How to write your first CV

How to write your first CV

Why do you need a CV? What goes in it? Take your first-ever CV from zero to hero with these simple steps, even if you’re still at school...

About to write your first CV? Don’t worry! Even if you’re still at school you’ve done plenty to create a CV that shines…

What is a CV?

A CV is your first step to getting a dream job. It means ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘the path of my life’ in Latin, and that’s exactly what a CV is – a document you can give to employers showing the path of your life. Think of it as an introduction to the most interesting person in the world… you! It tells employers what you’re good at, what you like and what you’ve achieved in life so far.  You hand it out when job hunting and if an employer likes your CV they might ask you to come to a job interview.

Why do you need a CV? They should just hire you, right?

Your CV is your chance to PROVE to employers you’re a great match for the job. If you say in your cover letter how you’ve taught Justin Timberlake his biggest moves, it might be a plan to back it up on your CV by showing all that amazing choreography experience you’ve done...!

What to put in your first CV:

  • Full name
  • Contact details: Address, telephone, email
  • Personal statement: See how to write a good CV personal statement on Plotr
  • Key skills: If you’ve never had a job before, this is where you can list your skills and strengths! Find out more with Plotr’s easy guide: how to write about your skills and strengths in a CV.
  • Hot tip: Not sure what skills and strengths are? Well, skills are usually things you’ve learnt through being shown how to do them, like handling money in a shop job. Strengths (also knowns as soft skills) are what you’re naturally great at or have picked up over time, like being organised or friendly.
  • Education: Where you’ve studied, for how long, and what grades you got. If you haven’t got any results yet, you can put what grades you’re predicted.
  • Work experience: Work shadowing or work placements, volunteering or charity work, Saturday or summer jobs are all great to put here. Work experience can take all kinds of forms. Have you ever been in a band or play, or sold stuff you’ve made online? For each bit of work experience, include the name of the place you worked, how long you worked there and what your main tasks were.

Things you don’t need to put on your CV:

Leave out your age, date of birth, gender and nationality. Employers will request some of this stuff if they absolutely need to know it (e.g. your age or nationality to check you can work for their company legally). But they can usually see from your CV’s education/work experience details if you’re old enough to work for them. Check out this infographic of things you don’t need to put in your CV and you’ll be fine.

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