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Jason Patel has opted for Otago template. He is a third-year student with little to no work experience applying for an HR role. His education and secondary activities take precedence over work experience, as they are more relevant. With CVmaker you can easily rearrange your CV so that the most relevant information is at the top.

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"Organised and ambitious Business Psychology student specialising in Human Resources, ready to leverage strong administration skills to develop a career in HR. Excellent time management, communication, and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to build and strengthen connections between different departments. Knowledgeable in employment law and key HR practices with a solid understanding of recruitment, compliance, and business operations."

Jason Patel - Business Psychology student

Student CV example

Table of contents

How to write a killer student CV? The best tips to get you hired!

As any recent alumna will tell you, the UK has a competitive job market once you leave university or college. That is why it is crucial to put adequate effort into building a professional and easy-to-read CV. Whether you are looking for a temporary part-time job or a first secure job, that’s not an issue. The key is making sure your CV is presentable and cohesive. Follow our advice to learn effective writing strategies, tips and tricks to craft a splendid student CV.

Regardless of your experience, our guide will equip you with everything you need to know for your next student CV. Read on to find out how to craft the perfect CV to meet your career needs.

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Preparation: Mapping out the process of writing a student CV 

Curriculum Vitae (CV), meaning ‘life course’ in Latin, refers to a short written summary of a person's career, education, and areas of expertise. It is used during the job application process to assess applicants based on specific criteria for a vacancy. Many studies have shown that, on average, recruiters scan CVs within 9 seconds. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to make your CV eye-catching and easy to follow, explaining why you’re the right fit for a company. Large corporations receive hundreds of CVs for one job vacancy. Knowing that, be prepared to match your application with the company's needs. To do so, align your CV with the vacancy post, the company's brand and goals.

To craft an outstanding CV, make sure to follow all the steps of CV development containing the following:

  • Planning;

  • Research and data collection;

  • Creating a master CV;

  • Keyword research based on the job vacancy page;

  • Designing a tailor-specific CV;

  • Proofreading and editing.

CV structure 

Begin with contact details, then progress to the core components of your CV, such as education, qualifications, or work experience. You can pick up all these experiences can be picked up from different jobs, placements, or institutions. Keep in mind that a personal profile is written last. Write in complete sentences starting with an action verb or adjective to make your writing more convincing and concise. You can also use bullet points here and there, for example, to list your duties or achievements (eg relevant coursework, exam results). 

Everyone’s CV looks differently. However, a foundation needs to be included regardless of your field of interest. We’ve provided a list of different sections that you can find in almost any CV. 

A good student CV must contain at least the following;

  • Personal information;

  • Profile summary; 

  • Work experience (if applicable);

  • Areas of expertise (skills);

  • Education and qualifications.

You can also make use of the following parts, but they are optional and only if applicable:

  • Additional experience

  • Certificates

  • Technical proficiencies

  • Languages

  • Hobbies and/or interests

  • References

  • Awards and achievements 

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Master CV

A master CV includes all your experiences, training, courses, certifications, and additional information in a one-page document. Include relevant or irrelevant information no matter what job you aspire to pursue. Gather, write down, and compile all personal, academic, and professional achievements in a one-page document. List and describe your educational and professional background explaining everything you have achieved so far.

Your master CV document is fundamentally the log of your entire work and academic history. You can think of it as a reference tool for when you need to tailor your CVs per a specific job vacancy. Update your master CV consistently by adding new skills, projects, or achievements, even if they are beyond your career scope. Even though it is time-consuming, we would still strongly advise it. Make sure to list your academic and work experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent placements and education - be it formal or informal education.

Why waste time on a master CV?

Writing a job-specific CV from scratch every time you apply for a job creates plenty of room for mistakes and inconsistencies. You can unintentionally omit certain information or forget how you phrased some phrases. That is why before tailoring your CV to a specific job position, store all the information in your master CV. Doing so will prevent you from rewriting or recalling the same information all over again. You can copy-paste all necessary details or bullet points from your master CV and cater it to your desired vacancy instead. 

Vacancy-specific CV

When working on your job-specific CV, create a list with all the selection criteria (ie keywords and required skills). Collate and incorporate them into your vacancy-specific CV using the key recurring elements from the vacancy page. Alongside your master CV, utilise this list to copy and paste the most relevant information for a job position you’re applying for. This way ensures creating an ATS-friendly and keyword-focused CV.

