CV writing tips for Graduates

For newly graduated job seekers, writing your first professional CV can be challenging. It’s tough to know how exactly you should structure your CV, what to include, and how to compete with all the other experienced job seekers on the market. Here are a few pointers to help you get it right and help you to land on your preferred job.

5 tips on writing a successful CV

1. Don’t over complicate your CV

To start with don’t over complicate things; keep your job application CV nice and simple with a clean font and logical layout. This will ensure that job recruiters and employers can easily read your job application CV and find the information they are looking for. Stay away from over-elaborate fonts, logos images, and complex designs, as they will make your job application CV hard to read and detract from the all-important content. The easier you make your job application CV to read, the more time people will spend reading it.  

2. Do your research

In order to make a job application CV that will appeal to your chosen potential employers, you must first ascertain exactly what qualities they expect from a candidate. Visit company websites and browse through relevant job advertisements to make a list of the most frequently appearing candidate requirements. Once you have a list of their most valued skills, experience, and knowledge; add as many of them as possible to your job application CV and make them prominent.  

3. Format for high impact

Job recruiters will only spend a few seconds on an initial scan of your job application CV before deciding whether or not they will read it in full. To make sure you pass this early test, you must pack the top quarter of your job application CV with the most relevant terms and keywords to create an instant impact. Define sections clearly with bold headings and adequate spacing, and break text up with short paragraphs and bullet points to ensure a pleasant reading experience.  

Highlight transferable skills

One of the biggest problems graduates face is the relative lack of work experience compared to seasoned workers on the job market. And with many job advertisements specifically asking for relevant work experience, this can be a real struggle for some jobseekers. You have to compensate for your lack of work experience by simply have to be more creative and draw transferable workplace skills from other areas of your life. For example, you could easily use school projects, work placements, volunteer work, or vocational courses to demonstrate skills such as planning, organisation, and teamwork.  

4. Sell yourself

In order to grab job recruiters’ attention on the graduate job market, you need to really sell yourself and don’t be shy of shouting about your achievements. Head your job application CV up with a punchy personal profile that summarises all of your key offerings and shows the value you can add to an employer. Be sure to pack in some key achievements, backed up with facts and figures to show the impact you have made at previous posts. Always send your CV accompanied by a short sharp cover letter to persuade the recipient to open your job application CV in the first place.  

5. Add a little extra flare

Often employers won’t have much to compare graduates against each other beyond their grades, so adding some impressive extra-curricular activities can really set you apart from the competition. Steer clear of run-of-the-mill interests such as “socialising with friends” or “going to the cinema” and opt for hobbies that are either aligned to your desired career, or simply impressive achievements. For example, maybe you run marathons or write a weekly blog – these would be great interests to add. Also, anything involving charity fundraising or event organisation show is excellent to show that you are hardworking and savvy.

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