How to Write a Student CV
With such high levels of unemployment and so much competition for graduate jobs, the question of how to write a winning student CV is one of the most common enquiries we here at examplecv.com.
The Experience Dilemma for CV Writing
When we work with students, graduates and young people, the complaint we hear the most often is what we call ‘The Experience Dilemma.’ Students find it hard to get jobs because employers take a look at their CV and see they lack valuable, on-the-job experience. Of course they can’t get hired to get more experience… because they don’t have enough experience.
So how can you break this never ending cycle?
There are a number of ways and you don’t just have to be lucky – although, that can help! What you need to find are ways to break the cycle. Ways to make your CV stand out from the crowd.
How Students Can Create a Stand Out CV
1) Any Experience is Better than No Experience – While it’s good to be selective, sometimes you just need to take some work and show willing. If you are struggling to find work you should take on any job possible and use it to demonstrate the key qualities that employers look for: Attributes like: A service-minded approach, numeracy, problem solving, team working, even leadership if you get chance.
2) HINT – Experience doesn’t have to be a job! Logically, you get work experience, by working… No surprise there. But you can actually develop valuable employability skills through other activities like travelling, joining a sports team, fundraising for a local charity, etc.
3) HINT – Experience doesn’t have to be paid! While it’s always good to get paid and rewarded for your labour, if experience is your goal, you should consider a few weeks or months of unpaid work. Sure it may not seem fair, but it may give you the chance to sneak some work experience at a large office that may give you something to really talk about at your next job interview?
4) Volunteer Charity Work – While you are searching for your job, why not use your downtime to strengthen your CV even further? Volunteering even for a few hours a week over a couple of months will allow you to demonstrate your skills and this will result in more experience to share on your student CV.
5) Think Big With Your Student CV Experience – Volunteering need not be a small event. Sure you can hang out at a local youth centre and help out, but why not think big and really go to town with the idea?
Some of the best examples of this we’ve seen actually involve students setting up their own charity! Recruiting a whole team of students together to plan and deliver a fund raising event. Whether it’s a charity ball, a fun run, a concert, an outdoor play, opening a new building, youth centre, etc. The sky is the limit if you choose to dream up a massive event. Your CV can go from looking empty to looking amazing – and it may only take a few weeks and some serious initiative. Just imagine how good that could look when you apply for your next role?