Your vacancy-specific CV needs to be 1 (or a maximum 2) pages long without any irrelevant sections. Remember that it is not possible to include everything you have achieved. When it comes to writing a CV, be ready ‘to kill your darlings’. 

Why tailor your CV for every application?

All jobs are different. Every employer has a distinct brand identity and way of working. If you don't cater your CV to each employer’s requirements, then you would deprive yourself of the opportunity to land that all-important interview. However, by tailoring your CV to the vacancy, you give yourself the best chance to be invited for an interview. Your CV does not need to be entirely rewritten every time you apply for a new job. Switching the focus to specific skills and keywords while making subtle alterations can make a significant difference. 

For example, imagine you wanted to get work in the charity sector. If your employer was a charity in the medical field, list your biology knowledge first under your Education. If the charity works overseas, you should list your language skills at the top of your CV. Even if you think these details won't make a difference, you have to remember that some student CVs are very similar. A little tweaking can give you an edge over your competitors, getting you on the shortlist for an interview.

Depending on the vacancy, rephrase and reorder your personal profile to meet the expectation of your employer. Make sure to target main keywords related to your career goals, such as becoming an HR assistant, data analyst, or psychologist. Remember to include soft skills relevant to the position you intend to pursue. 

Mirror the company culture

Dive into the company culture by researching its vision and aims. Mirror your CV to a specific job position. This tactic shows your potential employer that you’re attentive to their needs and have genuine interest and commitment. 

Collect the information from the vacancy you are applying to and the company’s website, like the ‘About us’ page, to get to know the company’s brand and values. 

Create a list with core requirements, wording, and elements of the company’s values and needs. In combination with your master CV, use this list to reword and paste information on your vacancy-specific CV. Even though it will be more time-consuming to make a vacancy-specific CV, the cost behind it is beyond worth it. 

ATS and how you optimise for it

Application Tracking System (ATS) is software for employers to manage, filter out, and track candidates via the hiring and recruitment process. In a nutshell, larger companies tend to employ these automation procedures to scan CVs to identify ideal candidates that have relevant qualities on their CV. Companies and recruiters use an ATS to save time during the application process.

ATS can filter out your qualities and qualifications by the following variables:

  • Number of years of work experience;

  • Specific keywords;

  • Experience with particular skills or software; 

  • Certain knowledge or skills;

  • Speaking a specific language; 

To optimise your CV for ATS, look up a job vacancy you’re interested in and list the recurring keywords throughout the text. It could include soft and hard skills, duties and responsibilities, or other vital characteristics. Cater your future CVs to the company culture by checking out the ‘About us’ page. Keep an eye on the company's values, interests, and goals. Depending on your employer, different conditions and key search terms apply, so always check them before submitting your application. Lastly, replicate and incorporate these keywords into your tailor-specific CV, making sure they are reader-friendly and fitting in the context.

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When writing a vacancy-specific CV, always refer to your master CV as a source document. Making a master CV and researching a company's keywords can help you land a job. Don’t overlook this opportunity.

Writing style

Throughout the writing process, use clear language and cohesive structure, avoiding any ambiguities. Use action verbs to persuade your recruiter. Stick to the keywords that appear on the company’s website and job position. A CV layout for students needs to be adjusted to the company culture and fit with the type of job (eg creative, technical). CVs are formal documents and should be treated as such, even if the employer in question thinks of themselves as funky.

Proofread your CV for typos and spelling mistakes. Even brilliant essay writers at university make errors of this type so check and double-check before sending it off. Don't include information on your CV that has already gone on an application form. Either cut your CV or include extra information you would otherwise have had to leave out.

Make sure to harmonise the different parts of your CV and cover letter to make it a coherent, consistent story for recruiters. For instance, if you are applying for a commercially oriented job, it does not help to mention your ambition of becoming a world-renowned environmentalist.

Avoid writing in the first person as it may sound too personal or unprofessional. Only use first person pronouns if need be. Instead, opt to write in the third person without using your name/pronouns or first person without I/me/my. Refer to our student CV sample for more details and guidance.

Need to polish some inconsistencies in your text or improve your writing? 

