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A curriculum vitae is Latin for “course of life”, often shortened as CV. It may also be referred to as a résumé, French for “summary”. It’s a documented overview of someone’s work/achievements and used to apply for jobs.
Why this is important
For any career path, a CV or resume will be required in order to show your skills, accomplishments, and knowledge. It is usually requested at the application stage for an advertised job vacancy. However, it could be sent prospectively to a particular company even if there is no job advert.
Building your CV
Throughout your academic life and career life, there will be many opportunities for you to add new things to your CV. In order to have a CV that stands out from the crowd, you should try to:
- Get involved in various activities at school (outside of the classroom!)
- Participate in extracurricular activities
- Build your skills; particularly in teamwork and leadership
- Understand your strengths and qualities
- Get work experience or Volunteering experience
- Work towards various accomplishments that you can feel proud of
If you do these things, your CV will be very easy to write, you will have a lot of things to say and your CV will stand out from the crowd. The quality of your CV will largely depend on the activities that you have been involved in and the skills you have developed and demonstrated. It will also depend on the thought process you put into writing and creating your CV.
Key Considerations when writing a CV
Creating your first CV can feel overwhelming. However, writing a CV is not that hard to do if you have the right guidance. In this blog, we’ll be looking at some of the key things you should put into consideration when writing your first CV.
1. Take time to understand the role & Position Yourself for the role
Look at the job description & person specification. What do you think the company is looking for? When you looked at the job description, which keywords did you notice? How can you demonstrate that you meet this criteria and you can do the job? How can you write your CV so that it demonstrates what is most useful for the role? Are there other skills and behaviours you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for?
2. Name & Contact details
It’s extremely important that you include your name and contact details (Email and phone number) within the CV. You will be amazed at how many people apply for jobs but forget to include their name at the top of the CV or forget to include a phone number or email that they can be reached on. When creating an email, make sure you use an email address that looks professional and appropriate eg. firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Personal Statement:
This short paragraph at the beginning of your CV. It describes who you are and what you believe in. It can signal your main strengths, highlight your values and mention any awards you have won? This section should be a 3 or 4 sentence introduction to you as a candidate before someone has met you. It should show the qualities that make you a good fit for the role that you want. Don’t be generic but be distinctive. It should give an overview of your qualities and highlight some of your strengths as a candidate.
State your most recent education first, such as professional qualifications. Then, move backward including fewer details as you go. Depending on the stage of education you are at you may wish to include your grades or modules.
5. Previous work, volunteering or employment experience
Take the recruiter on a journey that tells a story and provides examples of your interest. It is okay to include volunteering experience if this is the only experience you have. Always start with the most recent work experience and then work backward. When you write about your work experience, you need to consider two key areas; your responsibilities and your achievements whilst in that role.
6. Extracurricular activities
You should try to include hobbies and interests within your CV – where possible, these hobbies and interests should show that you are committed to developing and improving yourself eg. chess, swim team or football team. If possible, try to include any hobbies that can be seen as relevant to the job e.g. if you’re going for a marketing job and you have a fashion blog or youtube channel; or if you’re going for an engineering role and you restore bikes in your spare time.
7. Accomplishments, Awards or Achievements
You should include any special awards that you have received, additional certificates, or accomplishments that make you stand out. This might include being voted to be president of your student council, being selected to be a Prefect at your school, or being the team captain in your netball team. Again, you can explain your responsibilities and the key achievements within your role.
8. Strengths and Qualities
What are your strengths and best qualities? What are the biggest, relevant achievements you would want people to know about you? Have you demonstrated the best qualities and strengths that you have to offer? Have you reviewed the objectives of the role you are applying for? Does your CV give examples of what you are most proud of?
9. Be Concise
Is your CV concise or does it just repeat the same information in a slightly different way? Are your sentences too long and have you waffled? Write objectively and be specific. Is it factual instead of opinion based? Your CV should be 1-2 pages in length. No more than 2 pages. In some industries, there is an expectation that you should stick to just 1 page so do your research on this. Search online to find out the expected CV length for your target industry and your country.
