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For Schools & Colleges
How to write your first CV

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to produce THE document that is the make or break key to an interview for your perfect first job. Naturally, we’re talking about your CV. Whether it’s for a job, apprenticeship or school leaver programme, a CV is always a necessary element to the application process. So, how to write your first CV?

Though it can feel confusing and complicated when it comes to putting together this important document, it’s helpful to remember that keeping things clear and simple is the best method. The person who will be reading your CV is likely to be looking at it along with many, many others, so the clearer you can make the format and the facts they want to see, the better.

Here are a few tips.


Major mistakes to avoid…

  • You’ve got a maximum of just two pages to use to impress, so make sure all your spelling and grammar is correct! Mistakes don’t create a good impression, so read through everything you write before you send, and ask a friend, teacher or family member to check it for mistakes too. You can easily miss things when you spend a long time thinking about a piece of writing.
  • Lying. Just don’t do it! Most prospective employers will conduct some form of check on the information supplied on your CV, so any porkie pies will be uncovered. If not at the initial stages, any lies will become obvious in an interview, and this will do you no favours at all.
  • Keep to relevant facts. A CV states your experience; it’s not there to talk specifically about the position you’re applying for and why you’d be a good fit for it. Make sure you cover your achievements in projects, competitions, any responsibilities etc., but any detail about your abilities and reasons for applying need to be included in your covering letter or application form. A prospective employer will be able to tell if you have potential from the achievements and experiences you list on the CV; you don’t have to point things out to them here.


Don’t forget to…

  • Take part in things outside of your studies. Experience outside of the classroom is just as important when you want to boost your CV and your appeal to employers. If you play sport, are part of a music group, volunteer or have any unusual hobbies (within reason!), then definitely include them! If you don’t, you might want to consider taking up a hobby. Well-rounded candidates tend to get more interviews.
  • Make the effort to get the grades! Quite a few apprenticeships look for GCSEs at A-C, and strong A-Level results are still sought after for most positions, whether it’s a Higher Apprenticeship, School Leaver Programme, or even after you’ve been to university and are applying for a graduate job. Give it your best in your exams to ensure you can put the best grades you can down on your CV. (If you’re applying for something before you get your results, it’s okay to put down your predicted grades.)
  • Always be positive. Your CV is about the best of what you have to offer, so be proud to put down your top achievements and don’t do yourself down at any point.


Want to make your life easier?

We know that creating your first CV is a hard task, and we want to make it easier. We’ve developed an online tool that does the hard work for you, and creates a CV so good that employers will be knocking on your door.

Sounds good, how can I access it?

There are two options! To make sure you get the best possible experience using ULAS, your school or teacher needs to sign-up to use the tool first. That way, they can help guide you through creating your CV or personal statement, and give you feedback and advice along the way. If you’d like to use the tools that ULAS has on offer, just let your teacher know about us and that it is totally free! Alternatively, click here to fill out your teacher’s details and we will get in touch with them to let them know about this useful tool.

The other option is to become a ULAS ambassador, where you will represent ULAS at your school and work alongside your teachers – which would be great for your CV or personal statement! Take a look at how to become a ULAS Ambassador, and read our Ambassador Aniqah’s story today.

Opportunities you may be interested in:

Become a ULAS Ambassador