CV examples


School Leaver CV


School Leaver CV

Isabella has selected the Wheaton CV template to showcase her relevant experience for her first full-time job. Its simple format displays work experience, skills and additional experience in a easy to read manner.

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"Seeking opportunities to gain valuable work experience and eager to expand skills. Committed to exceptional service as well as able to effectively contribute to team-orientated organisations."

Isabella Bennett - School leaver

CV example - School Leaver - Wheaton template

Table of contents

How to Write a Successful School Leaver CV in 2024

Leaving school and looking for a job can be overwhelming and challenging. You may have already put considerable effort into job applications but have not had much luck with employers. At this time of your life, finding your first job can be time-consuming. If you're applying for your first job, an apprenticeship, or still figuring out your next steps, this guide is for you.

Writing an applicant tracking system-friendly CV is crucial in today's competitive job market. Choosing the right school leaver CV template can be an extra hassle, but it's undoubtedly worth it. Knowing how to write a good CV to attract employers is essential in your job search.

Everyone's experience is unique when they leave school. We can help start you career journey on the right foot and stand out from the crowd.

The CV writing process: Where to start?

Just like preparing for your first job interview, starting a CV from scratch may seem overwhelming. It is an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm to find a job, develop a career, and learn new skills. Learn more about the key sections of a modern CV, from your personal profile to listing your GCSEs on a CV.

For more information, refer to the article about a master vs job-specific CV.

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School Leaver CV example

School Leaver CV Example

Download this School Leaver CV sample in PDF

In this CV sample, Isabella highlights her previous work experience. She has showcased her customer service and language skills to gain a competitive edge. The additional experience section outlines how she has played a key role in volunteering and organising successful community events and fundraisers. She clearly demonstrates her dedication, teamwork and leadership skills. This Wheaton CV template is well-structured, concise, and well-formatted, which looks appealing and is easy to read by recruiters.

What to include in a school leaver CV?

As seen in the school leaver CV example, you must prove you possess the necessary skills and knowledge for the role. Include the following sections:

  • Contact details

  • Education

  • Relevant work or volunteer experience

  • Skills

  • Achievements

  • Relevant projects or coursework.

Always use a well-structured and organised format. Consider including an additional experience section to highlight hobbies, interests, school projects, awards, volunteer work, or languages.

A career in customer service or as a shop assistant has many benefits and entry-level opportunities. You can develop transferable skills and experience to apply to future roles. Read our part-time job CV example to learn more.

How to write a personal profile on a school leaver CV

Start your CV with an attention-grabbing positive, and energetic summary. Introduce yourself and highlight practical qualities like motivation, work ethic, and time-management skills. These qualities showcase showcase your ambition, commitment and initiative. If you have no work experience, focus on transferable skills in your profile instead.

The personal profile should create a positive impression tailored to the job requirements. Highlight relevant skills and any (academic) achievements. Keep your profile within six lines, considering your relevant experience and design of your school leaver CV template.

Use this section to explain your long-term career goals or passion for the industry. For more inspiration, read how to write a personal profile on your CV.

Customer Service CV Personal Profile Example

Energetic and customer-focused school leaver with a passion for delivering exceptional service. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills demonstrated through previous volunteering and a work placement in the retail industry. Strong problem-solving abilities, with the ability to multi-task and manage time effectively. Quick learner, adaptable, and eager to contribute to a customer-centric team. Dedicated to providing positive experiences and building lasting relationships with customers.

School Leaver CV with No Experience Personal Profile Example

Proactive school leaver with a strong desire to become a Teaching Assistant. Demonstrated leadership through community service and volunteering. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills from public speaking and debate clubs. Proven dedication and strong work ethic with consistent academic achievements. Additional experience includes tutoring, assisting teachers, and participating in mentoring programs. Eager to develop professional skills in education and contribute to a learning environment.

Healthcare CV Personal Profile Example

Passionate school leaver eager to enter the healthcare sector through an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) after GCSEs. Aspire to train as a healthcare support worker assistant and aim to advance to an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3). Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with experience engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Previous volunteer work at local nursing homes and involvement in community outreach programs has instilled a genuine desire to support and improve the lives of others.Committed to positively impacting individuals’ well-being and pursuing a rewarding healthcare career.

