Whether you’re a school leaver, university student, or postgrad, writing your first real CV and getting a job is difficult – especially if you lack formal work experience.
Fortunately, you can still write a convincing CV that highlights your skills and qualifications without professional experience. One of the best ways to start is by looking at good student CV examples written by people in similar situations.
Student CV example (with experience)
Here’s an example of a good student CV from a candidate with some previous work experience:
University student CV example (with no experience)
Here’s an example of a cv for a university student that has no professional work experience:
School leaver CV example
Here’s an example of a school leaver CV for a Customer Service Representative candidate:
How to write a good student CV
Now that you’ve seen a few student CV examples, here are three tips for how to write a good student CV that’s sure to impress any employer:
1. Start with a personal profile
Writing a convincing CV personal statement is the first step to making your CV more engaging and immediately convincing employers you’re worth their time.
Placed at the top of your CV, your personal profile provides a quick overview of your most marketable skills, experience, and qualifications to pique the interest of employers quickly.
When writing a CV personal profile you’ll need to outline the following:
- Professional experience
- Academic experience (if you’re still a student, recent graduate, or otherwise using your academic background as leverage for a position)
- Skills and accomplishments
- Objective (your goal, or why you’re applying)
Here’s an example of a well-written student personal profile that concisely advertises the candidate’s relevant abilities:
2. Showcase your relevant skills
Employers want to quickly see what kind of skills you can offer them, especially if you’re applying to a technical role like those in IT. To get their attention, include key skills on your CV in a dedicated section.
For example, include hard skills you gained from volunteer experience, soft skills you developed while participating in extracurricular activities, or even skills you built up from practising your hobbies and interests.
Here’s an example of a thorough CV skills section for a business analyst internship applicant:
3. Display your academic background
No good student CV is complete without a detailed and thorough education section. Your academic background is likely to be the biggest factor in your employability while you’re studying at university, so you’ll want to highlight your achievements and high marks for employers to see.
For your university degree, you’ll need to ensure that you include:
- University name
- Dates (if still studying, state your expected graduation date)
- Degree and classification
- Relevant modules (include courses that are directly relevant to the position you’re applying for)
Here’s an example of how to list your bachelor or master’s degree on your student CV:
University of Leeds (expected graduation May 2023)
BSc (Hons) Business Management
Relevant Modules: Introduction to Business Management, Business Ethics, Financial Management, Operations
Depending on how far you are into completing your higher education, it may be beneficial to include your secondary education on your student CV.
For your secondary education, make sure you list the following:
- Secondary school or sixth form name
- Dates attended
For your GCSEs, employers will likely just want to know you’ve passed basic subjects like English and Maths. However, for your A-Levels, include any relevant subjects that may be beneficial to the job you’re applying to.
Here’s an example of how to list your secondary school education on your student CV:
Newham Collegiate Sixth Form College (2015–2017)
A-Levels: Maths (A), German (A), & Political Science (A)
GCSEs: 10 A*–C including Maths, English, & History
CV template for students
Lastly, here’s a simple CV template for students that you can use as a guideline when making your CV:
FIRST NAME AND SURNAME
|Email | Phone | Address | Social Media (LinkedIn, etc.)
2. Personal Profile
Motivated student studying [degree and university name] with [# years] of experience in [occupation] /OR/ Dedicated and hard-working student studying [degree and university name] with excellent [academic record, GCSE scores, A-Levels, academic awards, etc.]. Seeking to leverage my [relevant skills and/or academic background] to fill [position name] at [Company name].
3. Key Skills
- Include a bulleted list of key skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying to
- Be as specific as possible. For example, mention the names of software or tools you’ve used, or Google the standard or specialised name in your industry for the skill you want to list so that there’s no confusion with the hiring manager
- If you have little or no professional work experience, use relevant skills that you gained from volunteering, extracurricular activities, studying at university, or even from your hobbies and interests
Bachelor or Master’s degree:
University Name, (Dates of study, or expected graduation date)
Relevant Modules: Here, list modules that are relevant to the job you’re applying to
Secondary School or Sixth Form College Name, (Dates of study)
A-Levels: Here, list your A-Levels that are relevant to the job, or that you think the hiring manager will most care about
GCSEs: Hiring managers will only care about the basics, such as knowing you passed Maths, English, etc.
5. Work/Volunteer Experience
Most recent title or position
Employer/Company Name, Location
Dates of employment/volunteering
- Include a bulleted list of key responsibilities and achievements
- Quantify your experience by adding numbers to give employers a better grasp of how you contributed to the organisation
- Be as specific as possible. Use software, tools, or program names
Previous title or position
Employer/Company Name, Location
Dates of employment/volunteering
- Make sure to use the past tense of verbs if you’re no longer working/volunteering at this position
- Make sure to include at least three bullet points when detailing your experience
- Use action verbs, instead of phrases such as “responsible for” and “duties included”
6. Hobbies & Interests
- Here, included a bulleted list of hobbies and interests so that employers have an idea of what your personality is like, and what you like to do in your spare time
- If you’re a student with little work experience, this is an excellent space to include examples of key skills (such as leadership, teamwork, etc.) that employers will want to see on your CV