How to write a student CV (with template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 July 2022 | Published 19 July 2021

Updated 19 July 2022

Published 19 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

For students, crafting an effective CV is an important step toward getting the job they want. Whether you're a student at secondary school, college or university, it's essential to know how to write a professional-looking student CV. In this article, we explain how to construct a stand-out student CV, explain the different types of CV and the most important points to include, and provide an example and template to use as a basis when writing your student CV.

The importance of a student CV

Creating your first student CV is an opportunity to begin to think about how you might fit within the job market. It's a chance to consider what your skills are and how you can put them to good use. When you're first starting out, the first step to take is to search for examples of student CVs. Here, you can see what skills, experience and qualifications you have that align with these examples. These student CV examples also indicate what works when applying for jobs. You can also get an idea of what prospective employers want to see.

You can discover the layouts, formats, tone and language that are appropriate for the type of job you're looking for and with the experience you have. For instance, if you're applying to be an intern or already have intern experience, searching for an intern CV can focus your approach. In short, by looking for examples of what other people use, you'll have a clear guide to follow.

Related: CV summary examples (and 5 steps for how to write one)

Types of student CVs

There are different types of student CVs, and which CV format for students you use will depend on your own experience and the type of role you're applying for. Here are some of the most common types of student CVs:

Skills-based CV

If you're still in secondary school, you might not have much work experience. For this kind of student, emphasising your transferable skills from studying to working is a must, as well as highlighting how well you've performed in your student career so far. Make sure you arrange your CV to put your skills at the top, under your personal statement.

Academic experience-based CV

If you're a graduate, your CV should highlight your recent academic achievements and demonstrate that you're fresh to the employment market. This means you come with up-to-date skills and knowledge in your subject area. Let the employer know this by reflecting it in your personal statement and including details of modules you've taken as part of your degree.

Simple student CV format

Creating a simple CV that's easy to read is important. Make sure the layout you use is clear, clean and concise. Use a consistent font face and size. Clearly break up the CV into sections including education and work experience. List the entries in chronological order with the most recent listed first. If you make your CV straightforward, you can make it much easier for the person who's reading it. You're then more likely to receive a request for an interview.

Read more: A guide on how to make a CV template (with types and tips)

Important points to include in your student CV

When writing your professional student CV, it's important to list information appropriately so that it relates to the job description. You won't need to rewrite your CV for every job, but it's worth considering editing it each time. This might mean:

  • Adding information

  • Specifying more examples

  • Reorder your skills to showcase the most important points

How to write student CV sections

The sections you should always include in your student CV are as follows:

CV profile summary

A couple of sentences should include a description of your career goal or objectives. Also, give a brief statement about how your skills relate to the role you're applying for.

Education

Here you should list your qualifications and academic achievements. Make sure to put the full name of the qualification and the name of the school, college or university you attended and the year you graduated or are expected to graduate. It's also worth noting any research you carried out or the thesis you completed.

Work experience

This is where you can list any work history that you have. You can include all previous jobs and work experience, even if there isn't a direct correlation with the job you're applying to. All jobs have soft skills and hard skills that can be transferable to a range of job descriptions. For example, listening, leadership and attention to detail.

Many secondary school students and university students will have been involved with some type of voluntary work or internships, either on a regular basis or as a one-off. There may even be things you didn't consider that could go on your professional student CV, such as babysitting, pet sitting or doing tasks for neighbours. These activities all demonstrate responsibility, dedication and motivation to work for your future employer.

Related: Internship CV examples and how to craft your own

Skills

In the skills section of your professional student CV, you can highlight the most important skills you've gained academically or through work. These can be both hard and soft skills. Examples of hard skills include proficiency in Microsoft Office, data analysis, graphic design, sales, research and management. Examples of soft skills include communication, customer service, leadership, diplomacy, problem-solving, communication and presentation skills, and meeting deadlines.

You also want to show how you match the skills described in the job description with examples. Even if you think certain experiences don't apply to the job you're searching for, there are transferable skills which employers do look for. These include leadership, responsibility and teamwork. List the skills which relate most to the job first, to make it clearer to the employer reading your student CV.

Optional sections

At the end of your CV, you can include relevant extra sections such as languages, certifications and awards. Also, include any hobbies and interests if they are relevant to the role or show something about your character or work ethic. For example, if you're applying for a translation position, you could also include that you're interested in creative writing to highlight your writing skills. You also want to add activities such as sports or any school clubs which can show off skills such as leadership.

Related: Listing hobbies and interests on your CV (with examples)

Top tips

These top tips are important for creating a professional student CV:

  • Maximise layout. To make sure that your CV is easy to read, you need to choose a straightforward format that the employer can refer to without needing too much time. Ensure that the sections in your professional student CV are visibly marked and the most important information is listed first.

  • Use keywords. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are used by employers to review candidate applications more efficiently. They use keywords in the job description and match that to your CV. Therefore, CVs with minimal keywords may not rank highly. So, it's worth trying to research ATS to process your CV before sending it to the prospective employer.

  • Add professional contact details. As a student, it's important that employers take you seriously. So, make sure that your email address is professional and that you include both your first and last names.

  • Read the job description. An important aspect before starting to write your professional student CV is to read the job description to note the prevalent keywords and phrases. Also, research the company and note its values and goals. When you tailor your CV with this information in mind, it indicates that you've taken the time to study the position. It also shows that you're genuinely interested in the company. You'll need to edit your CV for each application you send. It isn't necessary to completely rewrite the CV, but you should adapt it for each role.

  • Remember unpaid experience. You should include any type of experience which is valuable to the role, whether this is paid or unpaid.

Related: How to get your first job

Student CV template

The following template can help guide you when crafting your student CV:

Full Name
Address
Phone number
Email

Profile

List your profile statement, objectives and goals.

Education

Name of university
Degree title and grade/predicted grade
Graduation date (month, year)

Name of college
Subjects and grades/predicted grades
Graduation date (month, year)

Name of school
Subjects and grades/predicted grades
Graduation date (month, year)

Honours and Awards

[List any scholastic honours and awards here.]

Work History

Name of employer
Dates of employment month, yearmonth, year)
Job title

Duties included:

  • [List of primary duties in the role]

Skills

  • [List of skills developed during your time as a student]

Hobbies and interests

  • [List of relevant interests – for example, sports clubs, certificates and language proficiencies]

Example CV

Here is an example of a professional student CV:

Jane Smith
1 New Road, London

01234 567891
janesmith@email.com

Profile

A motivated language undergraduate with experience in tutoring and freelancing. Specialised in Spanish, Italian and European Politics. Seeking to utilise my diverse language skills and develop my career at a reputable international organisation.

Education

University of Bristol
BA Hons Spanish and Italian (2:1)
June 2016

University of Madrid
Year Abroad study
2014 - 2015

Honours and Awards

Language Scholarship

Work History

University of Bristol Language Club
June 2015 - June 2016
Tutor

Duties included:

  • Assisting in Spanish and Italian lessons.

  • Organising and preparing lessons.

  • Offering one-to-one support with student coursework.

  • Working with student and adult learners.

Freelance Translations

September 2014 - June 2016

Translator

Duties included:

  • Translating for a range of companies and sectors including marketing and tourism.

  • Creating a database of clients.

  • Promoting services across digital marketing platforms.

Skills

  • Translation technology

  • Class management systems

  • German (B1)

  • French (B1)

  • Social media platforms

Hobbies and interests

  • Creative writing

  • Swimming – captain of university team

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

Related:

  • 2-page CV template (plus a definition and useful tips)

  • How to write a student cover letter (with examples)


Explore more articles