6 Genuinely Useful Tips To Improve Your CV After College

6 Genuinely Useful Tips To Improve Your CV After CollegeCongratulations, you’ve completed your A-Levels and it’s time to take next step in your life. But what are you going to do?

There are plenty of options for life after college. You could go to university or you might choose to take on an internship or apprenticeships instead. Or of course, you might wish to get stuck straight into the world of work.

There’s no right answer! But no matter what you choose, if you're going to be applying to roles and/or courses after college, it pays to have a great CV behind you.

Now, this may be the first CV you’ve ever written - it may not! But either way, we’re here to guide you and help you create a winning application.

Below, we’ve pulled together a list of six genuinely useful tips for improving your CV after college. 

1. Make your A-Levels a focal point

Having just left college, your A-Levels are likely to be the most recent and relevant part of your life and experience. As such, you need to make these a key focal point of your CV.

Particularly if you’ve studied a subject or subjects that are related to the field you want to go into. For example, if you want to go into digital marketing and you studied graphic design and media at college, these can really help to make your case.

It’s also a good idea to include any particularly relevant or interesting modules you studied as these can help to highlight your skills in more detail.

2. Get some experience

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges that college and even university graduates face is that they leave education with a great set of qualifications but no real-world experience. This can leave you at a disadvantage in a competitive job market.

This is why it’s a good idea to get yourself some experience whilst you're on the job hunt. This could be in a related work placement or even just a part-time job to earn some extra cash. You can look for opportunities online or perhaps even approach local businesses to see if they have any work experience to offer.

You could also volunteer your time at a charity or local business. 

No matter what you do, this will give you some experience and transferable skills to include on your CV. We’ll look at this in more detail later on.

3. Shout about your hobbies and interests

Another way to bolster your CV when you don't have much experience is to include a hobbies and interests section.

This section on your CV is optional and if you're running low on space it’s suggested you leave this out. But if your hobbies and interests are related to your chosen field or if they show real skill, this can be a great way to show the recruiter what you have to offer.

For example, if you want to become a copywriter and you write for your own blog this can show you’ve got the relevant skills and can act as a portfolio of your work.

Similarly, if you coach a football team this can show that you’ve got leadership and organisation skills.

4. Make the most of your transferable skills

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably got a whole heap of helpful skills that can boost your employability. These are called transferable skills and can be applied to multiple roles.

Examples of some go the most desirable transferable skills include communication, problem-solving, flexibility, critical thinking, teamwork, organisation and motivation.

All of these skills look great on your CV and don’t necessarily need to be gained through work experience. They can also be gained through extra-curricular activities, hobbies, lessons and part-time jobs.

Shouting about any transferable skills you have can really help to boost your application and show why you’d be a good fit for the role or course you're applying to.

5. Mention your digital skills

Following on from our point above, you might not realise just how important and useful your digital skills are.

In today’s digital age we take for granted that our technical skills are useful to employers and not just second nature.

At college it’s likely that you’ll have studied IT in some form, you might have even learnt to code during your time in education (this is becoming increasingly common in schools).

But more than this, you will probably be a digital native having grown up in the era of the internet and smartphones, so don't forget to utilise this. Below are some of the most desirable digital skills:

  • Web design
  • Social media
  • Microsoft Office
  • Coding
  • Understanding of SEO
  • Data analytics - such as using Google Analytics 
  • Graphic design
  • CRMs - such as WordPress

So, if you have any of the above or any other digital skills for that matter be sure to shout about these.

To help you do this, you can look through the job or course description and highlight any skills the employer or provider is looking for. This way you can list the most important and relevant digital skills (as long as you possess them, of course! You should never lie on your CV).

6. Have someone else read over your CV 

Once you’ve finished and proofread your CV several times, it’s a good idea to have someone else read over this for you - and there are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, when you're close to a project it can be easy to miss things, so someone else might be able to spot spelling or grammatical errors that you didn’t. Plus, they might be able to give you pointers on other skills or content you should include.

They can also advise on the structure and layout to see if your CV flows well. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help you identify areas of improvement.

Is it time to work on your CV?

If you’ve recently left college and you're ready to take the next step in your life and career, it’s a good idea to start by working on your CV.  Follow our six genuinely useful tips above to improve your CV after college.

Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at Marketing Manager at MyBaggage.com they help students ship their luggage hassle free.

26 Mar 2021, 10:01 AM