10. Cover letter
Some companies will ask you for a cover letter in addition to your CV. If you’ve been asked to write one, then take time to make this stand out. A cover letter is your opportunity to personalise, tell more stories that show the value you can add and expand what is on your CV. Break it down into three paragraphs and do not exceed 1 page.
– Explain why you’re interested in the job.
– Describe why you’re the right person and what value you can bring.
– Share a bit more about yourself in general.
11. Check for Errors
Look through your CV before submitting it. Check for any errors. It can also be useful to check your CV for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
12. Ask for Constructive feedback
Finally, before you submit your CV, always ask one or two people to critique your CV and provide constructive feedback. Look for mentors or professionals who have some experience with CVs. This is extremely important as they might be able to spot improvements that you are yet to see.
It is highly likely that you will be updating your CV every few months or years, as you apply for new jobs and you gain more work experience.
It is useful to update it at least once a year as you review your career path because you will learn new skills or qualifications along the way.
You may even choose to have different CVs for different roles that you are interested in, as they should be targeted to your chosen field.
As mentioned, always remember to ask for feedback from a mentor to help you to review your CV before you submit it as this will help you write a CV that stands out from the crowd.
All the best!
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment events for young people aged 11-18.
As part of our Academic Programme and Awards Programme, scholars have the opportunity to attend our a range of enrichment events for young people including visits to universities, visits to the city and career days for young people.
Saturday 24th of March 2018 marked the date for our Annual Career Day. The theme of the day was Finding Your Passion and the day was a huge success.
The panel consisted out of talented professionals from various backgrounds and served for an in-depth overview of various career-focused topics.
With a turnout of over 70 young people and parents, the atmosphere was lively and we had some interesting questions that were submitted to the panel. GT Scholars would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our annual career day.
The day was very informative and insightful, with plenty of light shed on important questions. The day returned plenty of positive feedback from the young people, who found the event extremely useful and enjoyed learning about different career paths and options. We had speakers from a range of career backgrounds including a project manager at Lloyds Banking Group, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, a Senior Contract Manager at NHS England and senior software engineer and technologist with over 10 years experience in the tech industry.
We’ve put together a short summary of the discussions that took place on the day and the key messages from the day.
- Work experience can help you discover your passion: Not all young people find deciding on a career, to be an easy decision to make, especially at the age of 13 years old. Young people might find it hard to establish what their strengths and weaknesses are. They might struggle with knowing what they are good at and which field will be best suited for them. We all dream of a career that we can flourish in, excelling in doing what we are good at, something we have a passion for. Often we set ourselves to believe that we would enjoy a certain task or activity, but when we measure our perception against the practical experience, things don’t always turn out the way we’ve made our minds up to be. The only way to discover your passion and whether it can be a viable career option is to gain some work experience, accept an internship or to talk to someone in a similar field. Young people can gain ‘’behind the scenes’’ information on a particular career that they are interested in.
- Embrace your talents, they are limitless: Having a growth mindset is the key to unlocking your potential and talents. A lot of young people have the perceived idea that there is an elite group of people who are destined to be successful and talented and that they do not particularly fit into that group. That could not be farther from the truth! One of the questions asked by a young person at Career Day was, which career choice would be better: Embarking on a career journey on becoming a barrister or being a Youtube entrepreneur? The panel responded with:’’ You can be both.’’ Young people should not limit themselves, with the right mindset and dedication you can become anything you want to be, and most importantly you do not have to label yourself to fit into a specific category. You can still be a barrister with a Youtube channel and a profitable E-commerce business on top of that! There is no rule that says you need to limit yourself to only one profession. Young people should be free, creative and fearless. Approaching life with a can-do attitude.
