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Writing a CV for a trainee position can seem daunting, given that you’re usually entering the first level of a given profession. It’s only natural to be a bit unsure about what to include, how to structure your CV, and how it should look.
The challenge of writing a CV for a trainee is that you’re not likely to have much direct experience. This, however, is something that will be expected by employers and recruiters. They will recognise the stage you are currently at in your career and can instead consider you for your abilities and potential.
This means that you’ll want to focus on your desirable skills and other relevant experiences you may have. Our CV examples show you exactly how this is done – and our step-by-step advice will make things even easier.
If you’re ready to start, let’s get into:
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Sample trainee CV
Address: 6 Victory Way, Edinburgh, EH2 09UH
Focused Trainee Accountant offering 5 years of accounting experience to bring value to an Accounting Assistant role. Eager to leverage demonstrated success in AP/AR management and collections. Willing and able to go above and beyond to meet team objectives and foster company growth.
01/2018 – Current
McBridge Financial Services – Edinburgh
- Reconciled all company accounts, including credit cards, employee expenses, and commissions.
- Completed financial reports to inform managers and stakeholders.
- Reviewed GL entries and assessed accuracy.
- Balanced reports to submit for approval and verification.
- Maintained accurate and complete documentation for all financial department procedures.
- Monitored the status of accounts receivable and payable to facilitate efficient processing.
Junior Financial Assistant
09/2015 – 12/2017
Smith and Jones Finance – Edinburgh
- Supported Finance Officer in improving operations and resolving issues to deliver top-notch customer service.
- Researched and updated all required materials needed for the firm and partners.
- Performed initial client assessment and analysis to begin the research process.
- Maintained smooth operations of accounts through effective and efficient monitoring.
- Ensured adherence to FCA regulations for continued company compliance.
- Invoicing and collections
- Data processing
- Expense reports
- Account reconciliation
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Payroll processing
- Month-end reports
- Budgets and forecasting
Bachelor of Science in Business Operations
University of Edinburgh – Edinburgh
A-Levels in Business, Economics, History
Long Road Secondary School – Glasgow
Trainee CV format
Choosing the correct CV format for your CV is going to be the foundation that allows you to display all of your desirable aptitudes. Many trainees will select the wrong format that does not highlight the things that make them shine.
The issue is that many trainees will choose a reverse chronological CV format. While this is a great choice for those who already have a lot of experience, it can make a trainee candidate seem woefully inexperienced. Reverse chronological CVs are best for when you are at a later stage in your career and have a wealth of previous job roles to draw upon.
A much better choice might be a skills-based CV. This is a simple format that focuses on a combination of hard and soft skills which can translate into many different job roles. There are a lot of choices you can make as to which skills you include – it could be anything from desirable traits to specific skills you’ve learned whilst training. The idea with a skills-based CV is to boldly highlight all of your most important skills, putting a spotlight on what you can offer the employer as a candidate.
What should you keep in mind when it comes to formatting? Here are a few tips:
- Ensure your CV is either one or two pages in length
- Use a professional font such as Arial or Times New Roman
- Break up any long pieces of text with headings, bullet points and section breaks
- Tailor your CV to the job advertisement
- Make sure to send your CV as a Word or PDF file unless asked otherwise.
How to write a CV for a trainee
As a trainee, it’s unlikely you’ve written a CV many times before. So, you’ll probably have lots of questions about what to include and how to include it. Don’t guess and hope for the best.
In the following sections, we’ll cover how to write a CV for a trainee, including:
- Adding contact details to your trainee CV
- Trainee CV personal statement
- Getting work experience right on your trainee CV
- Great skills to add to your trainee CV
- Trainee CV education
What contact details should I include in my trainee CV?
One of the most important aspects of a trainee is to add in all of your relevant contact details. Your CV is not much use if the hiring manager reading can’t get in touch with you. This is why it is vital to quickly add all of your details so they’re noticeable on the page.
You’ll want to first add your name, followed by your address so that they know where you’re based. Then finish it with some direct channels of communication such as your phone number and email address.
