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Whether you’re hoping to work as a barista or cafe worker whilst you study or apply for your first assistant accountant role after finishing your degree, you could feel daunted by the task or put off by a perceived lack of experience.
It’s no secret that the job market is more competitive than ever, and it can be a real struggle for university students to get their foot in the door. But learning how to write a CV is one of the best ways for students to boost their chances.
You’ll need to make sure you include all of the correct content and information, to show that you are the perfect choice for the job role or internship in question.
That includes everything from understanding how to write a personal statement for a university student CV to examining successful CV examples or other university student CV examples to get to grips with how they work.
In the following sections, we’re going to cover:
SEARCH ALL CV EXAMPLES
Sample university student CV
Address: 444 Kingsway, Manchester, M60 3TT
Motivated university student pursuing a degree in marketing while working in hospitality. Possess hands-on professional experience in coffee-making and sales. Proven history serving customers in a fast-paced environment.
August 2020 – Current
Arabica Co. – Manchester
- Prepared coffee, cleaned dining areas, opened the register, and carried out other opening duties.
- Maintained regular and consistent attendance and punctuality.
- Ordered, received, and stocked supplies and retail products.
- Constantly expanded personal knowledge of coffee styles and varieties, providing knowledgeable customer guidance.
- Trained new and junior staff members on coffee-making techniques, including grinding, steaming, and latte art.
February 2018 – July 2020
Shop & Save – London
- Processed POS transactions, including checks, cash, and credit purchases or refunds.
- Bagged merchandise following standard procedures.
- Worked with customer service to resolve issues.
- Operated cash registers with proficiency during high-volume shopping times, reducing customer queues.
- Handled cash and card payments with precision, maintaining customer confidentiality and discretion throughout.
- Cash Register Operation
- Inventory Management
- Speedy and Efficient
- Highly Organized
- Strong Communication Skills
- Attention to Detail
- Administrative Support
A-Levels in English, Business Studies, Media Studies
Peckham College – London
University student CV template
A great university student CV showcases the qualifications you’ve already gained, like foundation courses, A-levels, and GCSEs, as well as outlining your current studies. If needed, you can make up for a lack of work experience by highlighting voluntary work and extra-curricular activities, plus referring to transferable qualities that show you’re prepared for the world of work. Check some CV templates to better understand the structure.
University student CV format
When writing a CV for a student in university, it’s important to choose the right CV format. A university student CV will need to be formatted in a way that best displays the student’s unique set of skills and experience.
In some cases, you’ll need to stick with the reverse-chronological CV format, which recruiters are most familiar with. It places your work history in the most prominent position, which is ideal for the CV of a university student with a few previous roles.
However, most students don’t have much in the way of work experience. Fortunately, the skills-based CV format can help to showcase your core competencies to wow employers. This format has a larger section dedicated to your abilities, homing in on specific examples. You’ll be able to show off all you’ve learned on your modules. For example, under “written communication”, a candidate could highlight the essay writing from their degree. There are also sections to record your relevant work and academic history.
How to write a CV for a university student
When creating a CV for a university student, the most important thing is to stay accurate and work methodically. If you’re wondering how to write a CV, you should know that recruiters value work experience and key skills. So, this is a good place to start.
In the following sections, we’ll cover the different facets of CV writing in detail:
- What contact details should I include in my university student CV?
- How to write a personal statement for your university student CV
- University student work experience
- How to add education to your university student CV
What contact details should I include in my university student CV?
You might initially think that the contact details section of your university student CV doesn’t matter, but it’s actually one of the most important parts. How else will recruiters reach you?
You should make sure that your phone number, email and address are up-to-date and in regular use. You don’t want to miss a call from a recruiter.
Professionality is key too. If you don’t have a suitable email address for job applications, you should set one up rather than using a personal email address.
Your CV will need to include these key details:
- Your full name
- Telephone number
- Email address
Example of contact section for a university student CV
101 Kings Road
Leeds, LS1 9PJ
How to write a personal statement for your university student CV
The personal statement is a key element in our example of a CV for a student in university. Your own CV should be no different, with a personal summary front and centre that introduces you as a candidate.
Start with the degree you’re studying for, or the subject you’ve graduated in, then move on to what you can offer to an employer. While it’s only 2-3 sentences long, your personal statement should be wholly positive, including your best personal qualities or attributes to make recruiters want to read on.
Read the job description carefully before you start writing this part of your university student CV, as you’ll need to make sure the qualities you include relate closely to the person specification. For example, an assistant restaurant manager CV might require strong teamwork, which you could bring into your personal statement by establishing yourself as a “team-player” who has “proven history training new employees”.
Example of personal statement for university student CV
Proactive and energetic student with focus on using economics training to build career foundation. Seeks out opportunities to go beyond basic course material and gain deeper understanding or hands-on experience. Demonstrates a strong willingness to work, commitment and the ability to learn quickly.
Focused and dedicated student of English Language searching for an internship to develop writing skills. Has extensive knowledge of the English language, creative experience, and impeccable grammar. Particular skills in teamwork, communication, essay writing and generating ideas.
University student CV work experience
In a CV for university students, you might imagine that work experience takes a back seat – but that’s not always the case. Whether you’ve worked in data entry or hospitality, the experience you’ve gained can often be very relevant to your next job opportunity.
Where to put work history
Ultimately, this depends on the CV format. A university student usually has two options – a reverse-chronological or skills-based CV. For the former, your work experience will be the focus of the CV, positioned right beneath the personal statement.
A CV for university students with no experience (or minimal experience) will usually need to use the second option. This structure focuses on your ability and qualities with any previous employment listed afterwards.
