Penelope is a Business Psychology student specialising in Human Resources (HR), ready to leverage her strong administration skills to start a career in HR. Part-time or voluntary experience has been strategically incorporated into the additional experience section with years only.Create your CV
"Knowledgeable in employment law and key HR practices with a solid understanding of recruitment, compliance, and business operations."Penelope Johnstone - Business Psychology student
Table of contents
How to Write a Student CV (Step-by-Step guide with examples)
Creating a powerful student CV is an essential step to landing your job. Whether at a secondary school, college, or university, you need to know which template to choose and what to include in a CV as a student while ensuring it is Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly. However, finding a new job can feel like a job in itself, especially when you lack work experience.
To stand out from other candidates, highlight your strongest skills, personality, and side activities. By doing so, you can effectively differentiate yourself and make a lasting impression on potential employers. Our CV examples in the UK can serve as a valuable basis for crafting your student CV. Remember, the key lies in making your CV presentable and easy to follow, ensuring it is eye-catching.
The research has shown that, on average, recruiters scan your CV in no more than 7 seconds, making it of utmost importance to have a well-structured, concise, and tailored CV. To ensure this, we advise conducting thorough research about the company and desired job position before you start writing your CV. Whether you are a high school student or a college student, there are two main stages to the CV writing process: creating a master and job-specific CV. See our graduate CV and internship CV for more inspiration.
A master CV includes all your experiences, training, courses, certifications, and additional information in one document. The aim is to have as much information as possible about previous work or volunteer experience, even if you think it is irrelevant or outdated. Ultimately, this document logs your entire work and academic history. Keep track and update it regularly by adding new skills, tasks, or achievements, even if they are beyond your job scope.
For more tips, refer to the blog on entering the workforce after graduation.
When tailoring your student CV for a specific role, research a position of interest to ensure you are using keywords and skills that are both relevant and accurate. Making a job-specific CV may seem more time-consuming, but you are guaranteed to reap the rewards with a well-written and keyword-centred CV. The length should be at most two pages, preferably one page for students or individuals with little to no experience.
Refer to how to improve your CV for more details.
When writing a job-specific CV, always refer to your master CV as a source document. Making a master CV and researching the company's keywords can increase your chances of getting shortlisted for the ATS screening.
In the student CV example above, Penelope is a third-year university student looking to kickstart her career in Human Resources. She opted for a one-column format and a simple student CV template. During her studies, Penelope gained relevant experience, both professionally and voluntarily. By including education at the top of the CV, we can draw attention to key skills and qualifications. Part-time or voluntary experience has been strategically incorporated into the additional experience section with years only.
There are certain must-have and optional sections on a CV. Once you have populated your job-specific CV with relevant experience, skills, and personal details, carefully assess what optional information would still be beneficial to include. For more information, refer to the cornerstone article on how to write a good CV.
A profile summary, also known as a personal profile, is a brief professional statement at the top of your CV that summarises your areas of expertise and achievements. Start by highlighting your education, previous work history, and career goals. Keep it clear, concise, and specific to the job description you’re targeting.
To learn more, read our blog article on how to write a personal profile.
Examples of personal profiles
The following provides six examples of various types of student profiles: school leaver, high school student and undergraduate university students with and without work experience.
A-Level student personal profile example
Highly motivated and data-driven A-level student with a keen interest in computer science. Skilled in Python and Java, with a solid knowledge of algorithms and data structures. Seeking an internship in a tech company to further develop my programming skills and contribute to business development.
High-school student personal profile example
Enthusiastic and data-driven school leaver with a passion for marketing. 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 start-up or small enterprise.
Undergraduate student personal profile example
Detail-oriented and dextrous second-year university medical student specialising 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.
School leaver personal profile example
Creative school leaver with a passion for graphic design. Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite with an extensive portfolio of student newspapers. Seeking to apply my strong artistic, collaboration, and communication skills and gain practical industry experience in a design studio or marketing agency.
Graduate personal profile example
Attentive and organised graduate majoring in International Human Rights Law, experienced in building partnerships with clients and knowledgeable in court procedures and case transcriptions. Adept at 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.
