With increasing choice in how and when to enter the world of work, more and more young people are finding they need to know how to write a CV at 16. Part-time work, apprenticeships, work experience – no matter what it is, we’re here to help.
How to write a CV at 16
1. Collect your basic information
Let’s start simple. To write a CV, you’re going to need the following basic information to hand: your name, date of birth, your address, a phone number you can be contacted on, an email address you can be contacted on, ANY educational credits to date (a brief account of your GCSE results and the school you achieved them at would be good here). Write them down, and get ready to come back to them.
2. Collect your ‘extra-curricular’ information
This is where it gets interesting. Potential employers will want to get to know who you are beyond your basic facts and figures, so it’s really important to think about your hobbies, your passions and what you do beyond your general education.
Do you play an instrument? Take part in a sports team, or club at school? Do you love to bake, horse-ride, collect antique reproductions of 18th century dressing tables? Whatever it is, it’s what makes you you.
There’s a part two to this – beyond noting down the skills and talents that makes you unique, you need to think about how these things might be beneficial to a potential employer. So, for instance, you’ve taken part in the school play. What interesting skills does that translate to? Good public speaking? Team-work? Thrives under pressure?
Allocate yourself a couple of sentences per activity to explain why you think it’s relevant to an employer.
3. What about a reference?
Seeing as you’ve probably yet to have any formal work experience (your young age making it illegal and all), it’s good to be able to provide evidence of someone who is happy to vouch for you.
This person probably shouldn’t be a relative of yours (they have a tendency to be biased, you see) but a teacher or a family friend will certainly do. Ask them if they’d be willing to be your reference, and then ask for their address and phone number. You’ll need them when arranging your CV.
4. Think about your objective
It’s a good idea to get down in writing (3 or 4 sentences) what exactly you’re hoping to achieve in your work experience/part-time work/apprenticeship. Is it to improve skills in a certain area? Get some experience in an office environment? Whatever the reason, take a bit of time to note it down clearly and concisely – it will give your employers some idea of whether you’re a good fit for their opportunity.
5. Piece it all together
At this early point in your career, your CV shouldn’t be more than a page long. So, start with your name, date of birth, contact details and address at the top of the page. Next, present your objective, and follow it up with your “Education” section (with your educational credentials to date).
Next, under “Relevant Experience” list the skills and passions that you think are most relevant to the position you’re applying for, along with their two sentences explanations.
If you have other hobbies you’d like to include, but aren’t sure of their relevance, you can stick them underneath in a separate section entitled “Other Interests”. Finally, at the bottom of the page, list the details of your reference. Congratulations, you’re done!
We hope we’ve managed to clear up any worries you have around how to write a CV at 16. Good luck with your job search, and remember – 18th century dressing table reproductions are ALWAYS in demand.
Anything else you’ve got questions on? Let us know if the comments below, and we’ll do our best to help. Or else you can talk to us on Twitter via @enternships