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How to write your first CV

So, you've decided to take your first step into the world of employment. This is the beginning of your career journey and a very exciting time! 

Whether you're a school leaver or a young adult dipping your toes into the job market, having a killer CV is your golden ticket to landing your first job

At Travis Perkins plc, we are hiring at all levels, from entry-level to management positions. But most importantly, we are looking for people who are passionate about making a difference.

Figuring out where to start your CV can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. We'll walk you through the process of how to write your first CV that's bound to catch the attention of employers and set you on the path to a successful career. 

What is a CV? 

A CV or Curriculum Vitae is a document used when applying for jobs. It provides a summary of your education, skills and experience - so you can communicate your abilities to potential employers. 

1. Start with the basics: your personal information

Let's kick things off by introducing yourself. Your CV should begin with your full name, contact information (phone number and email), and if applicable, your address. Remember, no need to include your entire life story – just the essentials will do!

2. Craft a standout personal statement 

Picture your personal statement as your opening pitch to potential employers. This brief paragraph (2-3 sentences) should highlight who you are, what you're passionate about, and why you're excited to work for this company. 

If you're known for your unbeatable customer service skills or have a knack for communicating your ideas in a clear way, this is the place to showcase it!

One easy way to impress your interviewer is just by researching the company and tying it back to your interests or values. 

For example, Travis Perkins plc is big on sustainability and reducing the impact our activities have on the natural and built environment and on society. If you are passionate about climate change, you’ll want to highlight this as one of the reasons you are excited to be part of the business. 

3. Highlight your education and qualifications

Since you're fresh out of school, your education section is the star of the show. List your most recent school, any relevant coursework, and any key qualifications you've earned. 

If you've done well in subjects like English, that's a great way to highlight your communication skills or if you’ve built teamwork skills in team sports from Physical Education (PE), make sure to mention them – these skills are vital in a lot of different roles. 

Also, remember that if you don’t tick all of the boxes that a job requires, don’t be afraid to apply. Here at Travis Perkins plc, we invest in our people. That means we are here to support you in your development journey. Whether you are looking to pick up new skills and knowledge or upskill yourself. 

4. Shout out your skills and hobbies 

What makes you the perfect fit for the job you are applying for? Your skills and hobbies, of course! Are you great at multitasking? Part of a local social club where you love meeting new people? 

You’ll be surprised at how many transferable skills you’ve picked up along the way. 

Whether it's playing an instrument, mastering a sport, or even being the go-to tech guru among your friends, show off those unique qualities that make you, well, you. 

5. Embrace the power of experience 

Now, here's where you might be thinking, "But wait, I've never had a job before!" Fear not. Think creatively. 

Have you volunteered at events, helped with school projects, or taken care of younger siblings? These experiences count! 

Describe what you did, how you did it, and any positive outcomes you achieved. If you've done any work placements or internships, include those too. Hiring managers love to see that you're a team player and willing to put in the effort.

6. Don't forget references 

While you might not have professional references just yet, you can always ask a teacher, mentor, or someone you've volunteered with to vouch for you. 

Make sure to ask their permission first, and then include their name, contact details, and a brief sentence about your connection to them. 

7. Polish up your presentation 

Remember, your CV isn't just about what's inside – it's about how it looks too! It should be no longer than two sides of A4 and whilst it's important to keep your CV concise, avoid selling your experiences short. 

Choose a clean, easy-to-read font and maintain consistent formatting. 

In terms of the layout of your CV, you’ll want to break up sections with bold headings and use bullet points to make your information digestible. No need for fancy graphics – your personality should shine through your words.

Master your first CV and get applying! 

And there you have it! Creating your first CV might feel a bit daunting, but remember that everyone starts somewhere. By showcasing your unique qualities, skills, and experiences, you'll be well on your way to landing your first job.

So, go ahead, put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and get ready to impress those hiring managers. 

Find your first job at Travis Perkins plc today. 

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