CVs for students: a comprehensive guide to securing your next job role
At cvapp.nz, our mission is to provide comprehensive support to students and advance their career potential. We understand the importance of a powerful CV in today's competitive job market–and our goal is to equip students with the tools and guidance they need to succeed. With our career resources, you can easily create a professional-looking CV that highlights your skills, experiences, and accomplishments in no time.
All job-winning CVs should contain the following elements:
- The personal statement
- The employment history section
- The skills section
- The education section
Let’s explore the personal statement!
Personal statement: Personalising your professional journey
Your personal statement provides employers with insights into your professional background and capabilities. As a student, it is completely reasonable to have a limited professional experience, and that should not discourage you! Instead, in 3-6 sentences, focus on highlighting your academic achievements, relevant coursework, internships, extracurricular activities, and any other experiences that showcase your skills and abilities.
Additionally, emphasise your enthusiasm to learn, grow, and contribute in the industry or field you are pursuing. Talk about any projects or research work you have undertaken that demonstrates your passion and dedication. Employers often value traits such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, and teamwork, so be sure to emphasise any instances where you have shown these qualities.
Remember, your personal statement is not just about your professional background; it is also an opportunity to showcase your unique qualities, values, and career aspirations. So, don't be afraid to discuss your personal motivations, ambitions, and how your academic journey has influenced your career direction. Here’s a great example of a student personal statement below:
Diligent, responsible and highly-motivated student with a background in retail and sales currently seeking employment in a customer-facing role. Strong sales skills and adept at meeting customer needs
while providing exceptional customer service. Effective and confident communicator with strong interpersonal skills looking to add value to a new team.
Education example: Highlighting your academic success
The education section of your CV provides the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your academic skills and highlight your unique talents and accomplishments. This section can help you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. For each educational institution, you can provide a description with samples of achievements in specific subjects, school projects, scores, and evaluations. This will help highlight your academic accomplishments and showcase your abilities in different areas. Including concrete examples such as research projects, notable grades, or awards can provide a better understanding of your skills and achievements during your academic journey. Be sure to include details about your qualifications, such as the degree and institution you obtained it from, the years you attended the institution and the location.
It should look something like this:
Bachelor of Arts, University of Waikato, Hamilton
February 2013 — June 2017
Employment History: Making your professional experiences work for you
In the employment history section of your CV, you have the opportunity to showcase your previous professional experiences. As a student, it's understandable that you might not have an extensive work history, and that's perfectly fine! Instead, focus on highlighting relevant experiences that demonstrate your skills and abilities. Consider including part-time jobs, internships, volunteer positions, or any extracurricular activities where you gained valuable transferable skills. Even if these experiences may seem unrelated to your desired career path, they can still demonstrate qualities such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem-solving abilities.
To expand on your employment history section, you can provide more details about each experience. For example, instead of simply listing the position and duration, describe the tasks and responsibilities you undertook. This could include specific projects you worked on, any accomplishments or achievements you attained, and how you contributed to the overall success of the organisation or team.
Additionally, if you have any academic projects or research experiences, you can include them in this section as well. Highlighting any relevant coursework or academic accomplishments can further demonstrate your knowledge and dedication to your field of study.
Remember, the goal of the employment history section is to showcase your skills, growth, and potential as a candidate. Even if you don't have much working experience yet, emphasisng your skills, passion for learning, and willingness to take on new challenges can greatly enhance your CV. If you do have previous employment experiences you’d like to include, ka pai! Be sure to include details such as your previous job title, the organisation you worked for, the years and/or months you worked there, and any key responsibilities, roles or accomplishments you may have achieved during your time in that role.
Here’s an employment history section for students for extra inspiration:
Assistant Manager at Whitcoulls, Hamilton
December 2018 — Present
- Provided exceptional customer service by addressing inquiries and resolving concerns
- Processed customer transactions, ensuring each sale was recorded securely and accurately
- Communicated with suppliers to ensure products were delivered in a timely manner to meet customer requests and demands
- Trained over 50+ staff members and providing support to staff as necessary
Sales Representative at Kirikiroa Sporting Goods , Hamilton
February 2016 — March 2018
- Assisted customers with product queries and concerns, offering advice, guidance and recommendations as requested and required
- Processed customer transactions in a timely and secure manner
- Ensured public spaces were kept clean, organised and tidy in accordance with store health, safety and hygiene policies and expectations
- Resolved customer issues and escalated concerns as necessary
Skills: What’s inside your professional toolkit?
The skills section of your CV showcases your strengths to potential employers. By detailing your skills, you provide employers with insights into what value you bring to the table. This not only demonstrates your competence in a certain area, but it can also highlight your areas of expertise and proficiency. What's inside your professional toolkit? Do you know more than one language? Do you have an eye for detail? Do you have exceptional leadership skills? Include details of your skill-sets here! Check out our example below:
- Time Management
- Customer Service
- Communication Skills
We provide a variety of CV templates that can be tailored to highlight your skills and experiences in the best possible way. If you're interested in finding out more about our services and discovering what we have available, visit our website at www.cvapp.nz!