with a template for a CV, because we’re nice like that. So, let’s get started!
What is a CV?
It’s kind of hard to how to make your own CV if you don’t even know what a CV is. Basically, it’s a professional document that includes information about your working experience to date, as well as examples of skills you have.
This means you’ll need to cover the main things employers want to see when assessing your suitability for a job, such as a list of skills you have, information about where you’ve worked, things you’ve achieved, information about your education, and also references who can back up what you say.
Why do you need a CV?
Even though it can be a bit of a pain to put together a really cracking CV, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s an important document.
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This is because it’s the first step towards getting that job that you think sounds cool, and it needs to stand out against all the other CVs that people send in.
If you are starting to apply for work experience jobs, you’ll find it tricky to get one if your CV isn’t up to scratch.
How do you write a CV?
There are a few different steps that you should follow when writing a student CV. In fact, we’d suggest following these steps when creating any important document, professional or otherwise.
First off, before you even start to write it, spend some time thinking about what you can feature and planning it out by making notes. Getting the thoughts flowing early will allow you to go into it with some idea of what you want to include.
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Then, when you’re happy with what you’ve got, start to add some structure and build up the different sections.
Now, there are loads of sites and resources out there that say different things when it comes to which sections are important and how you should organise your CV when applying for job experience, but broadly speaking it’s best to have the following sections.
- A brief summary / personal statement about you: when we say brief, we mean brief. Summarise your education, main work skills and relevant work experience in a few lines.
- Skills: think about the role you’re applying for and match your skills to it. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes – what do they expect to see? If you can, back each one up with a solid example.
- Employment / work history: don’t worry, we know you probably don’t have a huge amount to feature here yet, but if you do have any work experience then this is the place for it.
- Education: include details about your education to date. Put your most recent qualifications first and go back from there. For example, if you’re doing your A levels, list your subjects and predicted grades. Then write out what you studied for your GCSEs and the results you got.
- References: just include the details of one or two people who can provide you with a reference. If you’ve had a job or any kind of work experience, use the details of someone you worked with. If not, it’s okay to reference a teacher or tutor instead.
Information to put on a CV
By using the structure above, you’ll be able to focus on including the most relevant information. Just remember to always bear in mind who’s going to be reading it, and what they want to see.
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If you’re applying for science and technology work experience, it makes sense to include skills that relate specifically to this area.
Have you had experience of using different types of software, or writing any code, or building apps? If so, definitely put it on there.
How long should a CV be?
When it comes to creating a CV, the general rule is that less is more. You obviously need to have a certain amount of detail in order to showcase yourself and your list of skills, but you also need to avoid ‘overwriting’ and including anything that isn’t relevant to the company or job role.
The temptation is to think that writing down as much as possible will wow whoever’s reading it, but the opposite is true. Keep it concise, short, sharp and clean, with short sentences and paragraphs.
It’s never really advisable to run to more than two pages – and that’s throughout your entire career! So at this early stage, it’s likely that you’ll want to keep it to about a page.
Can I get help with my first CV?
If you’re still in school and feel like you need a helping hand with your CV, ask your teachers (or career advisors) if they’ve got time to read over it and check it for errors.
They may also be able to suggest other details that you can include, or highlight information that’s not relevant.
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See if you can also get your parents or friends to look over it. The more people that see it, the better.
It’s always a good idea to get it checked by someone else before sending it, as well as getting some advice on how to write a professional CV if you are still at school. Just make sure you ask well in advance of the deadline so that it’s not a rush!
Writing out a CV? Here’s what to include
Your personal details: it’s not much good knowing how to create a good CV if the reader can’t work out who sent it! Put your name, address, phone number and email address at the top.
Answer the right questions: the reader will want to know who you are, what skills and experience you have, and what makes you different. Make sure you address the points while you’re writing.
Skills and examples: list your skills, and then back up each one with a good example. Try to be as specific as possible (e.g. have you got great teamwork or interpersonal skills?).
Your qualifications: employers will want to see what areas you’re interested in and what you’ve achieved so far.
Experience: just list anything relevant, whether it’s a part-time job, previous work experience or voluntary experience. You won’t be expected to have loads. Employers just want to see that you can be trusted with responsibility.
Concise information: don’t waffle. Keep sentences snappy and paragraphs to a few lines, with plenty of white space. If you think it looks too crammed, the reader probably will too.
References: not as crucial now as they will be later in your career, but it’s still a good idea to include at least one person who can provide you with a reference.
Be professional: make sure your spelling’s on point. Check your grammar. Use professional language, not slang. Read over it again and again. Basically make sure it’s as good as it can be!
Example of a professional CV
Your telephone number
Your email address (use one that sounds professional. Create a new one if you need to)
Bullet point one (start with some key points to grab the reader’s attention straight away)
Bullet point two
Bullet point three
Write about 100 words for your profile, outlining your key skills and experience. Paragraph one.
Paragraph two. “I can be relied upon to…”
Paragraph three. “I’ve become used to coping with…”
Paragraph four. “I believe working with others is important because…”
Your experience / career history
Dates of employment (e.g. July 2015-September 2015) – company name, location
A couple of paragraphs outlining what your role was, what projects you worked on, what your responsibilities included, the skills you used / gained, and what you achieved. Paragraph one.
Paragraph two. “My responsibilities in this role included…”
Dates of employment – company name, location (repeat this section for whatever jobs / work experience you’ve had to date)
Years in education (e.g. 2014-2016) – Sixth Form (location) – qualifications gained or expected (e.g. A levels in English (A), History (A) and IT (B))
Years in education (e.g. 2009-2014) – Secondary School (location) – qualifications gained (e.g. GCSEs in English, Maths, Science etc)
References (a couple of people who can provide you with references e.g. tutor, teacher, manager)
Their name – their job
Their name – their job
We hope you found this example of a CV template useful. Regardless of which career path you take, you will always be able to get advice on what needs to be included in a CV. If you have friends who are also working on their own CVs, why not share this guide with them?