CV Building at University
It seems that as soon as you have settled into your new life at University you are thrust upon with the ideas of leaving and what on Earth you are going to be doing with your life! Part-time jobs, internships and finally graduate schemes always seem to be in the back of a student’s mind in first, second and third year, however filling out those nasty online application forms can be hard, particularly when the last bit of work experience you had was ‘shadowing’ a receptionist for a week at the local pharmacy. Luckily, there are many opportunities at Warwick to get involved in roles of responsibility which will give your CV that bit of a boost, some of which you may not know about. I have purposefully picked roles which are not overly competitive so provide a good starting point for people who have quite a lot of space to fill.
Warwick Welcome Service/ Department Open Days
Warwick Welcome Service are the team in the yellow t shirts who greet you and give you a tour when you come for an open day. An opportunity for a fun day telling in great detail about your experiences here and why you chose this University to people who really have no clue what to expect. This gives you great experience in communication to people of different backgrounds, presentation skills, and examples of when you used independence and proactivity. It comes with a nice pay too. More information can be found here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/saro/wws.
Additionally, departments hold their own open days for offer holders at various times without the year which need tour guides and helpers. Contact your Head of Department for more information on how to get involved in these.
Executive Committee Position
Applying for a position on the executive committee of your sports team or society has endless benefits. First of all you need to prove you have the necessary experience and motivation for the position at elections, showing you how to conduct yourself in a job application/interview situation at the very basic level. Then, if elected, you must show your passion in recruiting new students to the society, accept responsibility in the running of events and manage your time effectively with academic study and leisure- all things you can talk about a lot on a CV! But probably the best part is it gets you involved in your interests in a way that can’t be replicated, and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, all whilst spending time with your friends. If you’re on the fence about applying, talk to your current exec members about the specific responsibilities of their roles and don’t let the prospect of competing against your friends put you off!
So many applications nowadays ask you about any voluntary positions you have held, but even if they do not, attending and organising charity events goes down very well with employers. It shows that you are capable of working in a team, organisational skills, and integrity as well as demonstrating that you will get on with your co-workers. Warwick has lots of opportunities for getting involved in volunteering with many societies holding regular charity events and Warwick Volunteers organising on and off-campus opportunities including tree planting in Canley green spaces, working at youth clubs or night shelters and assisting with the rehabilitation of migrants and refugees. Search for an opportunity using the search tool at the Warwick Volunteers website; http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/community/volunteers/volunteering/searchtool/.
Write for a student publication
The Boar, Warwick Globalist, The Tab, Student blogs… are not just for journalists! Written communication and the ability to research are transferable skills that so many employers are looking for and dedicating a bit of time each week to writing about something that interests could prove extremely valuable. The Boar accepts potential submissions at all times throughout the year, and being able to say that you have published an article is a far better proof of written skills than your English GCSE! Get in contact with a media outlet that interests you and see what they are looking for.
SSLC stands for Student Staff Liaison Committee and each course has its own representatives to raise issues talked about amongst the student body with the academic staff in order to mobilize change at regular meetings. You get emails about these early on in the year that most people will ignore, but it is, after all, another role of responsibility and would be an asset to your CV. Additionally, I am sure you have issues with your course, nothing is perfect, so why not utilize the chance to make things better for the upcoming year groups? Contact your course secretary for more information on how to apply for the position next year.
SU Officers/ Execs
Officer elections do not just comprise of the Week 8 cardboard contest for the 5 full-time positions, but there are also Part-time positions available as Environment and Ethics officer, LGBTUA+ officer, Women’s officer, Disabilities officer, International Student’s officer, Faculty reps (Science, Arts and Social Science) and Postgraduate reps. All of these are open to students of any year group and will be a great way of demonstrating your ability to demonstrate leadership and accept responsibility. Additionally, there are SU Executive committees in the fields of Sports, Democracy, Funding, Societies, Welfare etc. which are comprised of 6-10 students that assist the Sabbatical Officers, who are the ones that desperately try to instigate conversation under the library bridge in Week 8! These are elected in the Autumn Term, and more information can be found here: https://www.warwicksu.com/democracy/execs/ , https://www.warwicksu.com/democracy/officers/parttime/.
It can be easy to dismiss the ‘Hobbies and other interests’ section of your CV because what use is that, right? You’re probably correct in that if there is nothing in your Experience section it won’t take you too far in the process, however getting involved in sport at Warwick, particularly if you choose to compete and represent the University, shows you can commit to something and are able to manage your time well. It will also show that you’re a real person which makes you more memorable in the huge stack of CVs an employer will receive. It also won’t hurt if your interviewer happens to love scuba diving too!
I hope one of these has sparked your interest, and please remember that whilst it is good to Uni responsibly and think about your career, don’t forget that having fun is super important too!
Love Fi xx