5 CV tips for business students

Interviewee and hiring manager meeting

Taking the first step on your career journey after graduation is an exciting venture filled with endless possibilities.

Whether you’ve just graduated and are about to start building your career or you’re just looking for a part-time job, we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips to help you write a compelling CV as a business student.

Showcase your academic achievements

One way to fill out your CV is to include academic projects you’re particularly proud of. This could be a project you worked on in one of your classes, or it could be your major work if your Business course required you to complete one.

These projects can serve as evidence of your ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. You can list your projects either in your education section or in a separate project section.

Briefly outline the objective or research question that the project aimed to address. Then, provide an overview of the methodology used. This is a good opportunity to provide additional context for your hard skills, such as how you gained proficiency with analytics or project management tools.

Finally, describe the outcomes of the project. Don’t forget to mention if it earned you any awards or other recognitions.

Make sure to keep each project description brief, 2-4 sentences should be enough. Lengthy paragraphs with irrelevant details might lead hiring managers to skim the rest of their CV and miss more important details.

Use a professional template

While it’s possible to create a CV from scratch, you’re better off using one of the hundreds of free downloadable templates available online. Not only will this save you time; it will ensure your CV aligns with industry standards and best practices. There are many templates out there created specifically with business majors in mind.

Look for templates that feature clean, modern designs with clear sections for your education, relevant experience, and skills. Additionally, consider templates that offer customisation options to tailor the layout and colour scheme.

Remember, your CV is a marketing tool to showcase your qualifications to prospective employers, so taking the time to find the right template can give you an advantage when trying to stand out among other entry-level applicants.

Include your internship experience

When you don’t have a lot of work experience, one of the best ways to show employers your potential is to focus on other relevant experiences, such as internships.

Internships aren’t just an opportunity to gain practical experience. They’re also valuable when it comes to presenting yourself to potential employers. As a recent or soon-to-be graduate, internships help prove to employers that although you lack work experience, you’re committed to this career path and have already developed many of the skills needed to succeed in the field.

Before you sit down to write your CV, ask yourself this:

  • During your internship, did you contribute to any significant projects or initiatives?
  • What were the results of your contributions?
  • Did you help the team overcome any challenges related to a project? How?
  • What work-integrated learning experiences did you participate in?

The more specific you are, the more convincing your CV will be. Employers are always keen to hear concrete examples that back up your claims.

Quantify your achievements

Including numbers and percentages to demonstrate the impact of your work is especially effective at gaining employers’ attention because they’re looking for employees who can achieve tangible results.

While you may not have extensive professional experience yet, focus on quantifying the impact of your contributions in internship, part-time, or volunteer roles. You can even include achievements from student government positions. What matters is that potential employers see that you’re able to achieve results and track your progress, both of which will help you in your future career.

For example, if you assisted with a marketing campaign during an internship, quantify the reach of the campaign by including metrics such as social media engagement, website traffic, or leads generated.

Hiring manager at job interview

Similarly, if you worked in a sales role, highlight the percentage increase in sales you achieved, or the number of new clients you acquired.

Even if your experiences were unpaid or part-time, including hard numbers is a way to show how you’ll be able to add value to an organisation. It effectively communicates your potential as a business professional, regardless of your current level of experience.

Customise your CV for each job

It might sound time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth it. Adjusting your CV for every application you send out is going to increase your chances of success in your job hunt.

By customising your CV to align with the specific skills, experience, and personal qualities mentioned in the job ad, you ensure your CV meets the employer’s requirements.

Another nice touch is to look up the company’s mission statement on their website and mention how your goals align with the organisation’s. This demonstrates genuine interest, which can go a long way when applying for an in-demand business role.

While it may require extra effort, spending a few extra minutes doing a bit of research on the company and highlighting keywords in the job description will set you apart as a thoughtful and proactive candidate.

About the author

Ida Pettersson is a Career Expert and Content Writer at Resume Genius. Committed to empowering job seekers of all experience levels to take the next step in their careers, Ida is experienced in helping professionals navigate the job hunt from start to finish.

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