Student C.V. Development

A CV should be designed to showcase a person’s training, skills, interests and, to a large extent, betray personality and character. A mistake that many students make is to believe that a good grade at UG or masters level is all that is required to secure employment. Unfortunately this is rarely true, especially in the wildlife conservation and ecology sectors which are highly competitive. Of course, to exit with a good degree helps but you need more on your CV to ensure that you stand out from the crowd of other students who also have a good result.

From an early stage it is a good idea to decide on a trajectory along which you would like your career to develop. Some people argue that students are too early in their careers to decide what they want to do and to try to do so pigeonholes them and reduces their options. The response to this is often to do nothing which is considerably worse than making an incorrect decision. After all, you can always change trajectory. For example, you might decide that you would really like to work for your local Wildlife Trust. What would the trust like you to be able to do?

1)      Be a member of the trust

2)      Volunteer for the trust on one of their reserves on a regular basis

3)      Engage with wildlife. This is critical. If you are interested in birds, be a birder. If you are interested in plants, compile a plant list. If you are interested in butterflies, know your butterflies. The more you know about wildlife the better. Given the number of people who are likely to apply for a position with a Wildlife Trust you will be tested on what you know.

4)      Are you an interesting person? You have personal time; what do you do with it? Do you have a hobby, do you play one or more sports?

It doesn’t matter what line of work you want to go into, think about yourself, what you do and whether your CV will highlight you as an interesting and employable individual. Work along your chosen trajectory; do what is required to maximise your chances.

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