Check out our CV Maker website for professional help from various specialists who will guide you step-by-step on writing a digital marketing  CV or cover letter. Get in touch with us to get advice from an expert who has created thousands of CVs.

What format and structure are best for a student CV?

Certain employers have a preference for the CV format they want their applicants to use. In particular, they might expect you to submit a chronological CV with a specific type of student template. For example, it could be a black & white, minimalistic, colourful, or accomplishment-based CV. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this differs among recruiters and companies. So, be up to date with the most recent updates and requirements. Employers do this to speed up or facilitate the selection process whereby employers favour one style over another. Subsequently, it prevents them from repeatedly duplicating information whilst slowing the hiring process. In case there is no specific structure or format laid out for you, consider utilising a well-known and easily accessible student CV format. Make sure it has a clear and readable font and that it looks professional overall.

When choosing a font, opt for an easy-to-read and captivating font for readers. CV Maker provides a versatile collection of appropriate fonts, which our team optimised for readability. Examples of the standard and well-founded fonts could include Comic Sans, Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana.

Use a slightly larger font size for your contact details (including full name) and current job position title  – the CV is all about you, after all. We strongly recommend using subheadings or subfields for core sections of your student CV. Use line breaks so that the information in your CV is simply arranged and can be quickly scanned. Remember that employers look over hundreds of strong student CVs for one position. Some professionals even have a specific job for reviewing them every day. Knowing that, be prepared that your CV will only be read in detail if it passes the first stage or scan.  

How long a CV should be is not an exact science as it will depend on other information supplied in a covering letter or an application form. That said, if you are tipping over two sides of A4, then your CV is too long, and you need to trim it back.

Student CV Example: Third-year university student looking for HR Assistant job-  Otago template

Student CV example

Download this CV example - Business Psychology student looking for an HR role

In the CV example above, applicant Jason is a third-year university student looking for an HR role to kick off his career. During his study, he has gained relevant experience, both professional and voluntary. This experience might give him an advantage over other candidates; therefore, it is high up on his CV. To give the CV a bit of extra weight, Jason also mentions his extracurricular activity as a board member of the university business forum and Essex Entrepreneurs club.

Components of a student CV

Template and presentation

When creating your student CV, choose a template that would better match the company vision and your desired position. Depending on a type of industry, reflect on whether your job demands more logical thinking or creative thinking. That said, either resort to designing a visually engaging or a black & white CV to list your work history. Remember that your layout will be the first impression for a recruiter who is assessing your application. Check the company website and align your CV with its design features.

Suppose you’re applying for a more creative position; in that case, you may choose a colourful and minimalistic layout with different banners or shapes. Don't feel bound to stick to one template - feel free to experiment to find out what works best for you and think of ways to make your CV more innovative and artistic. Use the visual forms and colours to demonstrate what drives you as a person. Don’t be afraid to express yourself while displaying your main strengths. 

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Tips on your CV file type

Apply to vacancies with your CV saved as a PDF. Ensure that your CV opens appropriately on any device. Our CV Maker app does this automatically for you.

Aim to keep the text on your CV brief and concise. Your CV needs to involve one or a maximum of two A4 pages. However, it does not imply your CV cannot be longer than the recommended number of pages. A longer CV is more applicable for academic positions and STEM industries. Don’t forget that your CV will be scanned in a matter of a few seconds by recruiters.

Widget: Looking for a student CV template? Our CV Maker tool has a versatile collection of over 20 fully customisable HR-approved CVs templates.

How to begin writing a CV as a student?

Look at an example of a student CV and work from that. There are many templates to choose from that will help you to make a start. Using somebody else's CV sample or getting feedback can be a big help, and it is certainly better than staring at a blank sheet of paper. By far, the majority of employers will expect a student to produce one on a word processor that can be printed on one or two sheets of A4 paper or emailed, depending on the application process concerned.

Personal information 

The personal information section contains brief contact details for potential recruiters and employers to get in touch with you or find more information about your location or personal life. This section needs to be easily identifiable and legible. 

DO INCLUDE:

  • Your full name (clarify the first name if unclear);

  • Place of residence (a city where you’re based in);

  • Phone number;

  • Email address.

DO NOT INCLUDE: 

  • Include silly email addresses (doobie911@hotmail.com);

  • Age/date of birth, sex, gender, nationality (unless required); 

  • Photos or logos oneself: Photographs and logos of oneself are prohibited in the UK;

  • Home address.

