School Children Shown How To Write A Stand-Out CV

Successful Irwin Mitchell Graduate Shares Application Tips

16.01.2012

MORE than 120 school children got the chance to quiz a high-flying young graduate on what makes a good CV.

Seven groups of Year 10 pupils at Washwood Heath Technology College attended workshops with Sarah-Jane Green, a paralegal at law firm Irwin Mitchell, which was named last week as one of the signatories to the Business Compact, the Deputy Prime Minister’s flagship scheme to create fairer opportunities to getting the best jobs.

The 23-year-old completed a degree in Law and Marketing at Keele University in 2010 before successfully securing a paralegal job at Irwin Mitchell at a time when graduate unemployment is at its peak, thanks in part to her strong CV.

The workshop was held in one of the school’s ICT suites, where Sarah-Jane encouraged the children to list their skills and achievements, before showing them how to type up a professional looking CV.

She said: “I really enjoyed interacting with the pupils. They were full of ideas and they contributed a lot to the discussion.

“We discussed what should go on a CV, and many of them were surprised to learn that it’s about more than academic qualifications. If you play for a sports team, for example, you should put this on a CV because it shows that you are a team player.

“Most of the pupils produced a great CV in the time allotted. A CV is a document that should be constantly improved and updated and they made a great start.”

The workshops were organised by BXL, a Birmingham-based organisation who link schools and companies to create work experience opportunities for young people. They are part of Irwin Mitchell’s continuing commitment to building links with the local community.

The Year 10 pupils will now use their CVs to apply for work experience, something that Sarah-Jane feels is an important part of growing up.

She said: “Work experience is vital because it can help give young people a clearer idea of the career direction they want to take in future.

“It can also show them the type of qualifications they will need, and motivate them to achieve these. Being in a working environment teaches responsibility and a grown-up approach.”

Jill Roberts, Education Business Consultant at the BXL Education Business Partnership said: “Using excellent classroom management skills, Sarah-Jane Green lead and delivered CV workshops, helping over 200 year 10 students’, structure and produce their own CV in readiness to apply for work experience placements.
 
“It was a brilliant opportunity for the students to work alongside a young professional.  Sarah-Jane engaged and interacted with the students guiding them through the process if CV writing.
 
“I’m sure her input will make a difference for these students in the challenging and competitive world of work.”
 
A teacher at the school said: “Washwood Heath has made superb strides in helping our students reach their full potential in terms of examination results. We also aim for similar quality in helping prepare them for life in the work place and the community and enjoy the high quality support of community members and companies such as Irwin Mitchell in providing this.”