It’s never too early to start making a CV, as it is something that you will need to use and add to throughout your career. It is also a requirement when applying for apprenticeships.
Your CV should highlight your skills, qualities, and strengths. Here are our top tips for what to include:
This is a place for you to briefly introduce yourself to an employer. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant to the kind of role you are looking for. Your personal statement should allow you to create a positive first impression that you can reinforce during an interview.
List your most recent education first. Include the name of the institution, when you studied there, the qualification and the grade. If you haven’t received your GCSE results yet, you can put in predicted grades, but make sure this is clearly stated.
Listing your key technical skills will show that you have real initiative and interest in your chosen field. Always be honest about your skill level. Employers aren’t looking for the finished article in an apprentice, so don’t be tempted to say you are an expert in HTML if you are really only a beginner.
While technical skills can look great on a CV, employers also look out for human skills. These are the attributes that make someone a great employee, and usually can’t be taught. You could include skills like time management, teamwork, creativity, communication and problem solving.
Even if your experience isn’t relevant to the position you are applying for, it can still support your human skills. For example, if you have experience in retail, this can demonstrate customer service skills, which can be transferrable across many industries.
Don’t worry if you haven’t had a job yet, as experience is not an entry requirement for apprenticeships. If you have done any volunteering or work experience while at school, this can also be used to fill out this section.
Employers often look through hundreds of CVs, so you should try and make yours stand out from the crowd. Let your personality shine through by including some of your interests outside of work. Instead of saying you enjoy “socialising with friends”, try including something a bit different in order to catch the reader’s attention.
If possible, include hobbies that show off your human skills. For example, being on a sports team demonstrates commitment and teamwork, and learning an instrument shows dedication and creativity.
References are a way for employers to confirm the skills that you have listed on your CV. A referee could be a manager, teacher, or anyone else who has known you academically or professionally. Make sure you pick people who you’ve had a good relationship with, as they should be able to testify to your skills and abilities. Instead of listing their contact details, you can write “references available on request”.
Include your contact details such as phone number and email address
Have a professional email address
Check spelling and grammar
Use simple, readable fonts and formatting
Include a cover note if you’re applying for a specific job
Write the words “curriculum vitae” at the top - leave your name as the title
Make your CV too long (no more than two sides of A4)