How to o Stand Out! Build a C CV for careerrs and univerrsity entrancee – for GCSE students mployers and d universitiess want peoplle who can add that extra something g. Very rarely y is it Most em just abo out top grade es. an you start doing d – now – that will h help you to sttand out in a year or two o’s time? What ca We will show you ho ow to • Identify and d showcase the skills you have gained d from out of school activvities - from drama club to competitive sport • Start doing things t – worrk experiencee and other activities a – so that your C CV looks really great when you ne eed it to Your out of school activities a and d personal in terests can help h to show w universitiess and employ yers • Your enthussiasm and co ommitment ffor a particular subject eg sport, dan ce, working with young peop ple, art, dram ma • The key skills you have le earned from m these activiities eg work king in a team m, being org ganised e the person they are loo oking for • That you are REMEMBER Employe ers and unive ersities usually want to s ee five thing gs in candida ates Initiative Team playerr Commitmen nt Well organissed Passion for the t subject or o job 1. Showcase yo our skills Write do own all the projects p and out-of-schoo ol activities that t you are involved witth, such as • Painting the e scenery for your drama club unday for yo our local club b • Playing foottball every Su aith group class for youn ng children • Running a fa • Entering an art competition d • Taking part in a dance display ummer scout camp • Attending su es for a cake stall that raissed £35 • Baking cake bulance first aider • St John Amb Let’s takke a couple of o these and see what theey demonstrrate Footbal l every Sund day • Getting up every e Sunday y morning att 7am for the e last three years y Well organised, commitmeent and passsion for foottball • Your team has h won 8 of the last seasson’s 10 mattches Tea m player St John Ambulance first aider • g and eventss – only misseed two in the last Attending Thursday evening session s for training year Well organised and commitment • Changed the way we organise the roster to help at events – everyone much happier Initiative Baking cakes for a stall • Suggested our class at school raise funds for ChildLine after talk at school. Nearly all our class agreed and took part Initiative and team player • Agreed who would bake which cakes, talked to the headmaster to let us hold the stall before assembly and gave different tasks to the class – handling money, putting up leaflets and getting everyone to bring money to school Passion to help others and well organised Part-time retail job • Wrote a CV and dropped it into 50 shops in my local town and asked if they had jobs going Initiative and organised • Two years working Saturdays. Never had a day off sick or missed a working day. Promoted to supervisor Committed and team player • Offered to help do window displays. Did some sketches and discussed with manager. She used all my ideas Initiative, organised, passion for design 2. Build a story for your CV We know that finding any kind of work experience or job can be hard. But you want to start thinking about the sort of degree or job that you want and build work experience around that as much as possible. You want your CV to tell a story to an employer or when applying to university. Of course, you may want to try out various different jobs to start with to see what you want to do. But by the time you are applying for university or a job, you want to show a pattern to your CV that demonstrates your passion for a subject. This does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. Here we suggest some things you could do to show your interest in a particular area (and don’t forget – even one or two days helping out can demonstrate this interest). And volunteering to help charities can be a really great way to gain experience as well as helping charities and others. You want to be .... How could you show you are serious and interested? Teacher Minimum two-week placement or work experience at a local school Job at a summer camp Help with playground duty at a local school Join a drama school and help with the very young ones Designer Event organiser Accountant Physiotherapist Paint scenery for school play Work experience at a design agency Produce posters for Guides Work experience with a local charity to help them fundraise Join the school prom committee Help the treasurer of your favourite charity (that’s the person who looks after the charity’s money) See if a local business wants help putting invoice details onto a spreadsheet (ask your local Chamber) Join St John Ambulance Shadow physiotherapists in a number of different areas eg sports club, dance club, hospital and care home Organise work experience at an NHS hospital What you are looking to do is build up lots of work and other experience that shows you are passionate and committed to the degree subject and career choices you are making. If you start thinking about this when you are studying for GCSEs, you can build a really winning CV by the time you apply to university or start looking for jobs. 3. Getting work experience It is hard getting jobs and work experience, particularly in the current difficult economic times. Your school will have someone to help you find placements, but there is a lot you can do to help yourself. Don’t • be afraid to ask people for help – family friends, your aunts/uncles, godparents, teachers and club/youth group leaders. Someone probably gave them a hand in their career – now it’s their turn to help you! • necessarily ask for paid work or a full-time job. Even a few hours or a day in a company or organisation can be really helpful as a first step to learning about a career and getting you started Do • • • put a notice in your newsagent or village hall look on the internet – most councils have lists of voluntary organisations and some have volunteer centres where you can offer your help take up offers of help at school from your teachers, mentors, local businesses 4. Develop your passion If you want to go to university, you will be expected to have more than just the exam grades needed. We’ve talked about creating a story to show your passion for a subject, through extra activities and work experience. You can also • Go on visits to relevant museums and centres in your holidays • Research your subject on the internet – see what is in the news, who are the famous people talking about your subject, what are their views • Find websites that you like and follow them on a regular basis • • Go to your library and ask for interesting books that help you to understand your subject more widely Even consider films! This way you will have good material to show universities that you are serious about the course you have chosen and why. You will have lots to say in your personal statement – which you write for university application. And if you go to an interview you will have plenty of stories and examples to explain why your subject interests you.
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