It’s important that the number you include is your own and that it’s a number you will actively be checking. It can be seen as unprofessional to have somebody else answer the call on your behalf.
As for your email address, you’ll want to use a professional address – so don’t use your personal one with a confusing or inappropriate name. A good rule of thumb is to simply create an email address with your name.
Example of contact section for trainee CV
5 Staunton Street,
London, S1 5EH
Trainee CV personal statement
A strong, impactful personal statement is a key part of any trainee CV. It introduces your passion, commitment and suitability for the role at hand. Also known as your professional summary, this section should be made very specific to the job you’re applying for.
In just 2-3 sentences, you’ll need to summarise your best attributes and skills, along with your background or specific experience that has prepared you. However, you can also send an accompanying cover letter if there’s anything you would like to go into more detail about.
Focus on choosing your best traits that fit the particular job you’re applying for in order to properly design your application. For instance, emphasise your strong mathematics abilities if you’re seeking for a trainee position that requires numerical skills.
An effective tactic is to carefully go over the job description to find the precise needs and preferences outlined by the company or program. By doing so, you can identify the traits and characteristics that most closely meet their expectations.
You won’t have that much space to do all of this, so you should break it down into three or four simple sections. First, give a general overview of you as a candidate. Secondly, move on to explaining a little about your educational background – highlighting any impressive achievements. Finally, spend a sentence or two outlining your key skills. The skills sentences are where you can respond directly to the job advertisement.
Now let’s delve into some examples of what an effective personal statement looks like…
Example of personal statement for trainee CV
Dedicated individual searching for a trainee position to develop skills and progress their career. Quick learner with a strong academic record of top marks. Particular skills in IT, mathematics, and Adobe software.
Enthusiastic and proactive trainee seeking full-time employment in an entry-level role. Experienced in several areas of hospitality through part-time roles. Committed to meeting customer needs and willing to undertake training.
Getting work experience right on a trainee CV
If you’re seeking a trainee experience, there’s a good chance you won’t have work experience. But not to worry! This is to be expected, especially when applying for an entry-level role. What an employer is going to be interested in is any of the relevant experience that you may possess.
As such, it’s important to note as much of this as you can. This could include volunteer positions or even other jobs that you might not think are relevant. You’ll want to always tailor the experience you list to the job in question. Let’s say, for example, that you have experience in team leading because of your summer camp job you did one year – this is a fantastic example of transferable experience that you can highlight in your CV.
This is how you can list your work experience simply and efficiently:
- Date – make sure to include the start and end date for each piece of experience.
- Job details – highlight all the relevant information including the title, company you worked for, and the location.
- Responsibilities – here you can highlight all of the most important things you gained from this experience. 3-6 is usually the standard number to include.
Example of work experience for a trainee CV
October 2022 – Present
Retail Assistant | ASDA | London
- Assisted customers in completing their shopping with stellar customer service.
- Replenished stock and kept records.
- Worked with team members to manage the store during busy periods.
June 2020 – September 2022
Summer Camp Counselor | Pennsylvania | United States
- Taught arts and crafts to children enjoying a summer camp experience.
- Helped to lead team activities.
- Responsible for looking after children away from home for four weeks.
Great skills to add to your trainee CV
From graduates to chefs, every trainee requires a number of key CV skills on their CV.
It’s a good idea to highlight any special skills you have. Let’s say you have computer skills that you have gained outside of education. This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight them. If there are any specific programs that the job role will use daily, you should explain that you’re already experienced.
For example, perhaps you’re looking for a graphic design role and you are already a wizard at photoshop. This would be the time to promptly explain that you have experience in this area. Similarly, let’s say you’re applying for a role that requires excellent writing skills. Here is your chance to highlight how your education and extra-curricular activities have prepared you with experience writing.
