Your CV And NCS
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If you’ve been on programme, you’ll have had loads of experiences that’ll spice up your CV and give you something to talk about in interviews and on application forms. Check out what NCS Grad Ellie has to say about including NCS in your CV…
(And hey, just so you know...even though NCS has been different this year and you won’t be able to talk about it in the traditional sense, volunteering and social action (that you can do through Keep Doing Good!) is impressive on your CV, and can give you loads of transferable skills like - teamwork, leadership, communication, planning & prioritising and more!)
Are you looking to write a CV for your first job? Beginning to work on your UCAS statement? Or do you have an interview coming up and you want to show off your skills? Well, NCS can help!
Why is it important that I include NCS in my CV/UCAS?
Long story short, employers and universities love NCS. They are going to be immediately drawn to people who have extra curricular experience because of the attributes that it shows about you. It shows that you are willing to participate in things, go out of your comfort zone and that you are willing to meet new people. These are all things that employers/universities look for and just by saying you’ve been on NCS, it shows them all of those skills!
How do I include NCS properly?
You probably did a lot on NCS, so it can be hard to condense all of it and pick out the important parts. I would recommend picking out moments that show that you’ve gained skills. For example, I wrote about how I was the designated leader for the day when organising our social action project, and I helped to organise a stand for our fundraising day. Now that may seem like a small thing, but it shows that I have leadership skills and that is appealing to employers/universities.
However, it’s not just leadership skills you could talk about. Skills like gaining more confidence, teamwork, communication, patience, problem solving, all of these can be used. Don’t be afraid to add your personality and emotion into it as well! Mention how proud you were that you met new friends, or how you overcame your fears to climb the Jacob’s ladder for example. This will allow them to see you as a person and feel that they know you a little bit better.
And just remember, especially for UCAS, you might not think that skills you’ve gained on NCS fit the job or university course you’re looking for, but they do! For example, leadership skills can be applied to a restaurant job or an English course. So don’t be afraid to talk about any skills you’ve gained, no matter how big or small!
What about interviews?
So, you’ve written out an amazing CV, you’ve aced that UCAS statement and you’ve got yourself an interview. Now what? This probably seems much more daunting, but don’t worry, this is your chance to talk more in depth about your NCS experience and why you feel it will help you in this job/university course.
You’re probably wondering how to talk about NCS without making it forced. If they ask about it then that’s great, but what if they don’t? It’s okay, from my experience, the key is to just take your time. When the interviewer asks you a question, don’t feel the need to rush for an answer, take your time and think, ‘can I talk about NCS for this question?’. This way you can find when talking about NCS is needed and when it isn’t, and you can avoid talking about it too much too. It might also be a good idea to look up some popular interview questions online and have a think about whether you could use your NCS experience to answer some of them!
In conclusion, including NCS in my CV and UCAS statement has helped me get a good job and has helped me get into the university that I wanted, and I hope it can for you too. Having said that, sometimes life doesn’t always go to plan so if it doesn’t work out, don’t be discouraged...there is always time to alter and try again. Good luck!