If you’ve just left school and are looking for your first job, your first task is to write your CV and Cover Letter. It is not a complicated process but will take some time and some thought. On average you’ll find that you’ll re-write your CV at least ten times, so if it’s not perfect the first time don’t worry.
The most important part of writing your CV as a school leaver is to keep it short, (No longer than one page) and concise with facts about you. At you’re age, you haven’t done enough to require a CV that is longer than one page. Your CV should be split into four distinct areas that are each going to show the potential hiring manager information about you that they will need to make a decision.
The Top Section
The top section is the first section of your CV and shows a potential hiring manager your name and contact details ( Name, Location and both email and telephone numbers) and any Professional Qualification such as University Degree or courses that you’ve completed.
Remember, an email that doesn’t work or a mobile number that is missing a digit are great ways to get your CV into the bin. I would also highly recommend that you use a professional email address. No emails such as Nakeddancing@ dirtylaura@ or Iwantabeer@.
The Profile Section
The profile section is the second section of your CV and should be a couple of lines about yourself, why you want to work in the industry and what value you could add to the team even though you have little or no experience.
One point, avoid words such as team player, hard-working, and determined as everyone put this somewhere in their CV.
Education & Work Experience
The third section of your CV needs to be directed towards your education and any work experience you have. If you have little or no work experience, your education is going to be a critical sector of your CV as without any real work experience this section shows your potential. You need to make sure you list the schools that you have attended starting with the most recent and clear list each subject and grade that you achieved.
If you have taken part in any work experience programs, this is the section for it. You need to include what you did but also want you learned. It’s also imperative to try and link any skills that you learned during your work experience to the job that you are applying for.
The fourth section outlines your critical skills and needs to focus on any additional activities that you were involved in outside of School or University. As mentioned above you need to avoid stating that you’re determined and hard-working as everyone uses these words in there CV, however, you can show that you are hard-working and a team player by including a sentence such as “ Captain of the College Football 1st 11 where I used my leadership skills to………”
Thinking further, I would also highly recommend that you made a note of your interests as employers want to know what you get up to in your spare time. It’s also a great conversation starter for any interviews you attend and will be talked about at interview.Keep this professional though – it’s best not to put down that you enjoy drinking in pubs or partying with your mates.
Always include a reference from your work experience or if you have not had work experience then ask a teacher at School or University to provide a letter for you. Ensure that you list the Name, Relationship, and Contact details and make sure that you ask permission as they will most likely get a call.
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