Secondary: Help with CVs & Interview Practice

Surveys of teachers who already arrange mock interviews and CV workshops with pupils really value them. They help young people develop self-management skills,
improve their chances of getting a job or into a course they want, and often
bring home the reality of what they need to do in school to enter the world
of work. Many teachers even say they see an improvement in attainment as pupils get a wake up call about the value of education and qualifications to their developing career ambitions.

Why bring in volunteers to help?

People with first-hand experience of modern recruitment practices are well placed to give young people insight into how CVs are interpreted and what works well – or doesn’t – in job interviews.

Through the Inspiring the Future there are already hundreds of volunteers around the country ready and willing to be approached to spare a few hours to come in and
help give that authentic employer voice. Many are HR professionals and/or members of the leading professional body – the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD). Others are actively involved in recruitment, sitting on interview panels and looking at CVs as a regular part of their jobs.

Surveys of young people show in very high proportions that they would love to have more chance to practice these key skills before they leave education and go out into the working world.

Involving employee volunteers in CV workshops and mock interviews

Some schools run dedicated days where whole year groups work up CVs and take part in practice interviews with outside professionals. Others run sessions within PSHE classes or other careers-focused events or as part of careers fairs.

Volunteers can be key resources for teaching staff, feeding back to young people on their draft CVs or doing mock interviews and many will be very happy to speak to whole classes
about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting a job.  Through Inspiring the Future teaching staff can be in email contact with volunteers quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

Please note that under no circumstances should students contact details be given out to volunteers, and we would strongly advise to remind students not to do so.

Useful resources

Working with the CIPD we have developed a number of resources which may be useful, including examples of good and terrible CVs and interview tips.

If you have resources you use and think others may find them useful too, why not send them in and we can make them more widely available, just email:

The National Apprenticeships Service (NAS) has lots of resources (posters, teaching plans, leaflets and brochures) designed for schools and colleges and these can be ordered, free of charge


Writing a good CV

What good and bad CVs look like

Interviews: hints on questions and answers

Interviews: personal impact and presentation

How to conduct a successful job search

How to read job adverts, write a covering letter and
complete applications

Applying for an Apprenticeship

What a good covering letter looks like

How to research a company