Intern personal profile example
Ambitious and analytical Business Analyst intern with a passion for solving business problems through efficient and data-driven solutions. Excelled communication and problem-solving skills. Adept at writing reports, performing research, and analysing data.
Discover more related personal profile examples in our undergraduate CV example.
Skills come in many forms, some more naturally than others. When deciding what to include on a CV, don't be tempted to invent skills just because you think it would be more beneficial. Instead, carefully assess your top skills and differentiate between relevant hard and soft skills. Refer to the skills article for more information.
Examples of hard skills
Also known as professional skills and are teachable and measurable abilities acquired or enhanced through hands-on experience, repetition, and educational training.
Social media marketing
Examples of soft skills
Also known as personal skills, these skills are more related to character traits or interpersonal skills that define an individual’s relationship with others.
Examples of transferable skills
For students, a few soft skills can be transferred and applied in any industry, regardless of background.
Within this section, the main aim is to include relevant jobs, explaining your day-to-day duties, applied knowledge, and key achievements or learnings. Only include experiences that are relevant to the position or where you have obtained transferable skills. That will help you land a job, ensuring you possess the core competencies for your desired job. Refer to the work experience on a CV blog for more information.
Digital Marketing Assistant | Atlas Copco, London, UK | 2023 - Present
Designed and implemented content marketing campaigns to drive demand and awareness to stand out from the competitors.
Improved marketing systems such as CRM and marketing automation systems including Salesforce, Eloqua and Workfront.
Ensured customer advocacy by performing market analysis and research on the latest trends to safeguard high levels of client satisfaction.
Cocktail bartender | Cosy Club, Bristol, UK | 2022-2023
Elected to manage all social media accounts and grew Instagram following by 5K in three months.
Developed a strategic content marketing plan across different social media platforms.
Implemented 5 new captivating cocktail recipes, which led to a 20% increase in bar revenue.
Economics tutor | University College London, UK | 2020-2022
Provide individual and group tutoring to 10+ students to first-year economics students.
Tutored 8 students, with three achieving over 90 as a final grade.
Initiated and produced new classroom materials and resources.
Waiter | The Cottage, Manchester, UK |2018-2020
Gained excellent verbal communication skills and able to work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
Collaborated with team members to improve shift management, routine inspections, and training processes.
Awarded waiter of the month for consistently maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.
If you have little to no work experience, change the primary focus of your CV to education by utilising a skills-based CV format. Alternatively, consider creating an additional experience section with part-time or voluntary work experience where you can just elaborate on the role, company/organisation, and date with months excluded. A strategic CV aims to help you land more interviews where you can elaborate within the job interview itself. See below CV examples for students with no experience.
Examples of additional experience:
Internships or job shadowing: This is perhaps the best substitute for work experience. You should aim to assist with as many tasks or projects as possible during an internship. Use this experience to learn as much as possible or even job shadow someone to see if this is the right career for you or what skills you need to build on. Additionally, skills gained from an internship make you more valuable as an employee.
Traineeships and apprenticeships: Just 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.
Self-employment, freelancing, or volunteer experience: This can be a benefit, but you should also make sure it is relevant or shows transferable skills. Include your position, company or client name(s), and dates.
Any of these would be a great example of a CV for a student in a university. Think of activities or experience most relevant to your position and incorporate them in your career documents.
If you’re unsure as a student what kind of job you 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.
CVMaker strongly advises focusing on academic accomplishments, courses, and student societies when writing a CV as a university student. As for the layout of a CV, it is beneficial to place education above work experience. Another feature that should stand out is a brief description of your education, with which you can include relevant keywords and any projects or skills obtained during your studies.
[Degree] in [program name], [institution/school name], [Location], [date range, year of graduation, or in progress]
See the education article for more information.
What to include under the education section?
When structuring the education section, always include the degree/diploma type, the level, the institution/organisation, completion date/in progress, and relevant subjects. As a student looking for an internship or graduate, it is best to include only final year courses and projects that are relevant as well as any grades such as first-class Honours or even if you have two majors. Take a look at the following elements you can incorporate:
University degree: Include the completion date of your bachelor's, master’s, or doctoral degree. Alternatively, you can mention your expected graduation year or in progress, relevant courses, and good grades.
