Example CV and cover letter: My First CV

So, you want to get your first CV in shape to tackle the world of work? Get prepared with this example content.

Who's applying for the job?

Alex is an S3 pupil at Hillhead High School.

After a chat with her school’s careers adviser, she realised that she’s a practical learner who’d be suited to real-life work experience.

She’s starting her first CV now, so she’s ready to apply for voluntary work and retail jobs when the time comes.

Working on her CV in S3 will allow Alex to create a solid base that she can build on once she gains new experiences, skills and achievements.

As someone who loves fashion, she’d love to work for Topshop.

What's the job description?

The role would cover: 

  • Meeting and greeting customers
  • Helping customers find products
  • Offering fast and friendly service to customers
  • Processing deliveries
  • Working on the shopfloor or in the stock room
  • Getting stock to the sales floor
  • Keeping the shop floor tidy

You’ll be someone who:

  • Loves to help people and is a great communicator
  • Copes well under pressure when in busy environments
  • Is friendly and loves a challenge
  • Is willing to work hard and be flexible

And the benefits are:

  • Staff discounts
  • First pick of the sale stock

Introduction

A cover letter is a way for you to introduce yourself, and highlight the skills and qualities you could bring to the role.

It's a short letter, maximum of one A4 page, to complement your CV and explain a little bit about who you are and why you want the job.

e.g.

'Hello, I'm currently an S3 pupil at Hillhead High School, studying English, Maths, Chemistry, Music, History Spanish and Physics.

I’m applying to work as a shop assistant in Topshop because I love fashion and would like to be a stylist one day.'

 

Motivation

Relate back to the skills they’ve mentioned in the job description.

It shows you’ve been paying attention, and helps you explain why you’d be a good fit for the role. 

Showing why you're interested in the job is useful too. 

In this example, they're looking for someone friendly, with good communication skills.

e.g.

'I love working with people, and helping my friends pick out outfits. I play hockey and netball, so I'm comfortable and experienced with working in teams.

I also like to keep up-to-date with fashion using Instagram and reading magazines like Vogue. Fashion and style is my passion, and I feel I could bring energy and creativity to this role'

Relevant experience

Describe things that you've done already that prove you could do the job, talk about what you did and why you did it. 

e.g.

'I am a hard worker and committed to doing the best I can, wherever I am.

I've done a week’s work experience in HMV, organised by my school, so I have already worked in a retail environment. 

Last year, I organised a charity bake sale on behalf of my school, which helped build my skills in networking, planning and managing a busy event.'

Conclusion

When you're signing off a cover letter, you need to strike the right tone.

Leave them with a sense of who you are, and don't be too casual. It's important to be respectful - but you shouldn't be too formal either. 

'I think I would be the right person for this job, as I love clothes, styling and helping people. 

Hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Alexandra Glass'

Starting your CV

It can be difficult to know where to begin with CVs. 

The best ones start with a short, honest description of who you are as a person and what you'd have to offer in a job. 

If you're struggling to come up with material, then why not ask a friend or a teacher how they would describe you? 

Your skills can be shown in many areas: 

  • Subjects you've studied at school
  • Activities or clubs you've been a part of 
  • Certificates or awards you've won

You can also use our three core tools (About Me, Strengths and Skills) to help you understand yourself, your strengths and skills.

They'll give you detailed results, that you can use as a base to help write your CV. You'll find them in your My World of Work account. 

For example: 

'I am a focused, organised and creative individual.

Currently studying for my National 5s at Hillhead High School, I am looking for a part-time job in retail to work towards my dream of being a stylist. I am a part of several after-school clubs – hockey and netball – and am good at working as part of a team.'

List your relevant experience

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​HMV, shop assistant – 15-19 October 2018

In October 2018, I took part in my school's work experience programme in HMV Braehead.

Gaining a taste of working on the floor of a busy shop, I received till training and learned how to behave in a professional environment.

I have experience in: 

  • Customer enquiries
  • Tagging products 
  • Working in a busy stockroom 

Organiser of Marie Curie coffee morning, May 2018

Part of a team who organised a coffee morning and bake sale at school, as part of fundraising efforts for Marie Curie Cancer Care. 

I am experienced in: 

  • Organising an event 
  • Handling cash 
  • Teamwork and sales skills

And remember...

Applying for jobs is an art form. You'll get better with practice, and over time. 

Read through our job profiles to take a look at roles you might be interested in, and show the skills that you might need. 

If you need extra help, our careers advisers are on-hand to give one-to-one support. 

Drop into one of our careers centres or, if you're in school, then arrange a meeting through your teacher.