Boost your student CV
How can your maximise your chances of getting a job whilst you're still studying? Here's how to boost your student CV.
Academic skills are all well and good, but you need to show that you have a bit of character, and a life outside of your books. The best CV boosters are:
Take a gap year
Taken either just before or immediately after your degree. Sitting on a beach in Thailand smoking opium for 12 months isn't going to impress them one little bit, but working on something productive like a conservation project, or going on an expedition certainly will.
Get some work experience
Best if it's the field of work you'd like to go into, or something similar. Shows dedication, basic skills proficiency, and the fact that you have at least some idea of whatever the hell you're getting yourself into. If you can't get a placement in the right field, take another one anyway and play up the fact that it's given you a whole bunch of transferable skills.
Do voluntary work
Shows that you're dedicated and reliable, generally caring and sharing, and an asset to the community at large. Especially good if you want to go into social work, or teaching.
Take a part-time jobs
Shows good general survival skills, initiative, and perseverance. Even if you don't really believe that, don't say so. Let the employer or human resources manager think you're a dynamic go-getter. Extra points if you can get part-time work in an area you'd eventually want to get into full-time.
Join a club or society
Joining clubs and societies suggests that you're someone with good social skills, who doesn't just sit around at home of an evening. Sporting activities make you look like a real team player, and positions of responsibility (chairperson, secretary, treasurer) can give you an edge when applying for fast-track graduate trainee schemes.
Just don't say you set up the Dungeons and Dragons society (which only had 4 members), and never left the house for the whole three years of your course.
Have you won any prizes?
If you have won anything during your course, make sure it stands out on your resume, whether it's the best essay award, or a distinction in one of your course modules. Give yourself the edge over the competition.
Hobbies and interests
Try to show that you're not a dullard, but at the same time be wary of alienating the reader unnecessarily. Do they really know that you're a member of Mensa; own every Dr Who video ever released, and that you've recently joined some controversial Christian sect? Whatever you do, don't just list 'reading' as a hobby - they already know you can read, you wrote the CV didn't you?
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