As an undergraduate, the few things you’re bothering to keep updated include your Snapchat story and your Facebook cover photo. Anything else, such as your diet, your library account and your poor parents aren’t being updated enough. But what does that matter, you’re having the time of your life!
AllAboutCareers.com would like to provide you with a bit of advice (aside from giving your parents a call every now and then) about keeping your CV updated as an undergraduate. As you’re aware, you should tweak your CV for every job you apply for, whether it be a part-time job, work experience placement or summer internship. However, here’s some general advice as to how to keep your CV in tip-top shape during your undergraduate years.
This section should include all the standard information such as your name (perhaps have this in a larger, different font at the top of the page), address, contact number and an email address. It goes without saying that your email address shouldn’t be email@example.com but rather something more professional like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only include a personal profile if you have something interesting to say. You might want to talk about your career aims here, i.e. where you want to go or what you want to be. Keep it brief and none of the cringe worthy generic statements such as, “I have great communication skills”. Say something unique that is relevant to the job you are applying for.
This section should do exactly what it says on the tin. List your school and college information alongside your GCSE and A Level grades. Put your university information too, with the course you’re studying and any specialist subjects.
List the most recent qualification first and be very brief on GCSEs – something along the lines of “10 GCSEs, grades A*-C” is ideal.
On a usual CV, employment history would come before education. But given that you’re a fresh faced undergraduate with a few years still left in education (which is obviously your priority), that should come first.
Relevant Experience & Employment History
Next up is your relevant experience and employment history. As you’re unlikely to have had numerous full-time jobs relevant to the career path that you wish to follow, noting relevant experience that you may have picked up on your gap year or through activities with a university society. This allows you to show employers that you have the skills they desire alongside a hard-working ethos to improve your chances of getting a job.
As mentioned above (though you may have scanned over that bit in the search for useful information such as this) you should tailor your CV for each job, but if you were applying for an accountancy internship, for example, you could list your role and responsibilities as treasurer for the Ultimate Frisbee society as relevant experience.
Skills & Interests
Here, you should mention all the transferable skills you’ve picked up from your university studies such as research, analysis, time management, the ability to work effectively as either an individual or as part of a team and the ability to present information clearly.
To show employers that you are indeed a human and not a robot that is perfectly designed for the job, you could mention some of your interests. This doesn’t mean simply stating, “I like playing chess” but you could mention “Playing chess regularly has allowed me to develop my patience and long-term planning when it comes to other areas of like such as work and studying.”
You should have two references on your CV and one of them can be academic. Just make sure to ask your lecturer if they’re willing to be a referee before their inbox gets flooded with requests!