Learn more about how to write a healthcare CV.

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What skills to put on a school leaver CV

Include a combination of hard and soft skills that covers everything mentioned in the job advert. When applying for your first job showcasing your skills through your education, volunteer experience, or hobbies and interests is beneficial. As with your personal profile, try giving examples of skills in the job advert relevant to your career goals.

A customer service role such as waiter/waitress or bartender requires cash handling, product knowledge, and time-management skills. Soft skills such as problem-solving, communication and active listening are important interact with customers, resolve conflicts, and manage transactions.

Job hunting often requires sending out numerous applications before hearing back from hiring managers. Since you have little to no experience, your CV skills' section will likely focus on soft skills. Once you start working, you will gain more technical and hard skills.

Highlight transferable skills from school projects, coursework, hobbies, or volunteering. You can develop your hard skills through additional courses or other relevant experience.

Soft skills

Hard skills


Computer literacy


Microsoft Office






Foreign languages


Research skills




Customer service


Administration skills

Critical thinking

Presentation skills


Product and industry knowledge

For more information, refer to our article on what skills to put on a CV.

How to write work experience on a school leaver CV

Writing a CV without work experience may feel like hard work, but it's possible to impress potential employers without it. If you do not have any previous work experience, list your transferable skills first. Consider creating a skills-based CV to show hiring managers how you can offer value to their company. If you have any relevant work experience, even for a short period, this can significantly enhance your CV.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for the work experience section:

  • Include any paid work experience, volunteer or internships.

  • Begin with your most recent job with accurate job titles, followed by all other roles in reverse chronological order.

  • Avoid including outdated experience; use this in an additional experience section and remove dates.

  • Include keywords relevant to the job application.

  • Provide measurable outcomes or key academic achievements from school, work placement, volunteering or internships in a bullet point format.

  • Emphasise transferable skills from relevant studies or other activities such as volunteering or hobbies. Keep this section short, clear and brief, focusing on the job you are targeting.

Enhance your CV with volunteering activities to add a dash of experience. This can also show your passion for a cause or organisation.Learn more about volunteer opportunities on the UK Government website.

Work experience CV example

Shop and Fundraising Volunteer, Mind Charity, London, UK, 2019-2020

Collaborate effectively with a diverse team to organise and execute fundraising events. Engage and interact with team members, beneficiaries, and visitors, demonstrating strong communication skills. Assist with event preparation, participate in training sessions, and contribute to a positive work environment. Motivate fellow volunteers, maintain morale, and provide customer support.

  • Successfully raised £800k through collaborative fundraising efforts, contributing to the charity's financial goals.

  • Assisted with implementing an efficient event planning system, resulting in a 10% increase in event productivity.

  • Received recognition from the charity for outstanding customer service skills.

In this 16-year-old CV example for work experience, highlighted are essential skills and qualities. There are references to soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. This demonstrates to potential employers an ability to contribute effectively to a team, handle challenges, and positively impact others. Learn more about how to write a CV with no experience.

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Pro Tip

If you have no work experience, use this gap as an opportunity to be proactive. Try volunteering with a local charity or business to gain some experience.

For more tips on this section, refer to our article on how to write work experience and achievements.

Education section on a school leavers CV: How to include it?

Including all relevant information about your education is essential. Listing education should include the following:

  • Name of your school or college

  • Year of attendance

  • Grades awarded from GCSEs, A Levels (England), or Highers (Scotland)

  • Any special awards you may received.

If applicable, add any other activities you participated in, such as sports teams, clubs or community volunteer work.

The education section will likely take priority if you have little to no work experience. But make sure you keep this section brief and concise. If your school grades are particularly relevant to the job you are applying for, it may be worth expanding on them. Such as including your A* Maths GCSE if you are applying for a bookkeeper role.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • List your most recent grades first such as GCSEs or Highers or BTECS.

  • Only include relevant education, such as GCSEs or A Levels, school name, and date. If you studied your GCSEs and A Levels at the same school, list them in one entry.

  • If you are still a student, you can put predicted grades on your CV.