Additional information

As an undergraduate student, you might have a portfolio or other experience in hand that is too long to include on your CV. Therefore, we recommend including backlinks to the applicant’s profile instead. This way, it allows you to elaborate more on side projects, experiences, and interests. Due to the lack of space on your CV, consider linking your CV to the following pages. 

  • LinkedIn profile (if representative and up-to-date);

  • Portfolio website;

  • Social Media accounts (for marketers, designers, and bloggers);

  • Professional websites (eg Medium, publications).

Education

If you’re a recent graduate or master’s student, remember to include your current degree information first, including the higher educational establishment where you earned it. Then work back to A-level results, GCSEs or equivalent training you have had. Mention your high-school or pre-university education only when you have little work experience.  You can also opt for it if you don't have much to add to your CV. Usually, we advise you to refrain from using any school-leaving qualification (ie non-university level).

Want to learn more about graduate CVs? Then check out our graduate article on how to master your CV writing skills.

Follow the following structure for the education section. 

INSTITUTION, LOCATION, DATE

  • COURSE NAME;

  • GRADE LEVEL OR HONOURS (if applicable);

  • SUBJECTS, COURSES, MODULES (include relevant ones in your vacancy-specific CV);

  • ADDITIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS, AWARDS, or AFFILIATIONS.

In terms of the content for a student CV, take a look at the following elements you can incorporate: 

  • University (Bachelor, Master or PhD): include the time span of your degree (still to be completed), the institution name, the degree you finished, and your GPA (only if it is 3.0 or higher). See the structure you can follow above.

  • Degree description: regard it as a job description but in an educational setting instead. Just after your degree title and dates, write 3-4 sentences explaining your learned skills attained at university. Our strong advice is to convert these academic skills into professional ones. Think of relevant skills that will be relevant in your desired industry and cater them to the vacancy. For example, take a look at our student CV example. It highlights Jason’s relevant skills in the field of Human Resources and employment law. The same strategy applies to the law student CV, PhD student CV or any other student CV.

  • Thesis topic: a relevant or outstanding thesis can indicate to recruiters your industry knowledge or interest. Suppose an employer sees a relevant matter related to the industry projects and research. In that case, it will demonstrate that your interests match the company’s interests even if you’ve not worked in that industry prior. Feel free to add the final grade of your thesis if it is a B or higher.  

  • Relevant academic courses: name several courses most relevant to the position you are applying for. The best place to place them is directly under your degree program. Avoid adding all the courses you have taken for a specific track. Focus on those courses that better match the job description or company’s goals. 

  • Certificates and professional courses: to display your professional skills to an employer, taking up online courses from recognised websites or institutions would be one of the best ways to do it. To improve your chances of getting a job, don’t hesitate to add professional certificates and courses if they relate to your field of study. If you still feel it is not sufficient, consider starting a traineeship or apprenticeship at a small company that doesn’t require a lot of experience. 

  • GCSEs, International Baccalaureate, A-Levels (or equivalent): avoid listing all the subjects you have finished. Instead, state your final grade and the number of credits or courses you have achieved. Keep in mind that this section is not mandatory. If you studied in an international high school, it could be an excellent addition to highlight your open-mindedness and ability to work in a diverse and multicultural team.  

How to write an education section for a student CV?

Concerning writing a CV for university students, we strongly advise switching the focus of your CV to student societies, courses, and academic accomplishments (eg honours certificate, exchange program, field research abroad). As for the layout of a CV for students,  it is beneficial to place education above work experience on your student CV. Another feature that stands out on student CVs is a degree description with which you can sell your degree to an employer. It encompasses your primary learned academic skills, which you can convert into professional skills. It only applies to those university students who have little-to-no working experience.

Below you will find some additional information and tips on frequently searched topics concerning the education section:

  • Priority of education: place your most recently finished study first. If relevant for the job you're applying for, include details of your degree, such as specific skills learnt, projects undertaken and your particular role and achievements. See the examples above for more information.

  • School assignments: did you do an assignment or presentation where you can demonstrate the skills needed for the job you're applying for? That's an excellent replacement for working experience! Describe a project, your specific role, and the final outcome/achievements. Include the link if the project or research you've done gained any publicity or recognition; include the link. 

