How to write your first CV after leaving university or college

Just finished university or college? It’s time to start looking for a job. However sometimes this can be difficult if you feel like your resume isn’t sufficient.

Having a sparse resume can make you feel low or that you’re not good enough. You may consider that giving up is the only option.

Writing your first resume can be daunting; where do you even start? How do you stop feeling overwhelmed or know what to include?

To help you get started, here are some of the most common struggles when writing your first resume after leaving university or college, and how to deal with them.

What to do if you haven’t got enough on your resume

A blank resume can discourage you and make you feel like you are not good enough. To help you, here are some simple topics for you to talk about to fill those blank spaces.

Your education

Talking about the courses that you took in college and university conveys how much you already know about a certain subject, which is brilliant if it relates to the job you would like to get.

Your achievements

Showing your achievements can establish your hard work and commitment towards a task. This is one factor that companies and businesses may look for when employing because they want to hire somebody committed and reliable.

Part time jobs

Don’t forget that you can also talk about and part time jobs or Saturday jobs you might have previously had. This is good because it still shows your experience of being in a working environment.

Get inspiration from example resumes

If you’ve never written a resume before and need guidance, it’s worth researching example resumes.

Looking at example resumes online mean that you can take sections that you can relate to through your own experiences and tweak them to fit what you have done, it may bring points to mind that you could have forgotten about.

Don’t feel like you’re on your own – get help

It is natural to feel confused – maybe even worried about writing your resume. It could be your first time and you might need somewhere to turn for help.

There are people out there who can help you, for example your university and college professors or even a professional resume writer. Also, you could ask some experienced friends and family, as they will have written resumes in the past.

You can also take an easy online course to learn how to write a resume that will help you get a job.

Worried your degree isn’t relevant to your desired job?

This is okay! People change their minds all the time. It is still a good idea to write about your degree because it presents your knowledge but you can just draw more attention to other skills and experience you have.

What to do if you don’t have the right education

Some jobs require certain education skills that you possibly might not have. Also, you may be genuinely short on education however there are still solutions to this.

Apply anyway

There is no harm in applying for the job even if you don’t have the correct education for it. Sometimes it is more about who you know and not what you know; therefore it is good to just put yourself out there, try to speak to people and get contacts.

Research jobs that are a good fit

If you take a look online, you can see that there are many jobs that require little education. Take a look into it and see what you can find.

Read more advice on resumes and CVs

Need more help to write your resume or CV? We recommend these resources:

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Rosie Heath is a pupil at Chatsmore Catholic High School and aspiring journalist. This is her first published article.

Photo by Guilherme Stecanella