Tablet and Pen

Whether you’re a student in university, or a recent graduate, writing a CV can be difficult because you’re just starting out in your career.

But there are some tips and tricks that can help paint your skills in the best light and make you a desirable hire.

And you ought to follow them if you want to land one of the best paid jobs for students at university.

Take these tips on board and learn how to write a great CV as a student.

Tailor your personal profile

Optimising your CV so that it targets your audience is a crucial part of CV writing as it ensures your messaging is right.

You need to tell the recruiter instantly what you’re all about and you can do this easily by tweaking your personal profile.

Your personal profile, also known as a personal statement or a career objective, is a short paragraph at the top of your CV. It needs to convey three things:

  • Who you are: A graduate/ student in…
  • What you can bring to the table: I am skilled in…
  • Your long or short term career goals: Currently seeking a role in…

It’s crucial that your profile is tailored to the role you’re applying for, so do your homework and pull out keywords and phrases from the job description to ensure your CV aligns. This will show recruiters why you’re suitable for the position.

Play with the structure

Your CV needs to create a positive impact fast as recruiters spend less than 30 seconds reviewing each CV. As a rule of thumb then, the more important or relevant the information, the higher up your CV it should sit.

Since your degree is likely to be your biggest selling point at this stage of your life, your education section should follow your profile. List your schooling in reverse chronological order and pay particular attention to the skills and abilities you’ve developed during your degree, tailoring it to the job spec along the way.

After this section is your employment history. If your employment history isn’t very impressive or practically non-existent, you can rename the section “projects and placements” or “projects, placements and work experience”.

In this section, detail positions of employment, volunteer or work placements and projects completed at university that are relevant to the position. Like your education, list them in reverse chronological order.

Broadcast your soft skills

As you’re just starting out in your career, employers don’t expect your professional skill set to be fully developed. As such, they are looking for motivated candidates with a willingness to learn and so your soft skills play an important role in selling yourself for the vacancy.

Here are a few desirable transferable skills that you have developed throughout your studies and could therefore include on your CV:

  • Project management: organising time and resources to get the best results
  • Critical thinking: accumulating and analysing knowledge
  • Communication: participating in seminars and lectures
  • Teamwork: group projects
  • Time management: completing coursework on time
  • Working under pressure: handling multiple deadlines

Focus on your achievements and value

It’s easy to fall into the trap of simply listing your responsibilities, duties or classes on your CV. And while this good, it doesn’t really tell the recruiter what you’re capable of. Therefore, focusing on your achievements and the value you can bring to the role is better and could increase your chances of securing an interview.

Support your claims and experience with data, facts and numbers to show prospective employers why they should hire you.

Check out these examples:

  • Example 1: Waited tables
  • Example 2: Waited up to 80 tables per shift with accuracy and efficiency

 

  • Example 1: Writing essays
  • Example 2: Researching and writing in-depth essays, refining accurate communication skills

With a little extra support, you make your capabilities clear to the hiring manager and give your application the competitive edge.

Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.