  • Good grades: did you achieve above-average grades? That could give you an advantage over other graduate/student candidates. The key here is presentation; you might want to focus on the courses most relevant to the field of work instead of your entire grade list. But note that your grades are not something an employer would necessarily look for. Your experience and relevant side activities would outweigh the education.

Checklist:

  • Place your education section above work experience;

  • Consider writing a skills-based CV; 

  • Focus on additional experience (eg traineeships, freelance, volunteering, side jobs);

  • Write a degree description in 3-4 sentences instead of a job description;

  • Include your relevant academic experience (eg thesis, final grade, relevant coursework).

If you want more details, check out our articles (skills-based CV or graduate CV) to learn more about how to emphasise your skills and education.

Work experience

In the work experience section, describe jobs and work experience you've already had. Shortly explain your main tasks, responsibilities and achievements. Try and focus on transferable skills for a student CV. That will help you land a job, ensuring you possess the core competencies for your desired position. 

Overall, your work experience section would include the following structure:

WORK EXPERIENCE

JOB TITLE, COMPANY, LOCATION, DATE

  • Duties;

  • Day-to-day tasks and ongoing projects;

  • People you worked with (their titles/level of seniority), the team you are/were in, and any groups you cross-collaborate with;

  • Achievements;

  • What you did, how, and what the impact was - any measurable outcomes.

SKILLS

  • Skills you’ve attained or practised, both hard and soft skills.

REFERENCES (unrecommended unless it is highly valuable or required)

  • Full name, contact information, and position.

Make sure to write this section with action verbs to describe your duties and achievements. List your experience in reverse chronological order, highlighting your most recent experience. Write a couple of lines describing your daily duties or responsibilities, then use 3-4 bullet points to list your achievements

Only include experiences that are relevant to the position or where you have obtained transferable skills. If you list work experience above your education, ensure your previous internship or placement was closely related to the job you’re applying for. If it is not relevant, place it below the education section. 

  • Internships: this is perhaps the best substitute for your work experience. It gives a clear example of how you applied your skills learned. Either be it your time during the job or work on a practical project for a corporate organisation. Additionally, skills gained from an internship make you more valuable as an employee. 

  • Traineeships and apprenticeships: like internships, they bridge the gap between your academic, personal, and professional interests. It signals to a recruiter that you have hard skills gained during your practical experience. You can look at it as an investment in your career. Although you usually don’t get paid much for these kinds of training, the reward is much better than it seems at first glance. An undergraduate student with a completed traineeship or apprenticeship already has a much higher chance of getting a job than one who only has university experience. 

  • Self-employment or freelancing are great additions to your CV. Include your job position title, company or client name(s), and dates. Similar to work experience, side jobs or internships, make use of a few lines then bullet points: include your duties and accomplishments. 

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If you’re unsure as a student what kind of job you would want to pursue, consider joining a job shadowing program. It is a type of on-the-job training where one unqualified employee learns from a more experienced one. In particular, they closely follow and observe another professional performing a job. You discover the day-to-day duties and responsibilities needed to succeed in an industry of interest.

Additional experience

This is an optional section that usually serves as a career footnote to showcase previous experience without introducing red flags such as outdated education or experience. 

Think of projects and student society board positions that could advance your chances of landing a job.

See examples below on how to showcase additional experience in a technical CV. 

  • Side jobs: even if you worked as a bartender or waitress or didn’t have a splendid work history, it would still be valuable to include side jobs. They enable you to showcase your ability to commit by performing extra work besides your studies. Throughout your career, you probably also gained essential knowledge and skills, had job duties, and stayed for a more extended period. Examples of side jobs could include a server at a restaurant, bartender at a bar, courier for a delivery service, or some other position in catering or retail. 

  • Teaching assistants or tutors: these are known for providing academic assistance to assigned students outside of a classroom setting. Through this experience, you gain valuable teaching skills such as problem-solving, leadership, communication, and adaptability for each individual student. Tutors tend to be patient, motivated, and enthusiastic about their subjects. You can also highlight Tutoring qualifications and soft skills in your profile summary. We will elaborate more on this later. In this section, you can include the following accomplishments: increasing a final exam grade or a tutee admitted to the bachelor’s program thanks to your guidance. As a teaching assistant, you may include your contributions, the number of students you taught and in what course. 

