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My first CV example

Ready to tackle the world of work with your first CV? Get prepared with this example content.

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The candidate

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 would suit 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 New Look.

The job description

It's important to consider the description of the job that you're applying for when creating your CV. You want to show off the skills you have that are most suitable for the job. If you do not have a specific job in mind then you should think of the type of job that you want and the skills they would need. 

This is the description for the job that Alex is going to apply for.

Role responsibilities

The role would cover:

  • meeting and greeting customers
  • helping customers find products
  • offering fast and friendly service to customers
  • processing deliveries
  • working on the shop floor or in the stock room
  • getting stock to the sales floor
  • keeping the shop floor tidy

Role requirements

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

The cover letter

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, an A4 page to complement your CV and explain a little bit about who you are and why you want the job. 


First begin with an introduction. You'll want to give a short description of who you are and why you are applying for the position.

Here is an example from Alex's cover letter:

​​​​​​​'​​​​​​​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.'

Show your skills

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. This is how Alex responded:

'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 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. For example:

'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.'


When you're signing off a cover letter, you need to use the right tone. Leave them with a sense of who you are but try not to be too casual. It's important to be respectful - but you should not be too formal either. 

Here is an example:

'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'

The CV

Think about your own skills and experiences

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? 

A lot of people have never had a job before. If that's you, think about what you've done in your spare time, such as:

  • hobbies
  • extracurricular activities
  • 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 3 core tools (About MeStrengths 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. 

Here is an example from Alex's CV:

'I am a focused, organised and creative individual. I am currently studying for my National 5s at Hillhead High School and 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.'

Finally, make sure to list all relevant experience that you have – it can go a long way in helping you to stand out from the crowd.

Have a look at what Alex has written about her experience. 

HMV, shop assistant - 15 to 19 October 2018

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

Through this I gained experience 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

I was part of a team who organised a coffee morning and bake sale at school as part of fundraising efforts for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Through this I gained experienced in: 

  • organising an event 
  • handling cash 
  • teamwork and sales skills


The first thing to remember is that you do not have to put references on your CV. Instead, you can say ‘references available on request’. This means you have time to think about who a good reference for that job would be.  

Who to ask  

If you’re still in school or have just left, your guidance teacher should be able to provide you with a reference. You could also think about asking one of your subject teachers. Pick someone who knows you well and can talk about your relevant skills or experience for the job. If you’re in college, you could ask a lecturer.   

How to ask  

When you’re approaching someone to ask for a reference, be polite. Explain what the reference is for and why you want the job. If you can, let them know what skills the employer is asking for – they might be able to comment on those. 

Other things to think about

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 career centres or if you're in school, then arrange a meeting through your teacher. 

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