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How to build your CV while at university

30 August 2022

Graduate schemes and internships are competitive, so when landing your dream job after university, you’ll want a CV that helps you stand out from the crowd. From expanding your skills and experience to showcasing your talents to future employers, this article will help you build your CV and secure a graduate job. 

Seven things you can do to boost your CV

Volunteer

Not only is volunteering good for the soul, but it’s good for the CV too. In addition, volunteering showcases excellent interpersonal skills and could bring valuable experience to your chosen career path. For example, if you want to secure a marketing role, you could volunteer to create content for a local charity or fundraiser. 

Not sure where to start? Check out Do IT, a database of volunteering roles all over the UK.  

 

Join the student union, club, or group

Whether you opt for something purely social or more community based, involving yourself in unions, societies, or clubs is a great way to showcase your level of commitment to potential employers. What’s more, you’ll be able to boost your transferable skills, meet like-minded people and have something interesting to talk about in job interviews. 

 

Get a part-time job

Regardless of whether you can find a role relevant to your degree, work ethic is always desirable in graduates. No matter your job, showing that you’re reliable and can juggle a degree with part-time work is sure to win you some brownie points. More importantly, causal part-time jobs can help you develop many essential soft skills, from working in a team to problem-solving and punctuality. 

 

Learn a new skill

We understand that a lot of stuff is going on while you’re at university. However, if you have the capacity to learn a new skill, you absolutely should. Developing skills specific to your career path will give you an edge over other applicants. 

You have plenty of options when it comes to learning a new skill. Whether you opt for courses online and at university, paid courses on Udemy or YouTube tutorials and self-learning, dedicating your time to learning something new is a valuable way to boost your CV. 

 

Use the careers advice service at the university

While this may come as a surprise to some students, every university has a careers service. So, please make use of it! From helping you achieve long-term goals and accessing schemes to help you become more employable to connecting you with recruiters and networking events, the careers advice service is an invaluable tool. So, don’t sleep on it! 

 

Keep track of any achievements at university

Three or more years is a long time at university. If you leave it until you’re ready to apply for jobs to write your CV, you might forget about your achievements over the years. So, be sure to keep track of any achievements at university. 

Whether you regularly update your CV or put together an online portfolio on LinkedIn or your personal website, compiling your highlights is highly recommended. 

 

Network and attend events

Networking has never been easier. From LinkedIn and Facebook groups to local events and job fairs, building relationships is an excellent way to boost your CV. So, take the time to research networking opportunities within your chosen industry and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. 

As part of these communities, you’ll get access to conferences, panels and even free courses – all of which are great talking points and/or additions to your CV. 

Be sure to check out student organisations too. There are several organisations on hand to support students trying to get into specific industries and often run regular events offering a perfect taster of what to expect in your future role. 

 

Perfecting your CV

According to Under Cover Recruiter, recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds looking at a CV. While these stats are a little daunting, they’re also an excellent motivator for perfecting your CV. 

Take your time researching how to write an excellent CV and cover letter to ensure you’re on a level playing field with other applicants. From starting strong and using keywords to customising to a specific job role, there are plenty of tips and tricks at your fingertips. So, be sure to use them! 

 

Novel is much more than a student accommodation provider, we’re built to be the backdrop to your success. We regularly hold valuable career-related activities such as assistance with CV drafting and headshot shoot days to help you get the most out of your university experience. Best of luck finding your dream graduate job; you’ve got this! 

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