Bulking up your CV is a great skill to learn early on in your working life, as every opportunity you take should work towards this goal of making yourself more employable. So don’t wait til after university to start building your CV up, start now, the sooner the better!
In this blog post I hope to inform you of different ways you can build up your CV, bringing you one step closer to your dream job.
Getting a paid job: This is what people automatically think when trying of bulking up their CV. And yes, having a paid job is great as it’s extra income you can put towards your goal, however, you might not always find one that is catered towards what you want to do in the future. Fear not though as pretty much any job is great for your CV as it gives you time management, organisation and people skills (in most cases), which are attributes every job looks for! Just remember the job doesn’t have to be catered towards your future goal to be useful.
Just like paid work, volunteering does not have to relate to your dream job, it helps, but it’s not essential. So for an example, I’ll highlight two kinds of volunteering you can do.
- Catering your volunteering to your dream job: My own personal experience of this is my experience from working with a special needs charity, as I create promotional videos for their social media page. This adds to my media resume, but also helps make me more employable if I ever change my mind on what I want to do in the future. Another example of this would be a health student volunteering at a retirement home, as you would get experience in caring for people who depend on your help, communication and many other skills you wouldn’t even think of!
- Unrelated volunteering: I believe there is no such thing as ‘unrelated’ volunteering as every experience as key skills attached to it which can add to your dream job. My personal experience with this was in my first year with my Vibe radio ‘Reel Talk’. Each week we’d pick a theme or genre and talk about films and play soundtracks. Now, I don’t plan on going into radio, it’s fun, but not want I wanted to do in the long run. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted to do in the future, it certainly added to my CV! As I was able to say that I produced a weekly radio plan, which shows writing ability and multitasking skills, as well as getting the opportunity to host a charity fun run, showcasing charisma and communication skills and being able to talk to a large group of people.
Unpaid work experience is something you’re going to come across a lot when looking for a job, as many employers either can’t pay you as it’s not in their budget or they want to see if you have the skills they’re looking for in an employer before hiring you. My personal example of this is the ‘Label Recordings’ which I work for. I have talked about this in a previous post, which I’ll link here, so I’ll just give you a brief summary. ‘The Label’ is a non-profit indie record label, which I edit music videos for and am a runner for on set. Although I am not paid, I have gained a lot of useful experience from this and even opportunities such as more unpaid work as an editor for Sound City!
If you’ve never had a job, don’t worry there’s still ways to make yourself employable. And you can do that with one simple tip which is to treat every position as if it was a job. So, have you ever lead a big group project? Raised money for a charity? Won any relevant awards? Or held a position in a society?
For example, I’m president of Edge Hill’s Disney society (Yes, I do a surprising amount of
things in my life), which isn’t very relevant to the media job I’m working towards. However when I think about what skills I used and developed in this position, then I can say that I gained skills in organisation, decision-making and leadership.
As long as you can make it relevant, then add it!
And finally ask yourself: do I have any skills that would be useful for this job I want? This can be anything from languages you know or your familiarity with certain computer programs. As long as it’s relevant for the job you’re applying for, add it!
I hope you learnt something from this post, as writing a CV can be hard at first but once you’ve got it sorted done and out of the way, it’s just a case of updating it from time to time.
Until next time!
Film/Show of the day: Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)