How to improve your CV whilst at university

by Aishah, English BA student

When you tell people you’re studying an English degree, or any Arts & Humanities degree for that matter, more often than not the most common response will be one of the following: “oh, so you want to go into teaching?” “what are you going to do with that?” a simple “oh okay, interesting” and of course, these misconceptions are usually followed by facial expressions that mimic in some shape or form, exhibit A:

Studying an Arts degree can be daunting knowing that there aren’t always obvious vocational leads to a set career like there is with medicine or dentistry. But this is, in fact, a major advantage which is often underestimated.

Whilst teaching is one of the amazing career paths you can enter into, in this day and age there are an array of sectors that studying an Arts degree allows you to enter in to. From banking & finance, consulting, law, government, media, digital, marketing- the opportunities are endless.

In my own experiences of attending insight days, interning and meeting with employers, I’ve learnt that actually, employers value students with Arts degrees because we can often think in a totally different way to the STEM student. The skillset you obtain from doing an Arts degree is so expansive that you are able to adapt yourself to most jobs.

But lets not beat around the bush here, as we all know that employers are not only interested in the fact that you have a degree from an amazing university, they also want see how you’ve cultivated an interest for your future career alongside your studies. And that ladies and gentlemen, brings me to the point of this post- how you can enhance your CV whilst at university.

  • 1. Sign up to open days, talks, career fairs  

One of the most important things you can do from the very get go is to simply find where your interests lie. Signing up to open days, talks, attending industry-specific career fairs and networking with employers/ graduates– here at King’s, we can use King’s Career Connect and go onto events tab to apply or events, also worth mentioning are Bright Network and Debut

  • 2. Make the most of being at King’s

Time and time again the centrality of King’s is emphasized, so make the most of being in London. For example, apply for insight events at a law firm or attend a networking breakfast at an investment bank, because chances are these will be relatively easy for you to travel to. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, check out the events held on campus by some of the societies at King’s which host external speakers, liaise with firms to hold networking events, and if you’re lucky, two words: free canapés.

  • 3. Get a Part time job

Whether this is working in retail, events staffing or tutoring, it demonstrates your ability to juggle work alongside your intense studies.

  • 4. Internships

Generally speaking, internships are usually completed in the second/ third year of a degree. Unless you already know which career path you want to take, my advice is to be open minded when applying to internship schemes and apply to all those that interest you. King’s also offer their own exclusive part time and summer internships which you can find more information about here.

  • 5. King’s Career Services

King’s Career Services are located on the 5th floor in the snazzy new Bush House, booking an appointment with them will give you a good opportunity for you to have a one to one chat with a careers consultant to go through all the career options available to you.

  • Student Volunteering

This can take many forms-  putting yourself forward for student representative/ SSLC chair, becoming part of a society’s committee or volunteering outside of university. Although these may not be professional roles, the teamwork, coordination and leadership skills you gain from these roles mean that they are not only great experiences to enhance your cv, but also will enhance your university experience.

These are my top tips to help you enhance your CV and ensure you really stand out from the crowd! For more information – have a read of this blog on studying an arts degree.

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