Taking the time and care to build your CV is one of the most valuable things you can do. Being dedicated to your studies and getting the best grades you’re capable of is really important, and showing commitment and passion in your CV will really help to set you apart.
What is a CV and how do you build it?
A CV (short for curriculum vitae, and in some countries known as a ‘resume’) is a document that shows your personal details like name and address, as well as your education, achievements, charity/volunteering and work history. If you’re still in high school, a CV is unlikely to have much information on it, but don’t think you have to wait until you’re at a legal age to work, to begin to build your CV. It’s not just to list your jobs! In fact, there are many things you can begin to add to your CV even if you’re still in school!
A CV is a document that your future employer (and University) will look at to get an idea of whether you’re qualified to do the job or course you’ve applied for. Here are some ways that you can begin to build your CV right now:
- Volunteer some spare time somewhere relating to your chosen career.
- Talk to your local racing or karting track and see if there’s anything you can help with, or if they can talk with you about what they do.
- Apply for work experience in your free time. Don’t just wait for your two weeks work experience in year ten of high school! Read our work experience tips here.
- Look into the many courses run locally and nationally throughout the year, some are one day events and some are residential stays run by Universities.
- It’s a good idea to enter school/college competitions (maths, STEM, etc), which not only add to your knowledge and experience but also you can add them to your CV.
- Talk to your school about entering F1 in Schools, you can find more information here.
- Think about a personal project you could begin that relates to your field of interest. If you are interested in mechanics, then can you get hold of an old engine to take apart and put back again? If you are interested in aerodynamics, you could do something simple like a paper plane project – challenge yourself to keep designing until you hit an agreed target! Have fun being creative and thinking outside the box!
So remember, it’s never too early to begin to build up your CV! Enjoy discovering the area of the industry that interests you most – go out and find things to do relating to that field, there are lots of amazing opportunities out there! And then instead of having a blank CV when you leave school, except for maybe the subjects you’ve studied and some weekend work, you will have a really good foundation on which to work from that your future self will really thank you for.
By the time you get to University, if that’s the path you wish to take, you’ll be a much more rounded and more highly skilled candidate with really good knowledge of the area that you would like to specialise in. And in an industry so high tech and constantly evolving, that can only be a good thing!
Work life may still seems like years away, but there are still little steps you can take today that your future self will thank you for:
- Catch up on the latest industry news
- Research the latest developments
- Research new LinkedIn contacts
- Write a diary or create a scrapbook of the information you learn/things you find interesting – keep it fun!
- Read something motivational
- Visit our inspiration page
- Perform a random act of kindness
- Believe in yourself a little more than you did yesterday
- Do something that makes you smile 🙂