School leavers - what does a good CV look like?

​For school leavers, writing a CV can feel daunting, especially when you might not have much work experience. However, there are many ways to showcase your potential to employers even at this early stage in your career. Here are some of our CV writing tips that will help you get noticed:

Start with a Personal Statement: Begin your CV with a brief personal statement that summarises who you are, what you can offer, and what you're looking for. Make it concise and specific to the role you're applying for.

Emphasise Education: Since you're a school leaver, your education will be one of the main points on your CV. List your school, the years attended, and the qualifications received (e.g., GCSEs, A-Levels). If you had particularly strong grades in subjects relevant to the job, it might be worth listing them.

Include Any Work Experience: Even if you've only had part-time jobs, internships, or work placements, make sure to include these. Detail your role, the company, and the dates you were there. Emphasise any skills or responsibilities you had that might be relevant to the job you're applying for.

Highlight Extracurricular Activities: Were you part of any clubs or teams at school? Did you take on any leadership roles, such as being a team captain? These can showcase skills like teamwork, leadership, and commitment.

Skills Section: Create a section to list out skills that are relevant to the job. This could include soft skills like communication or teamwork, as well as hard skills like proficiency in specific software.

Volunteer Work: If you've done any volunteer work, this can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to a cause, show off relevant skills, and indicate your willingness to work and contribute even when not being paid.

Personal Projects: Have you worked on any projects on your own, such as a blog, YouTube channel, or a hobby? These can demonstrate passion, drive, and self-starting abilities.

References: If you have people who are willing to vouch for your character and abilities, consider including them as references. This could be a teacher, a supervisor from a part-time job, or someone else who knows you well.

Keep it Neat and Professional: Use a clean, easy-to-read font. Stick to a simple colour scheme (usually black and white). Make sure your CV doesn't exceed two pages, and proofread it multiple times to ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors.

Tailor Your CV: Each time you apply for a job, tweak your CV to make sure it's relevant to the position. This might mean emphasising different skills, experiences, or qualities depending on what the employer is looking for.

Include a Cover Letter: Although this isn't part of the CV, including a tailored cover letter with your application can help you explain why you're interested in the job and how your skills and experiences make you a good fit.

Remember, the goal of a CV is to get you an interview. Highlight the experiences and skills that make you a compelling candidate and show potential employers why you'd be a great addition to their team.