  • Student societies: if you were a board member of a student society at your university or actively involved in your student community, include this on your CV. If it is a relevant experience to the job you’re applying for, have this in your additional experience section. If it is not relevant, list it under your university experience under Education. Make sure to focus on the skills that you find transferable and suitable for your future career. 

  • Volunteering: on average, volunteer activities are not a part of the work experience section as you’re not technically hired or paid by an employer. That may depend on your volunteering experience, but in most cases, it is safer to keep it in this section. Volunteering is something that many underestimate because this experience still allows you to gain relevant practical skills when working in a diverse team. Don’t hesitate to add this section if you have some relevant experience.

  • Projects: projects could display examples of transferable skills applied in a non-academic setting. Adding them to your CV illustrates your ability to commit time, lead, initiate, or manage projects over a long period. Projects are beneficial if you are supervised or collaborate with others toward a goal.

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If you have volunteered in the past, or maybe you had a brief internship that is irrelevant to your career goals, then best to leave it off unless you can strategically showcase transferable skills.

Little to no working experience?

A little work experience goes a long way when applying for your first job after graduating or while being a student. Since most students do not have much professional experience, they have to learn how a business or organisation operates as they go. Employers and supervisors tend to understand that and will make sure to introduce the essential skills needed to land a secure job. 

For applicants with little or no experience, consider changing the primary focus of your student CV to education. List relevant academic achievements, student societies, or anything else that could be useful in your next job. For more details, refer to the education section.

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If you barely have a work history, put your education section above work experience.

Skills

Experience does not come out of thin air, so use the know-how you do have to try and demonstrate your skills on your CV. You can utilise activities as a member of clubs and social groups inside and outside the college to demonstrate your organisational, person-centred and communication skills. Don't be tempted to invent work experience that you have not had. You are likely to get caught lying pretty quickly at an interview if you have no experience in an area you claim to have. Whatever work you have done, even if it has only been a holiday job, can be relevant and demonstrates your ability and willingness to work.

Hard (professional) skills:

Hard skills are teachable and measurable abilities acquired and enhanced through hands-on experience, repetition, and educational training. Unlike soft skills, hard skills are tangible. They usually relate to specific and technical skills, which you can easily demonstrate using numbers or skill level bars. Possessing hard skills connotes expertise or mastery over a particular task or series of tasks needed to perform a job. Employers or institutions would request you to provide a certificate or diploma to prove you possess the necessary skills.

  • Programming languages (list examples in Technical Proficiencies);

  • Writing & editing;

  • Social Media Marketing;

  • Graphic design;

  • Independent research;

  • Video production;

  • Accounting;

  • Project management;

  • Customer Service;

  • Regulatory compliance;

  • Business organisation.

Soft (personal) skills:

Soft skills are character traits or interpersonal skills that define an individual’s relationship with others. Typically, you can hone them by practice and daily life situations and, in turn, enhance your key performance indicators (KPIs). Think of how you collaborate or deal with conflict when you interact with other people. They are not necessarily function-specific but can be applied in any profession. You can also consider them as personal attributes that support situational awareness. While some people are born with them, others tend to learn personal skills throughout their life journey. 

Instead of the Skills (also referred to as Areas of Expertise) section, incorporate soft skills in your personal profile (profile summary). Doing this will help employers to paint a better picture of you and make the top part of your CV more eye-catching. 

  • Time management;

  • Ambitious;

  • Enthusiastic;

  • Organised;

  • Attentive;

  • Customer-oriented;

  • Entrepreneurial;

  • (Copy)writing;

  • Empathy;

  • Flexible;

  • Risk-taker;

  • Perseverance.

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Claiming skills is one thing, demonstrating them another. If specific skills are necessary for a particular role, don't just claim to have them, but try to specify where you learned them. So if you claim organisational solid skills, try and find examples where you demonstrated this skill. Apart from professional working experience, this could also be organising an event for a sports club or student association.

Transferable skills

For undergraduate students, a few skills can be transferred and applied in any industry regardless of background. Note that they are essentially soft skills but more generic. 

Examples of transferable skills:

  • Problem-solving;

  • Critical thinking;

  • Leadership;

  • Adaptability;

  • Teamwork;

  • Analytical;

  • Creative;

  • Communication.

