Looking for your first career step at 16 years old can be a confusing time. It will be the first time you’ve had to write a CV and learn how the recruitment process works. We have rounded up our tips about what to include, how to write and how to tailor your first CV!
What is a CV?
The common term you will hear is CV, but this is short for Curriculum Vitae, deriving from the Latin term “course of life.” It is a personal document to outline your professional summary and show how you’re suited to a specific job. By having a CV, you can show employers that you are passionate about the role you’re applying for and tailor your transferable skills, previous experience and interests.
How to Write Your CV
When searching for your first job, it’s hard to know what to include in your CV as you will have little to no experience in a working environment. However, true entry level positions should not require years of experience. Writing your CV should therefore be more about utilising the skills you do have and showing you’re passionate.
Top CV Writing Tips
- Use reverse chronological order where relevant. Put the most recent experience or qualification at the top of the section.
- Be clear and concise. Make sure your points stand out by using simple language, a concise sentence structure and relevant points.
- Use examples where possible. If you can, it’s always beneficial to show how you’ve shown your personal qualities rather than stating them.
If you’re looking for more help on CV writing, we have a dedicated team to support with this. Find out more in our career advice section.
What to include in your CV
We have put together our top things to include into your first CV at 16 years old:
- Ensure to put your correct contact information. This sounds like an obvious one, but having the correct details ensures a potential employer can contact you. Also, putting in more than one form of communication is also beneficial, as the employer may have a certain preference during the recruitment process.
- A personal statement. Include a top paragraph to outline your current situation and what you’re looking for. Remember to keep this as clear and to the point as possible. If you do have any relevant key highlights, you can also include them here to stand out to employers.
- Your education history. Put in your education and any relevant qualifications you want to highlight. At 16 years old, your secondary education will be the most important to potential employers at this stage.
- Any extracurricular activities. It’s good to show that you’ve taken part in anything extra outside your qualifications. This could be volunteering at school open days, taking part in a sports team or being a part of an external club.
- Hobbies and interests. This interlinks with the previous section, but you may have a specific interest that can make you stand out from other applicants. You could have taken extra interest in a specific subject and taken the initiative to do your own research and projects.
- Your current skills. It’s great to show what skills you currently have and provide an example of how you demonstrate this. It could be punctuality, working in a team, or taking leadership of a school group project.
How To Tailor Your CV With No Previous Work Experience
Even if you have no previous work experience, you can stand out to recruiters by tailoring your CV to the specific role you are applying for. This shows that you have taken time to look at the role, the requirements and show how you will be a good fit. It demonstrates that you are passionate about the job.
- Read the job description over. This will ensure you understand the role and what will be expected of you.
- Use phrases and keywords from the specification. Only do this if you can demonstrate the qualities, but highlighting the keywords in your CV shows that you have what they’re looking for.
- Proofread before sending. Eliminate any spelling or grammar mistakes in your CV. This not only looks more professional to employers but shows you have attention to detail.
There are many entry level positions and routes you can take into the first steps of your career. It’s important to remember our handy CV tips to help land you your first job, apprenticeship or traineeship. If you’re interested in applying for one of our advertised roles, get in touch to see how we can help you with your application!