The two lists below will give you a better idea of what recruiters are looking for as must-haves and desirables:
Essential skills for a trainee CV
- Passion and commitment
- Willingness to learn
- Knowledge of the sector/industry
- Well organised
Added extras to boost your CV
- Relevant qualifications (or expected)
- Time management
- Computer literacy
- Flexible schedule
- Social skills
- Clear written communication
Trainee CV education
Since you’re unlikely to have an extensive work experience history to draw on, the education part of your CV is doubly important. In many ways, you can think of it as the foundation for all of the additional content you add to your CV. Because of this, you need to make sure your educational history is comprehensive and well written.
That said, you should still keep your academic information relevant and concise. There’s no need to dig into each GCSE you studied unless they’re required for the job at hand. For example, a Maths GCSE for a trainee accounting position.
Example of education for a trainee CV
A-levels: English Language, Biology, Psychology
A, A, B grades
GCSEs: 9 A*-C grades including English and Maths
London Secondary School
Dos and don’ts for your trainee CV
- DO give it your all In most cases, trainees need to balance training and qualifications with work for the first few months or even years of their career. As a result, it’s important to demonstrate a good work ethic in your trainee CV. Ensure your personal statement includes positive adjectives like ‘determined’, ‘committed’ and ‘hardworking’. You can also mention achievements in previous roles to show how you put your all into every job.
- DO show your passion for the role or sector With trainees just starting out in a new role or sector, many recruiters will be concerned about their commitment – and whether they’ll stick it out in the long run. That’s why it’s important that your trainee CV shows clear dedication and a genuine interest in your chosen profession. An interests section is often a good way to incorporate this, discussing your foodie pursuits away from work on a trainee chef CV, for example.
- DON’T rush the appearance The appearance of your CV plays a big part in the impression recruiters get from your application. A pre-made template will ensure you’ve got the right layout, structure, and design, so you have one less thing to worry about. A trainee recruitment consultant CV template, for example, will provide a suitable format for an entry-level candidate in the recruitment sector.
- DON’T forget your specialism It goes without saying that a graduate trainee CV sample should be different to a trainee estate agent CV. But it’s important to remember this as you write each section of your CV. To start with, the personal statement should have a clear focus on your role or sector of choice. You should then continually relate back to the role in question when listing your skills and previous responsibilities, even if your past jobs aren’t directly related to the career you’re training for.
Your trainee CV questions answered
What to include in a trainee accountant CV
A trainee accountant CV should include any experience you have in accounting or other finance roles. If you’re lacking in relevant experience, you can also list transferable skills you’ve developed in other jobs, such as attention to detail, analytical skills, or even money handling. Include any accounting qualifications you’ve completed such as AAT. Again, if you haven’t get completed them yet, you should list relevant A-levels in mathematics or business studies, or degrees in mathematics, finance, or accounting.
How do you write a trainee nurse CV?
A trainee nurse CV should be all about care, commitment, and core skills. Avoid complicated jargon or unnecessarily complex terms, and focus on your experience of nursing to date. Recruiters will be looking for someone who is knowledgeable about nursing and care, but also capable of handling the heavy workload and high-pressure environment that comes with nursing. Use bullet points to pack in as many skills and experiences as possible without making your CV overwhelming.
How do you make a good CV for a trainee teacher?
A good CV for a trainee teacher demonstrates a passion for education alongside experience of a learning environment. List any previous roles you’ve had as a teaching or classroom assistant, and list responsibilities within those roles. Use a trainee teacher CV example to see how challenges are discussed positively. Naturally, your own education is also important, from GCSE and A-level to your degree or PGCE.
What personal statement should you include in a dental nurse CV?
Your dental nurse personal statement should demonstrate your suitability as a candidate for a trainee role at a dental practice. That includes any qualifications or experience you have in a similar role, along with a passion and interest in dentistry more broadly. You should also list personal qualities you have which are transferable to dentistry, including attention to detail, communication, and meticulous hygiene.
Build a winning CV for a trainee
If you’re ready to take the first steps as a trainee in your chosen field, myPerfectCV can help you create a CV that’s up to the job. As well as trainee CV examples and tips, we provide an innovative CV builder where you can choose a suitable trainee CV template then select relevant pre-written content for a wide range of job roles. Put it to the test today.