Back in September, when I opened up my CV document on my laptop to see if it was up to scratch for placement applications, I was filled with embarrassment and discouragement. My CV looked pathetic – a single side of A4 with my name and address filling the majority of the page! I had little to no relevant experience for anything in life really, apart from a weekend waitressing job in a pub. I knew that in order to compete with my peers applying for top of the range placement opportunities, I needed to bulk out this document. It’s such an important document. It’s a window into your life for an employer to look through for the few minutes or so they’ll spend (if that) reviewing your application. So with the stress starting to mount, I headed to the careers service website.
Navigating my way around the website, I found that there were a number of workshops and talks available for things like ‘How To Write A CV’ and ‘How To Succeed At Interviews’ to ‘How To Write A Covering Letter’. This was perfect. I went along with a couple of friends to a few, and even braved a few on my own. Despite some being quite obvious, its always reassuring to get the basics explained to make sure you’re doing nothing wrong or making any common errors. After these workshops, I sat down and completely redid my CV. I found a template I liked, picked a few nice colours and really started to brag about things like the skills waitressing had taught me the last 2 years, and also what I learnt from being on the charities committee in sixth form. After I was as happy as I could be with what I had to work with, I took it along to the careers service to get it checked by an advisor, who was extremely supportive and helpful. Even though I was now happier with my CV, I decided that second year would be the year to begin bulking it up with relevant experience in marketing.
On a whim, I applied for a handful of Newcastle Work Experience placements (a 100 hour term time placement). To my surprise, I received interviews for all I applied to. After the process was over, I was proud to have been offered a placement for the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator with a company in Newcastle! I’m now nearly 80 hours into my placement, and it’s been a great experience. I’m so glad I pushed myself to actually get more involved this year. Although getting up at 7am on a day I would usually have no lectures is a bit of a killer, it’s given me a taste of a job sector I’m potentially extremely interested in. It’s allowed me to get to grips with marketing on a small scale, and I was quickly thrown in at the deep end and given my own responsibilities and deadlines! I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far, and I can safely say I’ll be applying again next year. Having a taster session of working life is definitely interesting, and makes me appreciate the last 18 months I have of student life.
I encourage you to get involved in anything you can to start building up your CV! In order to get experience, employers want experience! If you’re worried or have any queries, what better place to be than at University with the wonders of the Careers Service to help you along every step of the way!