CV Preparation Master Class Notes

CV Hints & Tips

The information on your CV is generated from our database directly from your original application form. All the CVs we send out to companies are in the same format, simplifying the process for potential employers. However, the content is your own, so it is worth spending some time in making this a document to ‘sell’ yourself as effectively as possible. Remember, you will be competing with other Year in Industry students for interview opportunities.

Following submission of your details, you have the opportunity to amend or improve this document and can contact us at anytime to add new information.  E.g. predicted grades, passed your driving test etc.

Due to the volume we process, mistakes made on your original application are sometimes missed. Please check again for spelling mistakes etc. As a general rule your CV should fill no more than two pages.

Tips for completing The Year in Industry CV sections

Practical Skills

Keep in mind what you have/potentially have to offer an employer, and make sure you include these skills in the CV.
Most companies will be very interested in your practical skills. This could include things you have done at home, work or at school/university. Consider your degree and the type of work you are seeking when writing about your practical skills, and try to relate the two, citing personal examples wherever possible. E.g. engineering students might like to
include they have a motor bike which they repair on their own; can fix cars or computers, were an EES team member with brief details of the project and their personal contribution to the team. Business students – computing & / or office experience, communication and organisational skills and where / how they developed and applied them. IT students may assist family members or peer groups with hardware or software problems or may have built their own web site.

Useful phrases could include:

  • I have used equipment/programmes…
  • I designed and built …..
  • I have taught myself to …..
  • I have had some experience in… but would like to learn more about…
  • I was given responsibility for…

    Remember to include evidence & examples of where you learnt these skills.


If you are an undergraduate, include all your module subjects and any achieved results.  Provide us with updates to this information as we go through the year. It is also a requirement for many undergraduate employers that you state your predicted degree outcome. E.g. 2.1, 1st

Career plans

You may like to start with your long-term aspirations; you can then relate these to how your gap-year can help fulfill these. What do you hope to gain from your gap or sandwich year – skills, life, experience, enhanced graduate status etc.  Indicate the type of work you are looking for in your gap-year, but keep it flexible to some extent, as the same CV will be sent out to a variety of companies.

Show some degree of enthusiasm for your chosen degree path. Why you chose your particular field, what you like about it and what areas you hope to get involved in during your year out. Remember it will pay to be open-minded at this stage.

Work experience

Indicate whether school organized, part time work, voluntary or vacation.  Include:

  • Dates (from month/year to month/year)and the name of the company
  • What was your job title and give a brief outline of your main responsibilities
  • If you enjoyed it – say so
  • What skills did you use/enhance/acquire – are they transferable?
  • What did you learn
  • What qualities/strengths did people observe in you.

Positions of responsibility

This might include information relating to being a project/team captain/project leader or otherwise club/team memberships, committees, previous work experiences etc

  • What difficulties did you face and how did you overcome them
  • What lessons did you learn
  • What skills did you use or develop

Hobbies and interests

Keep this to a shorter length but mention where appropriate

  • Achievements/show of commitment
  • Team involvement/leadership
  • Interests or hobbies that illustrate your commitment to and interest in you racademic or career aspirations. E.g. read science magazines; build your ownhardware; member of book club etc.
  • Don’t make things up to impress – you’ll be found out!

Pay attention to the sort of language you use!

  • Short statements are generally better than long winded sentences, getting your message across succinctly. Make it easy for the employer to find the relevant information. Use bullet points where appropriate. Long phrases take up space so use shorter ones i.e., replace ‘owing to the fact that’ with ‘because’.
  • Use business language and think about how your previous experiences or skills would be viewed by a future employer. Remember your role was valued highly enough to be paid to do it! For example don’t say ‘cleaner’ – instead say ‘created aclean, pleasant and welcoming environment’.
  • Don’t start all of your sentences with ‘I’.
  • Use positive words i.e. achieved, created, delivered, established, strengthened…rather than tried, feel, hope…
  • Spelling and grammar must be checked before submitting – ask someone else to check it for you, as often you cannot see a mistake yourself. Use one of the websites available on the internet if you are unsure of your grammar.

Most students need to update/improve their CV following the initial interview with Year in Industry staff or as time passes. If you would like changes made to your CV please contact your regional office (see contact page). Do not go back to your original online application form to make changes.  HIGHLIGHT ALL CHANGES IN RED BEFORE RETURNING, SO IT IS EASY FOR US TO SPOT WHERE THE ALTERATIONS ARE. This will enable us to simply copy and paste alterations onto the database.

Please note the format and all headings are set by the system and cannot be changed, so do not waste time rearranging the page layout. However, the content within each section is in your own words, so spend time ensuring the text ‘sells’ you as much as possible to a potential employer. You can find a lot of information on the internet about writing CV’s or ask a parent / careers advisor / tutor for their opinion. You can of course always telephone for help or advice regarding your CV or your application generally.

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