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What Should Students With Little Experience Focus on Their CV?

The above question can be answered with one word: yourself. Forgive me then for writing a whole page rant about this! In a CV. Students with little experience perfectly match this description too, in my opinion. They have simple expectations, as opposed to those that have climbed and down the corporate ladder. No offense to senior professionals out there, but it’s the students that usually have the biggest impact too, even though they are not aware of their super power.

Let’s have a practical approach: sign in, create a free account and start writing a basic CV. Ignore suggestions, just write about yourself. At the end of 15 minutes’ tops you should have studies and abilities occupying half a page, right? I have some good news: if you are applying for an entry job or an internship, this is almost enough. If you chose correctly, there should be a match with your studies and the company’s activity domain. 

Focus on choosing the right job to apply to, classes you took, research papers, academic activities, all should fall into place and recommend you for an entry level job. For example, if you study chemistry and wish to apply to a pharmaceutical company, make sure you list some of the knowledge you’ve acquired about clinical studies, medicine or even lab work. Secondly, you should work offline on your CV. I am well aware that you can do only so much volunteer work or internships. But the key is to choose them with a specific goal in mind, please do not waste your whole energy on hobbies and leisure activities. Except for those exceptional cases when your hobby can become a career, focus on extracurricular stuff that can help you build a solid experience somewhat related to your dream job. Using the same example, try teaching chemistry to kids, or volunteer at a local hospital. You can even apply for an internship at a medical research company. When writing your professional CV, you’ll have a short description of work you’ve done that is relevant to the work you’ll get paid for. Help the recruiter help you.  

Thirdly, do not take the abilities you have acquired so far too lightly. Imagine that your CV will get attention to the smallest detail. After all, it doesn’t have too much written on it, right? Just kidding, but trust me, people tend to notice what you write at the end of a page, so focus on writing what you’re good at computer skills, Languages (don’t write down elementary Spanish if only took a lesson in third grade, it doesn’t count).

Try to list two or three soft skills: reliable team member, pragmatic and goal oriented maybe. But you’d better be able to prove it, don’t make things up!

What could help you out in the end, besides a carefully written CV - spellchecked needless to say - is also an achievements section. Relevant information about projects and competitions you’ve been a part of shows potential and drive.

In my opinion, you have to focus on yourself as a future professional. The CV is easily written when doing so constantly. If you would like professional assistance, examples and tips while writing your CV, you can try Novorésumé which is all about simple things with big impact.

This article was written by Oana Vintila on behalf of Novorésumé.