How to o Stand O Build a C CV for career

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
an you start doing
– 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
– worrk experiencee and other activities
– so that your C
CV looks really great
when you ne
eed it to
Your out of school activities
d personal in terests can help
to show
w universitiess and employ
• Your enthussiasm and co
ommitment ffor a particular subject eg sport, dan ce, working with
young peop
ple, art, dram
• The key skills you have le
earned from
m these activiities eg work
king in a team
m, being org
e the person they are loo
oking for
• That you are
ers and unive
ersities usually want to s ee five thing
gs in candida
Team playerr
Well organissed
Passion for the
t subject or
o job
1. Showcase yo
our skills
Write do
own all the projects
and out-of-schoo
ol activities that
you are involved witth, such as
• Painting the
e scenery for your drama club
unday for yo
our local club
• Playing foottball every Su
aith group class for youn
ng children
• Running a fa
• Entering an art competition
• 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
Getting up every
y morning att 7am for the
e last three years
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
Well organised and commitment
Changed the way we organise the roster to help at events – everyone much happier
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?
Minimum two-week placement or work experience at a local
Job at a summer camp
Help with playground duty at a local school
Join a drama school and help with the very young ones
Event organiser
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
• 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
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
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.