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Writing a school leaver CV

Want to know how to write that tricky first CV? We asked career expert and author of Creating your first ever CV Julia Dolowicz how to do it. Here are her seven steps to success.

Step 1: Gather it: This step is all about collecting the material to start creating your 'Principal CV'. With four activities: 1) Go Get It� 2) Go with the Flow 3) Start your Time Line and 4) Pruning you begin to write down the kind of jobs you're seeking and involve five other people in your life so that you discover the skills others seeing you. �


You bring together information for your timeline, relating to education, examinations and qualifications. After finishing this step, you should research the types of jobs you are seeking.

Step 2: Develop it: Now take all the information you have gathered and start to adapt it. You will be introduced to what a Job Description and Person Specification look like and be motivated to find similar for jobs you’re considering. You should start to look at your skills in a bit more depth and decide on your five key abilities.

Step 3: Prove it: Start to think of specific examples where you have used a skill, strength, shown initiative, or realised your potential.� Think of examples and evidence of skills that can show where you're excelling.�

Step 4: Draft it: This step is about the detail and shape of your CV: the format, the style, the structure and the layout. Start with a blank outline and pull together the evidence you have been collecting. There is more discussion about developing your Profile and what you are hoping to achieve with yours.

Step 5: Build it: You will now be ready to write your Principal CV. You should begin to tweak your chief skills and begin to remove the 'itsy-bitsy' words you have written in order to create evidence that sits snugly on one line. Think about using descriptive words that boost the evidence for your statements.

Step 6: Polish it: It's likely that you will have written more than is necessary, so now’s the time to add and subtract things from your CV. �Feedback is essential, so hand over your draft to someone you feel will highlight the positive and negatives.

Step 7: Complete it: Time for the four Rs. Rejig, refine and reassure so that it reads well and flows. By this point you have a Principal CV that is really selling your strengths and skills. Now it’s time to think about your network - people you know who will be able to offer you opportunities and the companies that you want to send your CV to. ��

Creating a first CV, with no employment history, can be a daunting task. But just because you haven’t had a work/employment history, doesn’t mean you have no skills.�

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