Careers Service

CVs for 1st year students

Start to put together the "story of your life". You may already have a CV but you should be replacing older activities with new experiences and achievements as you go through your degree.

Keep it all together

Keep a record of whatever you do at university: use a folder, an online archive, a shoebox stuffed with paper - whatever works for you. Otherwise, you'll struggle to remember all these details in your final year.

What should you include?

  • The modules you take as part of your degree
    Including results (some employers do expect to see good 1st year results), plus any practical work, projects, presentations or group work.
  • Any work that you do while at university
    Paid or voluntary. This includes relevant work experience, but also part-time and temporary jobs, and any short employer-based insight courses or placements, even if they're only for a few days.
  • Extracurricular activities
    Focus on things that you do, not just things you're interested in. Passive interests, or things which everyone does, really don't impress anyone on a CV - that includes "reading, socialising and going to the cinema"...
  • Positions of responsibility
    Include any time you've taken on a role where other people are relying on you - being a course rep, taking a role in a student society (could be a Communications Officer or Membership Secretary, not just President), leading a voluntary activity or presenting your group's findings for a university project.
  • Skills developed
    Showing you can use technical skills is important for technical degrees/jobs, but also personal and transferable skills, such as communication, team work, organisational or analytical skills. Where you have applied these skills? You'll need to be able to describe any achievements which demonstrate that you can use these skills.
  • Awards and prizes
    Any gained at university will look great on your CV

Make it look good

Edit all this into 1 or 2 pages before you send it as a CV for vacation work, internships or part-time jobs. School CV formats are often fine for getting into university but rarely very good for university students looking for a job.

CV resources to get you started