Personal profile for a student CV

A profile summary, commonly known as a personal profile or about me, is a brief and concise professional statement that shows a recruiter your career aspirations and core competencies. Note that a personal statement for a student CV is different from a summary. It is more often associated with a written document or essay where a university student applicant articulates the interest in joining an institution or organisation.

In four to six sentences, show off your interests, skills, talents, and achievements. A summary describes your relevant experience tailored to the job vacancy you’re applying for. In the last sentence of your personal profile, write down what kind of job you’re searching for alongside your desired working environment or culture. Display your creativity in explaining how you can contribute to a company. Use this section to catch the reader's attention and sell your most vital skills and abilities.

Include soft skills here instead of the Areas of Expertise section. Shortly describe who you are, what is your current situation, and what are your career ambitions. Use soft skills and keywords relevant to the specific position you’re applying for. You can also mention your core specialisation, preferred company culture, and working environment here. Be sure to use action verbs to describe your skills and achievements. Avoid using first person pronouns as it may come across as unprofessional.

During your writing process, this section should be completed last. After you have written down all principal parts of your CV (ie work experience, education, areas of expertise), summarise your soft skills, competencies and experiences in a personal profile.

CV profile examples for students 

Here you can find three profile summary examples: a school leaver applying for a web marketing internship, a third-year student looking for an internship as a neurologist, and a law student searching for a policy officer entry-level job.

If you’re looking for a CV for university students, make sure to check out our website page for more CV examples.

Student CV profile summary - High-school leaver

Enthusiastic and data-driven A-level school leaver with majors in Maths and Psychology. Demonstrated hands-on experience in public speaking, customer service, and team management. Seeking to leverage my communications and analytical skills to kickstart a career in web marketing. Looking for an internship as a marketing assistant in a team-oriented startup or small enterprise. 

Student CV profile summary - Undergraduate student with a completed internship 

Detail-oriented and dextrous second-year university medicine student with a specialisation in neurology. Passionate and highly skilled in conducting research, patient care, and neuroimaging techniques. Eager to apply my administrative and problem-solving skills gained from the internship in a clinical setting. Seeking a traineeship or apprenticeship as a junior neurologist in health care.

Student CV profile summary - Third-year law student

Attentive and organised third-year law student majoring in International Human Rights Law, with a minor in history. Experienced in building partnerships with clients and is fully aware of all the court procedures and case transcriptions. Highly educated on all the procedures, structures, and peculiarities of international law. Excel in legal research, document filing, and time management. In search of an entry-level job position as a policy advisor in a respected and professional law firm. 

Want to learn more about a profile summary? Check out our blog article on a personal profile, where we elaborate more on how to approach this section of your student CV.

Additional sections

To recap what has been said, there are certain must-haves and optional sections on a CV. Once you have populated your job-specific CV with relevant experience, skills, and personal details, then you can refer here to see which section to add, combine, or update. When adding additional sections, make sure to display relevant information on a CV, thus adding value. If you have blank space or minimal experience, consider filling in space on your CV due to lack of professional experience; consider adding the following parts:

  • Technical Proficiencies: specify your technical skills by listing specific tools, programs, or programming languages you are proficient in. Examples of programming languages could include Python, HTML, C++, JavaScript, RStudio and others. If you’re more of a designer or creative person,  think of the following creative tools: Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Final Cut Pro, Canon, Nikon, Blender, and Figma. 

  • Extracurricular activities: have you been a (board) member of an academic club or student government, or have you written for a student newspaper? Excellent! These activities can demonstrate your dedication and commitment. Not mentioning them on your student CV would be a significant loss if you have little work experience. 

  • Languages: if you speak more than one language, it’s advisable to include it, especially if you’re applying for a company with an international team. However, if you already have sufficient information on your CV and don’t have much space left, then it’s better to focus on the core sections of your CV instead. These would include work history, education, or skills, for instance.

  • Awards: this is predominantly used for more senior positions, but if you have received exceptional awards as a student, you can either create a new section or list it in bullet points under education or work experience. You could have been nominated as a salutatorian, valedictorian, or graduated with outstanding academic and extracurricular results at university. 

  • Achievements: employers might still be interested if you got above-average grades for specific courses or projects at university or were overachieving at your side job. It is a great way to compensate for lack of working experience. Examples of achievements could include awards by an institution, completion in a related industry and publishing a paper. 

