If you’ve recently left school, college or university and are struggling to know what to write on your CV – then read on for some great advice.
The work experience section is going to be the most difficult part to complete, as most recent leavers of education have little to no experience to add. But that doesn’t mean to say this section should be left blank, as we are going to help you get creative.
Here’s how to add work experience to your CV if you’re a recent school leaver…
Use your assignments
Any assignment that has been completed whilst in education can be showcased on your CV. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to an employer your researching and writing skills.
Critical thinking is often a part of many essays and dissertations, and you should consider attaching examples of your work to further impress the employer. Your achievements during education should be a large part of your CV, so don’t be afraid to show an employer what you’ve done so far.
A big misconception about writing a CV is that it should only contain a list of grades, a few skills, and any work experience – part time work for example. This just isn’t true, and if you truly want to impress an employer you should look back over your education and select your outstanding achievements.
Don’t be afraid to go into more detail on your CV and explain how you achieved your grades. Make it interesting and engaging, and if possible, try to focus upon certain aspects which could be of benefit to the employer.
If you’re looking to get into the customer service industry, then communication is clearly very important. Did you complete a presentation in front of your class and get a high mark? This would be a great example to use on your CV.
Voluntary work is often dismissed by a school leaver who’s looking to earn money. But salary should not necessarily be the main focus of your attention if you’re staring at a blank or bare CV.
Sure, you want to now pursue a career after leaving school, but it could be difficult getting your foot on the ladder if your CV isn’t up to scratch. This is why you should focus your attention on gaining valuable experience when the opportunity arises.
In the case of voluntary work, there is always an opportunity. There are tons of local charity shops to choose from, and you can also consider a local country park or nature reserve, as they are always looking for volunteers to help maintain the parks.
This doesn’t mean to say you should put your full time employment search on the back burner. It means that you can keep busy, learn new skills, and instantly create a piece of work experience for your CV whilst the hunt is on.
Hard and soft skills are very important to an employer, and they are quickly attained through any role. Voluntary work allows for a faster route to learning and developing those skills ready for a paid position. And don’t forget the valuable references you will also attain!
Hobbies are also important
Most job seekers underestimate the value that a hobby or hobbies can bring to a CV. Depending on the types of interests you have, you could easily add additional value to your application and further demonstrate certain soft skills – like communication, team working, leadership, creative thinking, and so on.
Imagine you were the captain of your local sports team and consider how that could add value to your CV. Being the captain clearly shows you have leadership qualities, good communication skills and confidence. All of these personal attributes are important to an employer, which is why your hobbies should not be underestimated.
However, be careful not to include standard interests, like watching TV, going to the cinema, or going out and getting drunk with your friends on the weekend. These hobbies will only devalue your application, and will not even be worth adding to your CV.