Include dates, details, and duties.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or using a professional CV template, a university student will need to record their work experience in a set order so it’s clear for potential employers. This should include:
- Dates- The month and year you started and finished
- Job details –Including the title, employer, and location.
- Responsibilities –A list of the most relevant duties, like below
Example of work experience for university student CV
Barnes Construction // Manchester
Admin Assistant // February 2021 – June 2022
- Managed incoming and outgoing calls for busy office.
- Standardised department filing system to increase efficiency.
- Increased customer satisfaction by greeting visitors promptly and professionally.
University student CV skills
CV skills are an important part of any CV. This is especially true if you are lacking in direct work experience. This is your chance to explain your most important features and explain why you’re the best candidate.
A good choice for your CV is combining hard skills and soft skills to make a good impression. Hard skills would be job or profession specific. Soft skills are instead transferable traits that are personal to you. For example, you might be “dependable”, “attentive”, or “punctual”.
You should aim to add 12 skills in total, split between the two. Since you’re a university student, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to focus on more soft skills than specific job skills.
Life as a student can furnish you with a range of hard and soft skills that will serve you well in the workplace. Take a look at our essential and complementary skills for university students below:
Essential skills for any university student
- Written communication
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Technology skills, such as MS Office
Nice-to-haves to help you stand out
- Committee experience and teamwork
- Public speaking and presentation skills
- Basic numeracy
- Following instructions
- Budgeting software
How to add education to your university student CV
The education section is one of the integral parts of a university student’s CV, because it gives you a chance to let recruiters know what you’ve learned on your course. It will usually appear beneath the work history and skills sections.
First and foremost, include your current degree, even if it’s still ongoing. Our example CV of a university student mentions it in the personal statement, but you can also record it in your education history. This can help recruiters to see how your academic history fits with the job role. Secondary school qualifications, including A-Levels and GCSEs can also be relevant, depending on the role.
However, there’s no need inflate your academic history with lots of old or irrelevant qualifications. The CV of a university student doesn’t need to include any qualifications before GCSE level.
How it should look
You’ll need to include some specific details about your academic history, as shown in our CV sample for a university student:
- Level of qualification
- Subjects (for further education)
- Date of completion
Example of education for a university student CV
A-Levels: Maths, Physics, Psychology
South Manchester College
Dos and don’ts for your university student CV
- DO tailor your CV to each application A recruiter will almost always be able to tell if you’ve sent off a generic CV without checking the job advert carefully. To give your university student CV the best chance of passing scanning software, always include keywords and phrases from the job description. This will help you tailor your application and make it more relevant to each position.
- DO proofread your CV Your CV will make or break a recruiter’s impression of you. Silly typos or bad grammar will always leave a sour taste – so be sure to proofread every section carefully before you hit the apply button. While it can be tempting to rush a CV over to an employer – it can leave a long-lasting wrong impression. This is especially important in the CV of a university student, as it shows your professionality.
- DON’T forget to be enthusiastic While it’s essential to remain professional, don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm on your university student CV. Your personal summary is your chance to give recruiters an idea of your work ethic, so include positive words that describe your motivation, commitment, and drive.
- DON’T forget to use a CV template for a university student A university student CV template is a great way to reduce the time and effort required when building the ultimate student CV. Student or university graduate CV templates come pre-made with the right format and design, so you can simply add in your capabilities and experience.
Your university student CV questions answered
Do you need a CV for university?
Yes! You need a CV for university if you want to apply for any part-time roles while you’re studying. It’s also highly useful for graduate schemes, with applications typically starting up to a year before you actually graduate.
How do I write a CV for a university UK?
A CV for university is a document that outlines your brief career to date, whether that’s made up of part-time roles, summer jobs, or voluntary work. You’ll need to include some essential information:
- Contact details
- Personal statement
- Work experience
How to write a CV for applications in university?
To write a CV for applications while you’re in university, you should consider what employers are looking for. That includes:
- Specialist technical expertise through your degree and work experience that will fit perfectly with the job description. For example, coding for a programmer job.
- Transferable capabilities honed during your time at college and university, such as the hard work, punctuality, and clear communication you can bring to a role. This is especially relevant in a CV for university students with no experience.
- Work experience in the field you’re applying to is always a big bonus.
- Passion for the role, and preferably, the company itself.
How do I make an undergraduate CV?
Whilst most university student CVs won’t include the same level of experience as an employee who’s been in the industry for over ten years, there are still many ways you can make an undergraduate CV impressive.
- Any work experience you can include is a must for a university student’s CV, as you’ll need to stand out.
- If you’re lacking in experience, a hobbies and interests section is a good way to reduce the focus on work history
- While you might not have your degree just yet, previous educational achievements like A-levels or BTEC Diplomas should also be included to support your most recent qualification.
- Take a look at some university student CV examples to see exactly how they’re set out and the kinds of details you’ll need to include.
How do you put university experience on a CV?
There are a few places to record your university experience on a CV:
- Your education history – This should include basic details, such as the name of the course and the course provider. Don’t be tempted to go into further detail here.
- Skills –Depending on the CV format you choose, this could include a short summary of skills you’ve picked up on your degree or, if you’re using a skills-based format, you can flesh out the skills you’ve learned in more detail, with examples.
- Hobbies and interests – If you decided to add this optional section, you could mention any university projects that demonstrate the core competencies of the job role.
- Cover letter –Outside of your CV, you can use the covering letter to highlight any details from your course modules that haven’t had the opportunity to shine in your university student CV.
Perfect your university student CV today
Building your CV shouldn’t be as stressful as hitting that coursework deadline. At myPerfectCV, we’ve made it easy for you to create your perfect student application. Visit our online maker for customisable CV templates and CV examples to help you craft the ultimate university student CV in minutes.