  • Hobbies: our advice is to exclude irrelevant hobbies or interests. Bear in mind that the purpose of a sound and ATS-friendly CV is to list only relevant experience and skills. Instead, you can use your first job interview to elaborate on the daily duties, achievements, or interests within a CV. Exclude soft interests such as reading books or playing games. If your hobbies or personal interests match your field of work, this could give you a noticeable advantage over other candidates. You need to demonstrate what inspires and drives you as a person. The more specific you are, the more authentic your interests come across.

  • References: don’t include them unless specified on the job vacancy page. Recruiters tend to request references at a later application stage. For more information, please consult our article on how to add your references to your CV. 

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Don’t lie about your achievements or technical proficiencies (eg programming, language skills). A recruiter can test you on that or might think you’re not trustworthy or qualified enough during the trial period.

TLDR: key takeaways

After writing your master and tailor-specific student CV, you’re now in full gear to submit applications for jobs of your interest. Refer to different sections of this guide periodically. This way will eventually master all the technicalities of designing a student CV by familiarising yourself with all the steps needed to achieve it. 

Using our expert advice, you’ll be in better shape to craft an outstanding, well-structured, and sound CV. Remember to divide your workflow into tasks and subtasks. Write in an organised and easy-to-follow manner. Note that crafting an eye-catching CV the first time can be a daunting and stressful task. While it is easy to learn how to make a CV, it will take a lot of time to master it. Don’t aim at perfecting your skills immediately. Making mistakes and developing multiple draft versions of your CV is normal. It’s all a part of the learning process. The more mistakes you make, the better.  We hope this guide has helped you to get one step closer to your dream job while enhancing your writing skills. By now, you should be able to excel at creating striking and well-structured CVs. Our CV Maker team wishes you the best of luck and inspiration for your future CVs.

CV tips for students

  • Use simple, concise, and professional language.

  • Avoid using colloquial or slang terms. 

  • Know your focus scope and apply for entry-level jobs or internships

  • Match keywords with the job position ensuring it’s ATS-friendly.

  • Make and update your Master CV regularly.

  • Consistently proofread your CV for typos and spelling mistakes. 

FAQs and facts

  • How long should my CV be?

Your CV should not exceed more than two pages. If there is one page of a CV that slightly exceeds the page, then change the font size or format of the document so that it at least goes onto 1.5 pages. Keep in mind that a 1 page CV is predominantly used for people with little or no experience. 

  • How long should my job description be? 

A job description should be at least four lines and no more than six lines.

  • How is a student CV different from other CVs?

Essentially, a student CV does not substantially differ from other types of CVs. The big difference, generally speaking, is that you won't have as much experience as someone who has been in the labour market for years and years. Little work experience is usually a drawback, but employers understand that students are unlikely to have all the required skills – unless you talk about mature students who have returned to education mid-career. Therefore, a student's CV will need to make more of the positive attributes of the individual concerned rather than highlighting the relevant work experience. The only difference worth noting is the traditional (chronological) and skills-based (functional) CVs. If you want to learn more about that, check out our related blog article.

  • How to make your student CV stand out?

Let's face it; your lack of professional working experience can be considered a drawback by your potential employer. Therefore, you will need to excel in other areas, such as your CV. The key here is to tailor your CV to fit the job description seamlessly. In the job description, employers give a lot of clues on what they are looking for in a candidate. Use this information to your best advantage! Ensure that the required skills can easily be found when scanning your CV.

If you are applying for a job in a creative industry, then you can go to town with your use of colour, graphics and images. However, most graduate jobs require you to stick with a conventional format, making it hard to make your CV stand out from competitors. Alternatively, you could use block capitals for your section headings which makes a CV look more dynamic. When listing key attributes that make you employable among other more general ones, the wise use of italics or bold text can make a difference, too. The key here is not to overdo the formatting; otherwise, your student CV can end up looking a little childish.

  • How to write a CV while still in university?

You should follow all the steps of the CV writing process, including but not limited to planning, researching, creating a master CV and a vacancy-specific CV, followed by proofreading and editing. Utilise action verbs and short paragraphs to get your message across. Look out for the keywords that show up on the company website and the job vacancy post.

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