- Studying Online: There was also a lot of interests and questions about the option of studying online. The discussion touch on a number of online courses available, some even free. While an online course does not carry the same credibility as a degree, they are still very useful and informative. It is a great inexpensive way to brush up on some skills or learn new skills. Not all courses are accredited so it is always a good idea to inquire about that before enrolling or paying for a course or paying for a certificate.
- Udemy is a great online source if you are looking to enrol in an online course. Udemy courses are not recognised by employers as a qualification but it is still worth adding your completion of the course on your CV. It can show a potential employer that you are self-invested and eager to learn.
- Coursera and EdX is another great online learning platform. With free online courses and members from the world’s most leading universities, edX offers a verified certificate that confirms your course completion. Another great thing about edX is that you can build up credits that you can put towards your university or college application for professional development.
- For more websites for online learning, read one of our other blog entries: 10 Websites young people can use to learn anything online.
- How to filter through choices: First and foremost it is important to remember that a career does not necessarily have to be a lifetime commitment. There are many career choices available and when imagining yourself being in a certain career field, young people should rather be asking how they can add value to their day to day life and the daily responsibilities that would be assigned to them. Young people should be asking themselves questions such as: What strengths and skills do I have? How can I utilise this to make a difference in my own life as well as others? Another important question young people need to ask themselves is: What will I enjoy doing? As parents we can develop our children’s communication, problem-solving, team working, leadership skills and creativity as these are the skills directly involved in making a career choice or business venture a success.
It was great to see how the young people who attended the event were supported by their parents. All parents who’ve attended our career day gained more perspective on the career and study options available to young people and learned how they as parents could provide the necessary support to young people needing to make these important life decisions.
We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the organisations that supported us to make this day happen: Amazon Foundation, Blackrock Foundation and Goldsmiths University – for giving young people and their parents the opportunity to attend our event and receive impartial information about different careers, apprenticeships, and university. Without the continuing support of our sponsors, enrichment activities such as our annual career day would not be possible.
GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity that helps young people from a range of backgrounds get better grades at school and get into top universities and competitive careers. If you would like to find out more information about GT Scholars and their after school one-to-one private tutoring and mentoring session, register your interest. Please feel free to subscribe to our newsletter and get notified of future events, workshops and opportunities for young people aged 11-16.
No one student is alike, some students get good grades and others don’t. Perhaps some students operate with more integrity than others or perhaps some are greater leaders than others. It could be that some children are more passionate and proud and want to make a difference in the world. We are all individuals with different strengths.
Caretakers and teachers are often seen as role models by young people. With no support structure in place to help young people achieve their instinctive goals, their dreams are lost and become embers of a distant fire. But, what if we gave them enough support and stimulated them in the right direction? What if we gave them the skills and the know-how to be able to achieve their ambitions? Amongst most young people are leaders, influencers and change-makers. Successful young people are usually hardworking and ambitious and most of all they want to excel further in life.
Certain qualities can make it easier for young people to learn and grow within their own potential. Investing time and effort in young people can help them realise their qualities and build their confidence, an important factor in determining their future career path.
We have listed seven influential characteristics of a successful student which could help them benefit from the many advantages of private tutoring.
A mentor or tutor can help you prepare for exams, consider potential future choices and how to deal with the unexpected. They help you develop life skills like determination, self confidence and mindfulness. They will also help you to have the strength to be able to swim upstream and dig your heels into whatever it is that is laid in front of you and help you identify potential procrastination habits and how to avoid them.
Self – Leadership
Looking within yourself is probably one of the most difficult things any human being can do. Before being able to become a leader in the real world you must be able to lead yourself. You need to have enough confidence to pull yourself into gear and get going on the tasks set before you. You are the one that will decide on how you will handle and behave in certain situations and your attitude towards it. How you will deal with your successes and losses. Seeing the bigger picture of where you are headed in life and working towards your goals on a daily basis can help you lead your way through life. To stand with both two feet on the ground, knowing who you are at all times is vital in a world with so much competition.