Degree description or thesis topic: If you have little to no work experience, you can convert your education into a job description by incorporating the skills you learnt or university projects.
Relevant university courses: Include courses directly under your degree program where you mention them in bullet points. Focus on those courses that better match the job description or company’s goals.
Certificates, courses, and training: If you completed external courses, incorporate them into the education section. Alternatively, try to format your CV by separating these sections to fill the white space or to make it stand out even more. To improve your chances of getting a job, don’t hesitate to add professional courses and certifications if they relate to your field of study.
A-Levels or GCSEs: Avoid listing secondary education and all your subjects. Instead, state your final grade and the number of credits or courses you have achieved. Remember that this section is not mandatory, and we advise you to avoid it in the CV. 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.
This optional section should usually be avoided on your CV. Think of it as a last resort when you have already filled in all the required sections. If you’re applying for a journalism job, it could be a good idea to highlight your flair for creative writing or interest in design.
If relevant, incorporate hobbies and interests under the additional experience section, where you can elaborate on side jobs, volunteering, or other experiences. We suggest avoiding having hobbies such as socialising with friends, playing games, or reading because they don’t bring value to your student CV.
Examples of hobbies and interests on a student CV
Acting in a theatre
For more information, see this article on how to include hobbies and interests.
With the above examples and tips, you should be more knowledgeable about what makes a good student CV, the types of sections, and the importance of tailoring your CV to a specific job. By considering our expert advice, you’ll be in better shape to craft an outstanding, well-structured CV.
CV tips for students:
Always include correct and up-to-date personal information
Exclude outdated or unprofessional email addresses
Use simple, concise, and professional language.
Exclude information that is false or that you are not able to back up within an interview.
Avoid using colloquial terms or slang.
Apply for entry-level jobs or internships as you kickstart your career.
Proofread your CV for typos and spelling mistakes.
Need to polish some inconsistencies in your text or improve your writing? Check out the CVMaker website for professional CV Writing Service. Get in touch with us to get advice from an expert who has created thousands of CVs. If you need a student CV template, browse through our collection of over 20 professional templates of your choice. Using CVMaker for students, you can access all the resources you need, including a built-in job finder tool, making it easy for you to look and apply for jobs in one place.
Begin with contact details, then progress to the core components of your CV, such as education or work experience. Keep in mind that a personal profile is at the very top of your CV but is written last. Write in complete sentences starting with an action verb or adjective to make your writing more convincing and concise.
A good student CV should contain at least the following:
Work experience (if applicable)
Consider the following sections, only if applicable:
Courses and certifications
Hobbies and interests
If you have applied the correct layout and followed a strategic structure, then formatting is the last thing you need to do when writing a CV. There is no one correct way to submit a CV, but there are a few things to consider, such as type of content, font type, font size, or spacing between sections. Ideally, a CV should not be longer than two pages, so if you can format it to fit into one page or avoid white space, that is highly recommended.
The big difference, generally speaking, is that you won't have as much experience as someone who has been in the job market for a long time. 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 CV will need to make more of the positive attributes of the individual concerned rather than highlighting the relevant work experience. The only difference is the traditional (chronological) and skills-based (functional) CVs.
Aim to keep the text on your CV brief and concise. Your CV needs to involve one or a maximum of two 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.
To write a student CV, follow all the steps of the writing process, including but not limited to planning, researching, creating a master CV and a job-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. See our example of a CV for a student in a university above as guidance.
Throughout the CV writing process, use clear language and cohesive structure, avoid ambiguities and include strong action verbs to persuade your recruiter. Stick to the keywords on the company’s website and job position. CVs are formal documents and should be treated as such, even if the employer considers themselves different from other companies.
A CV layout should follow an easy-to-read structure. The sections must be formatted so that your work experience or education follows your summary. Alternatively, next to each other if you opt for a two-column CV.
Land the interview for your dream job with CVMaker
Effortlessly create your professional CV within 10 minutes and download it whenever and wherever you want!Create your CV
Increase your chances landing your dream job with CVMaker.