How To Write a CV for Students

student are writing cv
April 2021 by


Your CV is the most important tool in employment, and it’s especially useful to keep in mind as a student. While you’re at university, you might want to do some extra work like placements or internships, but that’s where a CV is essential. It tells an employer exactly why they should hire you. CV’s might seem a bit overwhelming, but they’re actually super easy to put together! Here’s everything you need to know when making yours.

Why do you need a CV? 

CV’s are essential in any job role you apply for. Employers want to see a CV to check the skills you have, the experience, and your passion for the role. Even if you don’t want to do some extra bits outside of the university, you’ll need one when you graduate. It’s always good to start right away as it’s something you can develop as time goes on.

Creating your CV

If you’re starting from scratch, it might be a good idea to create a list of everything you want to include in your CV. That way you can start planning it out and organising. Typical sections in a CV include:

Relevant experience – This can include job experience, uni or even your own projects if it’s relevant to the role.

Additional experience – If you have any experience that isn’t related to the job, you can include that here. Try and link it to important skills you might use in the job, e.g. communication.

Education – List all the qualifications you achieved here. This is a great section to talk about your university assignments and how they’re useful to the role.

Hobbies and Interests – Employers love to see personality. Especially if you have any hobbies relating to the job, they’ll see that you’re passionate.

Skills – This doesn’t have to be just job skills, it can also be any software you’re skilled at using, like Photoshop.

Achievements – If you have any outstanding achievements to write about, then include them! It’s always good to show off what you’ve achieved.

Courses – To get more experience, some people complete online courses like LinkedIn Learning. You can make a section for those.

You don’t have to include all of these, especially if some aren’t relevant to you, but it’s a good guide to start with, and it means nothing important will be left out!

State your skills 

Speaking of skills, here’s an idea of the kind you’re looking for. Employers like to see many different skills, and chances are you’ve got a few of them down without even knowing it. Especially if they’re on the advertisement, they’re important to fit in. Here are some of the most sought out skills to include:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Organisation
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Time-management
  • Team working
  • Leadership
  • Ability to work under pressure

CV format 

So now you’re on to building your cv. There are a few types of CV’s, so you need to decide which one suits you best:

Skill-based CV

This is particularly useful if you don’t have a lot of experience yet. Being a student, not everybody has landed themselves a job role so instead, show what skills you have. This can include any you’ve developed at university. Choose around 5 skills to showcase and underneath each one, explain where you gained this skill. You can then include any relevant experience etc. afterwards as the skills are most important here.

Chronological CV 

This is the most commonly used CV type. At the top, talk about your most recent work experience or qualifications and list them in chronological order. Mention what you achieved during the job role and what you learnt. Then make sure to mention the skills you’ve gained from experience.

Creative CV’s 

These are slightly more complicated than your average CV because it’s all about being creative. These CV’s are often for jobs in fashion or art roles like graphic design. That’s why you shouldn’t make one if you’re applying for a role that’s a bit more traditional. There’s been everything from edible CV’s to makeup palette CV’s so it really can be anything to stand out! That being said, a more simple creative CV will be colourful and look creative. As long as it catches the eye and has your spin on it, it’s going to have a significant effect!

If you feel a little daunted at creating your CV, you can always find some templates to use. CV templates are used by so many people, especially when you’re creating your first CV. You might find it changes over time, but it’s a great way to start. Zety and CV-Library are just two of the great places to find free templates. Find which works best for you and give it a try!

While creating your CV is great, how do you make sure it’s effective? Here are a few tips.

Tailor your cv 

Think about how many people might be applying for that job. Is there a lot of applicants? Then you need to stand out. You should tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for rather than having a generic one. They probably see plenty of generic CV’s so that won’t do you any good. You don’t have to make an entirely new one every time but adapt it to fit the role. Put your most relevant experience at the top of your CV, so that’s what they see first. You also might want to change the skills you include, so you fit the job advert better. They’ll recognise immediately that you have something they want.

Also, if you’re creating a creative cv, try and get the cv to link to the brand. It’ll show you’ve got brand awareness and that you’ve done your research.

Find the company values 

Speaking of research, one way to show you’re passionate about the company is to look up their values. Nearly every company will have a page talking about what’s important to them as a brand, and you should use this to your advantage. The company will notice if you include them, and they’ll also consider you more if they think your values align with theirs. It’s a little quick way to show you’ve put the effort in.

Use your resources 

There are lots of CV resources to help you out online, so it’s the best place to look. As well as using CV templates, you can also use CV writing services to get you going. It can sometimes be a lot of work to do on your own, especially if you don’t know where to start. We have our own team of writers that help to create the perfect CV. If you’re struggling, it’s worth checking out!

Do you have any more CV tips to recommend? Let us know in the comments!



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