5 Easy Ways to Develop Your CV Whilst at University

Reckon your CV is already top-notch?

Are you thinking about applying for an internship or placement this year, but don't think your CV is quite up to scratch? Fear not. We’ve come up with 5 things you can do at university to give it that extra oomph...

1. Write for the student newspaper

We know what you're probably thinking: I'm not a journalism student so why would I write for a newspaper? (If you're a journalist student, just ignore that bit).

Writing for a credible media outlet demonstrates your ability to think critically. It also shows that you can articulate ideas and adapt your writing style for different audiences. Employers love that kind of thing. 

If writing doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can still impress employers in other ways. For example, you could join your student radio station. Think of it as having a good old natter with your pals, but instead you’re talking into a microphone to people you can’t see. It’s surprisingly fun.

Know a mate whose CV is looking a little bare?

2. Join a sports club

Students tend to overlook the value of having sports on their CV. But being part of a sports club shows employers you have lots of the ‘soft skills’ that they are looking for. Teamwork, self-discipline and self-evaluation are just a few.

Also, you don’t have to be a sporting prodigy to to get involved. Most universities have sports teams that span a spectrum of abilities, so it doesn't matter if you're new to the basketball court or a pro hoop shooter. Keeping fit is also proven to boost your productivity when studying. It’s a win-win.

3. Learn a foreign language

You don’t have to be studying for a language degree to learn a language. Most universities offer part-time language courses, evening classes or even ‘buddy-up’ schemes where you can co-learn a foreign language with your peers. 

Taking the time to learn a language shows potential employers that you are engaged in self-improvement, have an inquisitive mindset and can work in unfamiliar territory. It could also be the key to nabbing some lucrative work experience abroad.

4. Join a student union committee

Running for a committee position is a great way to show that you can hold a position of accountability. It also proves to potential employers that you are able to confidently represent a brand or organisation.

If you want to give your CV that extra sparkle, then run for an executive position. Taking on a leadership role will show off your ability to manage, organise and execute well. Whether it’s the governance, welfare or outreach committee, or perhaps you want to represent a minority community at your university, opportunities in the SU are endless. 

5. Network with industry experts

Lots of students think networking is stressful business. Let’s bust that myth! Career fairs and industry experts are just like you and me. So there's no need to act like you’re meeting the queen.

Just make sure you have something valuable to say that shows off your personal strengths and interests. Before you know it, you’ll have a bank of professional contacts that will come in handy when you want to break into your dream industry.

If you’re feeling extra career-motivated, why not attend symposium lectures and industry conferences? These are regularly held on campus, so keep an eye out. Logging these experience on your CV will show an employer that you’re a serious candidate. 

And there you have it. 5 things you can do to flesh out your CV, demonstrate your ‘soft skills’ and impress future employers - all whilst making the most out of your time at university.