Be curious and ask questions if you do not understand a concept. It could result in approaching the topic from a different angle or answering a question everyone was wondering about but not prepared to ask. Your teacher and peers might be appreciative of that! Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question and there is no such thing as asking too many questions in class! A distant alarm bell goes off in our minds as we somehow remember these statements. The main point of being an active participant is to really listen and pay attention.
Being and staying motivated is one of the most difficult traits to maintain. As a student gets older, there will no longer be instruction and guidance from a teacher or tutor watching over them giving them homework deadlines. Students will need to set their own time-specific goals. Putting focus into moving forward towards goals on a daily basis shows internal motivation. This goes hand in hand with being a successful student, not only during student life but also in the future. Making a conscious decision to switch off from all distractions and focus on the main subject during lectures and tutoring times is vital. If you do not have good listening skills you will not be able to participate and communicate effectively with peers during tutoring and socializing.
‘I get knocked down, but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down.’ Remember this song? Sure you do. With so much going on in an ever-changing and influential world of young people, it is common that one’s self-confidence can take a knock at times. Many youngsters also experience personal challenges on the home front and this more often than not has an effect on their schooling and social development.
Self – Belief
So many characteristics begin with Self. It is important that young people are stimulated and guided towards finding their inner self and believing that they are capable of anything they put their mind to. If you want it, you can get it. As long as you stay focused and determined and maintain a growth mindset, you will always reach certain goals that you have yet to achieve.
Whilst growing up and progressing through your school career, you will start managing your own time and setting deadlines to complete goals. This allows you to start taking responsibility for your own progress in life as you realise once again that only you can make a difference in this world and in your own world. Managing your own time is an important management skill you will need to learn for the career place. Being timeous with your school activities and tasks teaches you a sense of responsibility, a great trait you will need to possess in your future career.
Meeting with a mentor or tutor on a regular basis can help to build confidence and determination to reach your goals and aspirations. Tutors and Mentors who have real-life experiences can guide young children in the right direction when they are faced with difficult choices or situations. Character building is the basic foundation and building blocks of life.
The GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise that tackles educational inequality and improves social mobility. We run an after-school tutoring programme that aims to help young people between the ages of 11-16. Our programme also includes mentoring and enrichment activities with the aim to help young people prepare for their exams, improve their grades and gain access to the most selective universities and competitive careers. To stay up to date and find out more about our courses and workshops, subscribe to our newsletter.
A mentor can have an extremely positive influence on a young person’s life, however, the effectiveness of mentoring is often overlooked. A mentor is someone who the mentee can depend on, someone that acts as an active listener, tuned into the unique needs of a mentee. With the right mentor, a young person can gain professional socialisation skills and receive personal support to facilitate long-lasting success.
Here are 7 reasons why every young person needs a mentor:
- Every young person has potential: We have all heard the saying: ‘In every caterpillar, there is a butterfly waiting to spread its wings, flourish and soar to greatness.’ Much like a butterfly, in every young person exists greatness waiting to be unleashed. Mentors can serve as a source of guidance and support to help young people reach this greatness by assisting a young person in goal setting and providing motivation.
- Mentoring is relational: It is believed that young people are very dependent on relationships to develop their ideas and perceptions of the world. This is mostly influenced by their interaction with social media, peers and adults. Young people can often feel isolated and disconnected from adults. This can result in a young person’s perceptions and opinions being influenced by misinformation obtained from peers and social media. Mentors can challenge and correct these perceptions and opinions from a more mature perspective and bring about an inquisitiveness, passion and a more informed opinion within a young person through dialogue and active engagement. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can help build trust and illustrate the dynamics of positive relationships.
- All young people are unique and different: “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go through its life feeling like it is not smart”. This quote is worth remembering as young people can sometimes feel pressured to fit into the same mould and can be expected to conform to limited ideas of success and greatness introduced to them through social media and peers. Since mentoring is such a unique process, it helps each young person to realise their own unique abilities, talents and strengths. It is important for each young person to realise the unique ways in which they can contribute to society around them. A mentor can help show a young person that if they are a ‘fish’ they may not be able to climb trees, but they could certainly swim!
