How To Boost Your CV On Campus

With competition for graduate positions hotting up, it’s now essential to be quick off the mark and gain work experience while you’re at uni. But what’s the best way to go about it? Where are the best places to hunt out CV gold?

Good news!

There are LOADS of ways to make yourself more employable and gain work experience, all from the comfort of your own campus. After all, no-one wants to be trekking all over the place on the hunt for CV goodness.

As a wise woman once said - AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

So relax, stay right where you are, and gain the skills and experience employers are chomping at the bit for:

Become an ambassador/brand manager

Tons of companies now use ambassadors/brand managers in order to boost their company campus presence. Teach First, Red Bull, Enterprise rent-a-car, Student Beans, Nissan are popular examples. Typical duties include: developing relationships with university media and societies, acting as a point of contact for students interested in working for the company and helping to host recruitment events. It’s a fantastic CV boost, particularly if you’re pursuing a career in advertising, media, PR etc.

You’ll demonstrate your communication skills, organisational prowess and powers of persuasion, as well as gaining basic experience in event planning and marketing. Nice!

Represent your course

Almost all courses will require at least one or two students to sit on the student/lecturer committee. You’ll pass on your peers’ issues to the lecturers and vice versa. It’s a great way to showcase a whole host of skills: ability to communicate with different people groups of people, negotiation skills, diplomacy techniques and problem solving. Quite a list eh?

Work in the union

Whether you're pulling pints in the Union bar, selling hoodies in the shop or in serving lattes in the café, working in the Union is not to be sniffed at! Employers really value skills learnt in customer facing roles.

A stint in this type of job demonstrates your interpersonal skills with a huge range of people, your confidence, an ability to work under pressure as well as your strong work ethic. The great thing about working for the Union is that they are usually more flexible with holiday working hours than your average high street shop/café/bar. Double whammy!

Get involved in student politics

For a few weeks every year, university campuses are awash with candidates hoping to leave their mark on the world of student politics. Why not make yourself one of them?

From Student Welfare to Sports and Activities rep, each year there are loads of positions up for grabs. Win or lose, the skills you’ll gain from getting all ‘Obama’ on campus are endless. Since it would be impossible to list endless skills, here are a few of the biggies: public speaking, leadership, ability to handle pressure, self-motivation and last but not least - the ability to persuade others!

After all, convincing a team of friends to plaster endless toilet cubicles with campaign posters is no mean feat!

Mentor other students

As a returning undergrad or postgrad you’ll usually have the option of mentoring some young-lings on your course or another. Duties differ between universities, but could include organising social events for new students, running workshops for them and offering advice and support both face to face and by email.

Skills you can tick off? Oral communication, leadership, ability to teach and ability to motivate and inspire others - all of which are on top grad employers’ hit lists. Nice!

Join a sports team

Being part of a sports team or society is a real selling point for a lot of graduate employers. In fact, some employers that we work with actually specify say that they want sporty students because of the traits that being part of a sports team evidences, specifically a competitive and tenacious nature and an ability to work in a team towards a common goal.

Get involved in student media

Join the radio station, write or edit for the university newspaper, photograph for local student magazines.

What do you get out of it? Firstly you'll be developing your written communication skills, research skills and evidencing your ability to work to deadlines. Secondly, if you want to work in journalism or media, experience at university will provide you with a great footing to get an internship or job in these competitive industries upon graduation.


Almost all universities now have established volunteering awards which you can work towards throughout your time at university. The range of projects you can volunteer on is broad, so there’s the opportunity to gain a plethora of different skills!

No matter what type of projects you work on, any volunteering award will show an ability to commit and an enthusiastic personality. Tick and tick!!

Rise through the ranks in a society…

Whether it's archery, break dancing or wine tasting that tickles your fancy, holding a society committee position is a sure fire way to impress employers, primarily because it shows that you are capable of building strong relationships with others.

Think about it - this is exactly what an employer wants from you. Employers want you to stay within their company, be able to work well with others, rise through the ranks and then thrive in a position of responsibility. Show that you've already managed to do this in university and you’re onto a winner!

….Or create your own

You’re saying that your university DOESN’T have a Harry Potter society?! Well what are you waiting for?

If you've got an interest that you don’t feel is being catered for why not set up a society of your own?

Round up an unwitting group of friends and get cracking! Not only will it show initiative and leadership it will evidence those much sought-after ‘entrepreneurial skills’ and ‘business acumen’ which are often listed on graduate job specifications.

We hope you enjoyed these 10 ways to develop your CV on campus. Now, go forth and gain experience students! If you want to find out how to write about your new found work experience on your CV, follow this link:


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