Résumé, CV, curriculum vitae … While they may sound like spells you’d find in a Harry Potter book, these words all mean basically the same thing – they’re your ticket to nabbing a job!
A résumé, or a CV to some, is like a summary of your work history or abilities. It’s your chance to introduce yourself to your potential employer and show them why you would be perfect for a position at their company.
Your résumé should be one page max, and doesn’t need to include your photo or address, like some examples you’ll find online might suggest.
So how do you knock up a killer CV? Here’s how:
1. Start with a template that will set your résumé apart from the crowd! For free, funky, easy résumé templates, we recommend using Canva.
2. Fill in the easy bits. At the top, have your name in letters larger than anything else on the page, really clear and in a font easy to read. Underneath your name, put your contact details like your email address and mobile number, so people can get in touch with you.
3. Next, whip up a short paragraph (less than 100 words) about who you are and why you’d love to work in the job you’re applying for. What are your strengths? Your passions? What do you enjoy? Do you have interesting hobbies? Here’s a quick example to help you along the way – let’s pretend we’re applying for a job at Woolworths (notice how we tie in how we could help the business!):
I am a creative young gun with a passion for words and a love for meeting new people. I’m a dedicated student at Flames State High with a great eye for detail and a diligent work ethic. I have no trouble striking up a conversation on a whim, a strength I believe would help chatting to customers while swiping their groceries. On weekends you’ll find me baking up a storm or playing with my furry friend Max the labradoodle. I would love the opportunity to work at Woolworths as part of a dynamic team striving to achieve daily goals.
4. Your education. Here, list where you go to school and what grade you’re in. You don’t have to list your GPA if you don’t want to. Also list any achievements or awards you’ve received and any leadership positions you hold. Try to keep this list short, only including the most important bits!
5. Previous work experience should be listed next, if any. Include things like baby sitting or tutoring if you’ve dabbled in those before, and list them in date order starting from the most recent.
6. Include a short list (keep it under 10) of unique abilities that could be useful for the company. We’re talking about things like ‘written communication’, ‘excellent time management’, ‘reliable’, ‘responsible’, ‘detail-oriented’. Also list here if you speak any other languages. But remember – don’t list a skill that isn’t true!
7. Lastly, references – these are people that a potential employer can call to ‘fact check’ your résumé. Think of two adults who you trust who aren’t family, like a neighbour or your year level coordinator at school, and ask them if you can put them down as your reference. All you need to list is their name, their relationship to you and their mobile number.
And that’s it! Now you’ve got yourself a killer CV, read this blog post for our step-by-step guide to finding your first part-time job!