Writing your first CV can be a daunting task. You might still be a student, and chances are you don’t have too much professional experience under your belt just yet. But don’t worryeveryone else was in the same boat when they first started out. Here’s how to write your first CV from scratch.
Step 1: Brainstorm
Before you even get started typing anything up, take a moment to jot down the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Unfortunately, you can’t just create one CV and send it off to a dozen companiesnot if you want a fighting chance at getting interviews. Take the time to study each job posting and think about how you can show that you’re the onethe ideal candidatethey’re looking for. Remember, this is the way you’re introducing yourself to a potential employer; make them think, “this person is perfect for the job!”
Especially when you’re just starting out, your CV doesn’t have to only include past employment. Think about experiences in which you’ve taken on leadership roles, demonstrated initiative, or learned a specific skill. You’ll want employers to know about those. This list could include awards, skills with certain computer programmes, volunteer projects, leadership roles in the community, university organisations, or classes you’ve taken that are relevant to the job.
Always keep the employer and job description in mind: how can you show them that your experience and skills make you perfect for this position? Keep whatever you list on your CV relevant and tailored to the position.
Step 2: Putting It All Together
Now it’s time to get writing. There are many CV examples on the web that you can use for reference and inspiration. Use a professional format, and make sure your CV is simple, clean, and easy to get information from. For a first CV, you’ll probably only need one page.
Start your CV with a summary statement that discusses your career goals and personal strengths. If a hiring manager were to only read your summary statement and nothing else on your CV, they should know exactly what you’ve done in your career and what you want to do moving forward. So try your hardest to relate your past experience (even if it’s school) to the target job.
Generally, CVs from students and recent grads highlight their education. List colleges that you’ve attended (or high schools, if you haven’t gone to college yet), along with your graduation or expected graduation date and type of degree. Most career experts agree that you should leave off your class unless it’s particularly impressive.
Next, you’ll have an experience section. This is where you put past jobs and internships. Include specific information about what your job duties wereusually this information is bulleted. Try to write job descriptions that show that you took initiative or accomplished a specific goal (use numbers if you can).
After that, it gets a little more personal. Depending on your specific background and the position you’re applying to, there are lots of other sections you might add: volunteer experience, relevant coursework, extracurricular activities and community involvement, computer or language skills, or professional certifications.
Don’t stress these sections too much! Remember that the goal is to communicate your experience to a hiring manager in a clear and concise manner, not to wow them with your CV design.
Step 3: Proofread!
You may have heard that if your CV has even one typo, it’ll be thrown in the trash. Whilst this isn’t always true, you certainly won’t look conscientious or detail orientated if your CV is littered with errors.
Don’t rely on your word processing programme to catch errorsprint out your CV and proofread it. Then find a friend and ask them to proofread it. Run it past your grandma. Better yet, use an online CV check that will scan your CV for any and all mistakes.
Step 4: Use the Web
LiveCareer”s CV Builder will help you write an eye-catching, professional CV from scratch. You can choose a stylish design, insert pre-written CV examples for any job you want, and properly highlight your skillsall in a few minutes. Don’t try to write a CV alone! Let the career experts help you out.