- Informal education: Throughout a young person’s formal education they are taught a variety of subjects and skills, but they are rarely taught about themselves as individuals. Learning about oneself can be thought of as lifelong informal education that often has no curriculum or duration. However, it is imperative that young people start getting to know themselves before heading out into the world as adults. Knowing yourself helps you to make well-informed decisions later in life such as career choices, social or relationship choices and educational choices. The unique process of mentoring gives a young person the personal space to discover things about themselves which they can use later on to make these important decisions. A mentor can also act as a valuable sounding board since they have the advantage of experience, and they can help steer a young person in making profound discoveries about themselves.
- Challenge thinking: Sometimes young people can be overly accepting of certain ideas about the world around them without challenging these ideas and forming their own opinions – such as what kind of future is attainable for them in terms of education and career options. We live in a world where young people are inundated with what the ‘ideal future’ is, but rarely are they encouraged to self-reflect and challenge what motivates and inspires them personally. A mentor can challenge a young person’s aspirations and ideas so that they may be better understood.
- Accountability: A mentor can act as a great sense of accountability for a young person to reach their goals and their true potential. Young people may be accountable to a parent for their household chores, or a teacher for their homework but who makes them accountable for their life goals? This is where a mentor comes in. They can set weekly goals for a young person to ensure that they are reaching those goals or working towards those goals. They can also help their mentee stay on track with their ambitions through providing the unique tools they may need to reach those ambitions. Accountability is also a vital life skill for a young person to learn as it fosters responsibility and independence. When a young person is accountable they learn to take responsibility for their own growth.
- Staying grounded while dreaming big: It’s good to dream big! But sometimes a young person’s ambitions can be rooted in fantasy, and from time to time they can lack the ability to recognize the reality of a situation. A mentor can help in grounding a young person and guiding them practically through some of the realistic challenges they may face on their way to achieving their greatness and goals. A mentor helps to bridge the gap between how a young person may see the way forward and what is realistically the best way forward.
Whilst it’s true that many of the benefits of a mentor can to some extent be fulfilled by a parent or sibling, it may be important to a young person that their mentor is from outside of their immediate family. In our experience, most young people derive greater benefits from mentorship when paired with a non-parent mentor, and that they thrive within this unique and valuable relationship.
If your child is between ages 11-16 and you are interested in our mentoring programme, please contact us for more information. We also have great tutoring as well as enrichment programmes available.
We spend a significant part of our lives in school, and all have views on what would make our school a better place. There are many ways ranging from knowledgeable and highly motivated teachers who understand their subjects to state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. But, it is no doubt that making a school environment a better place for learners is a shared responsibility between players such as teachers, parents and learners.
Actively striving to improve shortcomings within your school environment will create a pleasant atmosphere that stems from happier students, which will, in turn, increase the productivity of students’ productivity and eventually positively influence grades.
Be inspired by these seven steps that will help you to play your part in creating a positive and friendly environment for everyone in your school.
1. Say NO to bullying:
Bullying has become a very serious matter in schools around the world. The effect on someone who has fallen victim to bullying can be severe, ranging from anger issues to depression, stress and suicidal tendencies. When you witness another student being bullied, you must speak up and make your teacher aware of the situation. It is not easy to do as you might feel that you will be next in line to receive punishment, but always remember that you can report such a situation anonymously. Your teacher will respect your wishes to remain unknown.
2. Be positive and friendly towards others:
Students can often create a negative atmosphere by complaining about lousy lunch meals, a subject that is too difficult or a specific teacher making life difficult for them. This thought pattern can easily influence students’ views around the person complaining and dampen their spirits. Try to lift morale by offering solutions to complaints of fellow students or try to instil a sense of humour to lighten the matter up. Laughter instantly lifts a lousy situation and creates a light atmosphere. Nobody can learn when they are stuck in a negative mindset.