How to format education your CV with examples

A-levels, BTEC, and NVQ:

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

[Qualification] [Subject Name 1], [Subject Name 2], [Subject Name 3]

CVMaker School, Manchester, UK, 2016-2018

Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science


[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

[n] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

CVMaker School, Birmingham, UK, 2014-2016

10 GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

Scottish Highers template:

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

Scottish Highers: [Qualifications]

N5s: [Qualifications]

CVMaker School, Edinburgh, 2015–2020

Highers: Maths (A), Physics (B), Chemistry (A), Computing Science (A)

N5s: English (C), Maths (A), Geography (B),  (A), Chemistry (A), Computing Science (B)

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Pro Tip

We recommend gathering references from your school teachers, tutors, or career counsellors. Add these details to your master CV and use your references if requested during an interview.

For extra guidance on this section, refer to our article about how to write education on your CV.

How to list courses and certificates on a school leaver CV

Courses and certificates can bring your CV to life and show your potential, especially if you have yet to gain experience. Courses are an additional section that will complement your hard skills and professional experience sections.

If there is a particular industry you want to work in , consider completing a course to develop your knowledge and skills. You will demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and it can set you apart from other candidates. For more inspiration, find a course with the National Careers Service.

List all relevant courses you have taken throughout your secondary and higher education. We advise keeping courses and certificates as brief as possible and keeping them one to two lines.

Courses and certificates CV examples for 16-year-old CV:

  • First Aid Certification, St. John Ambulance, 2021

  • Health and Safety in the Workplace, CVMaker Training Institute, 2020

  • Digital Marketing Fundamentals, Google Digital Garage, 2019

  • Introduction to Coding, Codecademy, 2018

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Pro Tip

Looking for courses can help you reach your career goals faster. Research the job requirements and determine if a course could leverage your application. Consider taking an online course if you would prefer to gain a certificate at home.

Learn more about how to list courses and certificates in your CV.

How to list hobbies and interests on a school leaver CV

Choose activities that align with your skills, interests, and career goals. This section is perfect for adding to your, as it will help you stand out.

School leaver CV examples for hobbies and interests include:

  • Sports

  • Volunteering

  • Community projects

  • Tutoring.

Include activities that align with the requirements in the job description. These types of activites demonstrate you have the teamwork, leadership, organisation and communication skills that the employer might be looking for.

Key takeaways

Writing your first CV can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you're a recent student entering the workforce. But by following this guide, crafting a well-written CV and cover letter is much easier than before. This guide will help you step closer to your dream job, even without work experience. We understand that finding work is stressful in the current job market.

Next steps?

If you need some additional help, explore our CV Writing Service to save time. Our team of experts can assist in crafting a professionally polished school leaver CV tailored to your career goals. We also offer over 20 professional templates ready-made for you. Explore our blog for more ideas on achieving your dream career goals and finding your first job.


How to make a CV for a school leaver?

Your CV should focus on your education, transferable skills, and additional experiences such as courses, other activities, hobbies and interests. Use this step-by-step guide on making a CV for a school leaver in the UK.

How long should your school leaver CV be?

In general, your CV should be no longer than two pages. Avoid unnecessary details and only include relevant information, such as your education, transferable skills, and any relevant experience or achievements. Remember to use clear, concise language and highlight key points effectively. Learn more about CV length.

What is the best CV template for a school leaver CV?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best school leaver CV UK template. It ultimately depends on your personal style and the job you're applying to. We recommend a clean and professional template with a clear structure.

How to add work projects to a school leaver CV?

Adding work projects to your CV is a practical way to showcase their relevant skills in a practical context. Include educational projects completed in secondary school for GCSEs or A Levels (England), Highers (Scotland), if relevant to your job application. We recommend adding work projects from school in your education section or additional experience.

How to write a CV for a 16-year-old school leaver in the UK?

You probably don't have a lot of work experience to add or a lengthy list of qualifications so leverage other sections. We suggest creating a compelling personal profile, highlighting a combination of skills, and including your achievements.

How to write a CV for a 16-year-old school leaver with no experience?

Writing your CV as a 16-year-old school leaver can be challenging. We suggest using a skills-based approach focusing on key skills and core competencies. Bring them to the top of the document instead of your employment history. Ensure the details are concise, easy to read, and relevant to the job you are applying to.

Learn more about your career options as a 16-year old school leaver here.

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