School leaver CV example

May, 2023

As a school leaver you might not have much in the way of work experience but it's important not to sell yourself short when applying for a job. Take a look at our example school leaver CV to find out how to present yourself in the best light

Ellie Johnson 15 That Street, Thistown, XY99 9XP 07777 888999

I'm planning a business degree, either part-time through an apprenticeship or on a full-time course. My aim is to go into finance. An online business summer school showed me what a vast and varied world this is. During my work experience, I saw how different jobs fit together in a finance department and how a company plans its finances and runs its business systems in the short, medium and long term. My part-time job at Big Stores gives me practical experience in a small branch of a large organisation.

Education and Qualifications

Thistown Central Academy - A-levels (2022)

Business A, Maths B, Computer Science B

GCSEs - Grades 9-4 (2020)

English  Language, French, Spanish, PE, Art and Design, Computer Science, History, Maths, Combined Science                 

Employment and Work Experience

Big Stores Minimart (2021 - present)

Starting as a shelf stacker I progressed to till operator and am now a team leader. I contribute to:

  • Staff shift pattern, including early mornings and lates, making sure all areas are covered
  • Security of premises, sometimes unlocking and locking up, including cash handling
  • Customer service, including complaints and returns
  • Monitoring sell-by dates and minimising waste, reordering and stock control.

Thistown College Business and Finance Summer School (July 2022)

Five-day online programme covering:

  • Business models, economic theory and concepts, marketing and business strategy
  • Seminars with business leaders
  • Group work presentation on a business case study.

Thistown Engineering Ltd, Finance Department (July 2021)

Two weeks work experience in the finance department of a local SME:

  • Helping with the migration of financial information across IT systems, using my IT skills
  • Spending a day in different areas of the department, including shadowing the finance director.

Year 13 Charity Rep on School Council (2021-2022)

Working with reps from other year groups to organise the school’s charity fundraising. I was involved in:

  • Getting suggestions from my year group about charities to support and which events to run
  • Planning events and organising volunteers to help
  • Being responsible for cash during events
  • Reporting back to the Head after each event (what we learned, how would we do it next time).

References available on request

Please be aware that this is an example. Use it as a template to help generate ideas and structure your own CV but avoid copying and pasting. Your own CV needs to be original and tailored to the job you're applying for.

As a school leaver you might not have a lot of experience to flesh out your CV with, but employers don't expect someone who's just left school to have a massive amount of experience so don't worry about the length of your CV. Most CVs are two pages long but as a recent school leaver yours might only be one. As you gain experience, you'll be able to add to it.

Your personal profile should sit at the top of the page. Use it to summarise your 'best bits' - and tailor it for each application. It can be easier to write this after you've set out the other information so if you're struggling come back to this last.

As always, presentation is important so don't leave a couple of lines trailing onto another page. You can adjust the spacing, font size, margins etc depending on whether you have a lot to squeeze in, or less to say, which might need spacing out to fill the page.

Make sure every word counts and that all the relevant information is there. If you don't include it, no-one will know about it. However, it's just as important to consider what to leave out. Ask yourself 'Will this help me get a job?' Include relevant hobbies, for example, caring for a family member on a nursing application or DIY projects for a construction apprenticeship. Socialising with friends is best left off. We all enjoy that, but it's unlikely to get you a job.

It's important to try and show what you've gained from your experiences, rather than just listing what you did - remember to relate the skills and knowledge you've gained to the job you're applying for.

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