How To Improve Your CV

Having a CV is the first step of landing yourself onto your career path. If you are reading as someone who’s still in the KS3, you might not have an idea at what I’m talking about, but if you are doing your GCSE or A level, this is something that you should definitely have a close look. The first stage of most selection process in the industry would be your CV, hence making a great impression is the first flair you would want to show to your employer, otherwise you wouldn’t have the chance to show them the rest of you if you couldn’t make the first cut.

The key to having a brilliant CV is to start early. It is important that you should realise the importance of building your CV early, as the earlier you start, the more time you have to accumulate your experiences. Big companies receive thousands of application every year, many of them would like to see their potential employees have a long record of successes and activeness, and expect they would continue to do so in the future.

Now you know the reasons why you want to build up your work, and here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Don’t be afraid to be different
The first step is to adjust the mentality, and it is important to understand that everyone is different, and everyone can succeed in his or her own way. There is no set formula for success, and it is yourself who writes your own formula. If you have an idea, say it, present it, and make other people understands it. Be yourself!

Step 2: Participate in extra-curricular activities
Secondary school and university are the best opportunity you can ever have to expose yourself to different activities. You have the time and the energy to do so. You would never know if you actually like it until you give it a try. Attend extra-curriculum fair, sign up for activities, and use that opportunity to build your skills such as teamwork, time management, task coordination, etc. You can always find clubs & societies you can never imagine, and these are great opportunities for new experiences. Many companies like sportsmen and sportswomen as they present strong motivation and are great team players.

Step 3: Take on leadership role in your societies and amongst your peer
Taking up the first leadership position could mean greatly, as it might be your first time that you are responsible for what others do. But don’t make it a reason to put you off, because the pro is way over the con. It is a great opportunity to oversee projects and start coordinating different people their work, which is a crucial skill that allows you to view things in a larger picture. You will also develop your “soft skills”, which are the skills on the human level such as team motivation, communication skills, decision-making, conflict resolving, etc.

Step 4: Volunteering
Do volunteering, but don’t do it because everyone is doing it, don’t do it because your teacher says so, or it looks good on your CV. Do it because it opens up your mind about our society, and seeing that we are a lot luckier than many people around us. Everyone has his or her own interpretation to volunteering, and it is important that you find yours through your own experience. Try to find opportunities by asking your school network, or search online for charity organisations and join their projects. It will give you a new perspective to our society, and it is a good habit to do to start at a young age as well.

Step 5: Gain career insight
It is important that you know what you want to do, and the simplest and most direct way is to personally experience it. Look for projects and program that look interesting, or an internship that can give you insights about the industry and lead you to something that might fascinate you. Once you know the larger direction you want to go for, you can then gradually target the specific path you’d want to choose.

Step 6: Stretch your network
Open up yourself to the entire society. The world is a lot bigger once you step out of school or university, and it would be great to have people in different places or industries that you can interact with. Also, you can always ask question about their positions that make you curious. It is also important to realise that you are not necessarily competing with the rest of your network, but they are there to help you, and you giving assistance to them when they need your help.

After doing these six steps, you certainly have accumulated a lot of experience and have a better understanding about your life. The rest is to present your life onto a piece of paper. The methodology of formatting the CV is also very important as it make the first visual impact about you to whoever reads it. There are many guidelines online, but no two methods are the same. Choose one, or several and pick the feature that you like, and make your CV presentable and unique. With a life full of interesting experience, you are only one step away from having an outstanding CV.

Additional resources:

Personal Statements
Make the Most of Your Work Experience
Make the Most of Your Internships

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