3. Be your brother’s keeper:
If you notice a fellow student struggling one way or the other, for instance, working in a social environment or a particular subject, approach them and offer your help and support. However, if you cannot reach out to them despite your best efforts and there is still no change in their behaviour, try to speak to one of the teachers and alert them to this in case there is more to the situation. Because if every student in the school took on this mindset, it would spread a sense of belonging among their peers.
4. Take care of the school property:
We all benefit from a clean and presentable school environment and would like to feel proud of our school. Be an example to your fellow students, and always respect and care for your school facilities. Report any vandalism and try to organise school events where the whole school participates in picking up litter or removing graffiti. This is a great way to make everyone think twice before participating in vandalising activities or littering the school grounds. Everybody should be contributing towards a clean school environment.
5. Participate in school activities:
Volunteer to take part in various school activities such as drama, sports and any other activity. It helps to keep the team spirit alive in your school. As you volunteer for such activities, encourage other students to join and spread the idea of volunteerism. When you do this, not only will you be assisting other students, you will be helping teachers to perform their duties more effectively.
6. Recognise that no one is beneath you:
You must show respect to your peers and teachers and acknowledge and respect the other school workers, such as the groundsmen, cleaners and tea ladies, as everyone connected to the school works together to make education possible. Always lend a hand and never miss an opportunity to learn or think that certain school activities are only meant for less privileged students. Your hunger to learn will be contagious.
7. Run for student government:
If you can win a student representative position, you can make a difference. It will allow you to create strategies and plans to improve different aspects of the school. You can engage in fundraising activities to improve school facilities or start new clubs to promote a positive environment in the school. This is your chance to make an impact. Being part of a student government also looks good on a university or college application.
In conclusion, please remember that improving a school environment often means improving the atmosphere between students, teachers and administrators. Change does not happen overnight, but if you actively engage in some of the tips listed above and convince fellow students to take on the mindset, situations can be improved. Remember, you are a part of the team and must play your role.
GT Scholars strives to provide mentoring, tutoring and enrichment to children from diverse backgrounds. Our tutors and mentors are professional and well-informed in their respective study fields and can assist your academic needs ideally. We offer private tuition in Maths, Science and English and a Mentorship programme. Feel free to contact us to share your views or register for our programmes. Please register your interest here or call us at 020 881 68066.
We love TED talks, and we love Croydon… so what could be better than TEDxYouth@Croydon?!
TEDxYouth@Croydon returns on Saturday 14th, November 2015. Please note that this is an external event not organised by us. Please visit the organiser page here.
The video below is a talk by Rosina ST. James, the former chair of the British Youth Council. She studied Social policy and received an award for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ at the London School of Economics.
Additionally, Rosina ST. James is recognised for being one of the top ten most outstanding black students in the UK and received the Rare Rising Star Award.
Rosina ST. James is a positive role model for many young people. Her TED Talk on the legacy you leave behind is an inspiring and thought-provoking talk on how young people can make a difference.
Watch the “What Will You Leave Behind” TED Talk below:
However, hard work and determination don’t always equal success. In the TED Talk, you will hear how Rosina dreamed of being a politician, but she wasn’t sure how to get there.
This is a common challenge many young people face. Many young people have big goals and dreams but may feel they can’t achieve them. This is simply because young people need to be taught the right strategies to help them achieve their goals.
Here at GT Scholars, we believe that all young people have the ability to be gifted and talented. They simply need to be shown the right strategies.
The GT Scholars Awards programme focuses on helping young people understand the variety of career and study options available to them and can assist in making informed decisions about their future careers.
The GT Scholars Academic Programme has helped many struggling students achieve good grades. This unique after-school programme combines tutoring in either Maths or English, Enrichment and Skill building classes. After joining the programme, students improved by two grades within a year. If you are interested in one of our programmes, you can register your interest here, and one of our team members will contact you to discuss things in more detail.