Phew – another year done and dusted.

Whilst many of you are wrapping up the end of what I’m sure was a stressful exam period and having a well-deserved rest, some of you may start to think towards finding summertime work to replenish your funds (that have no doubt taken a hiding over the past few months).

So – where to start? Well, in order for you to start putting yourself out there in the working world, you might want to consider upgrading your CV. If you’re anything like me, the last time I even looked at my CV was back in college. Chances are, a lot has changed since then.

If you want your CV to stand out from others in the pile, then it’s worth spending a little time revamping it in order to boost your chances with being considered as a potential employee.

Here are a few top tips on creating a tip-top CV:

  • Keep it short, sweet and compact: Even if you’ve got pages and pages worth of qualifications and awards, try your best to briefly describe your academic, working and extra-curricular achievements. Employers don’t want to spend hours reading through pages and pages, any more than two and they might not read it at all. Try to accentuate your most impressive attributes.
  • Try to customise your CV yourself, rather than using a simple template downloaded off the internet. This will show employers you have put some time and effort in! Include bold, clear and colourful headings.
  • Create a CV for every different type of job you apply to – generic CVs are not appealing as it appears you’ve simply printed a pile and handed them to any place that would take them. This does not show your desire to work for a certain establishment.
  • Make sure you try to highlight and demonstrate skills that would be useful in your prospective job…for example, if you are applying for a waitress job you could say “I enjoy working alongside others and can communicate, listen and learn well” which shows you can work well in a team. If you can, also include evidence and an example of these skills in the workplace.
  • Include a small picture of yourself – not one with a glass of wine in your hand or out in a club, a presentable picture please!
  • Specify the type of work you are looking for (part time, full time, seasonal) and also your availability and any holidays/time off you have booked during the summer.
  • Don’t lie…even if it is just a small little white lie such as that C you got in Science instead of D, if they ask for proof then you’ll be caught out big time. Even if you lie about your past working experiences and unfortunate dismissals for whatever reasons, employers would rather you be outright honest rather than making up some elaborate story that you have to keep up.
  • Ensure all grammar and spelling is double checked and correct! Be sure to use proper English language and not slang. A simple error like this in the first few sentences can end up with your CV being discarded straight away.
  • Include a small personal statement/reference from a previous employer or lecturer/tutor/teacher (if you’ve never worked before) with contact details for at least two. This will demonstrate what others think of you in a working/academic environment (ideally in a favourable light!).
  • Make sure it’s up to date.

And one final tip, from experience, don’t take in your CV during peak times (11am-2pm usually!) in businesses such as restaurants, cafés and retail shops. My boss would be infuriated when people would come in right in the middle of service asking about vacancies – she would turn them straight away (simply because she didn’t have time to talk to them) and more often than not, throw their CV straight in the bin. So, be considerate and go when there is more time for you to talk one on one with the employer.

I hope this blog is helpful to all you students looking for work over the summer! Do you have any other top tips for a successful CV? Don’t forget to comment below and share with the community!