CV Writing for Graduates
Constructing your first CV can be daunting. What do you include? What tense do you use? Picture or no picture? The key to making a successful CV is keeping it simple, professional and tailored for the job you are applying to. This is all great in theory but how does one actually do this? Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when building your first impression on future employers.
Your aim is to keep your CV to one page, at a push two pages. Recruiters on average take 10 to 15 seconds to decide if you fit the role or not, so your CV needs to be designed for skimability. Spelling errors, irregular fonts and text sizes and poor choice of tenses raise red flags. To avoid spelling mistakes, proof read your CV a few times and get someone to comment on the flowability of it. Try and ensure that there are sufficient white spaces, the font is something simple and that the text size is between a 10 or 12. Your tense in default is past tense. You only use present tense if you are referring to something you are currently doing. The easier your CV is to read the happier the recruiter will be. Layout covered, what content do we include?
Place the essential information such as your contact details at the top of your CV. Try make this information stand out.
This includes your:
- Full name
- Contact number
- Personal email address
- Links to professional online profiles you may have such as LinkedIn.
*Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and detailed.
- You do not need to include a picture of yourself – you can leave this detail for your LinkedIn profile.
From newest to oldest, list the date you completed your education, the qualification and the institution you attended.
Consistency is vital so if you listed your education from newest to oldest you should now also list your employment history in the same way. Since this is your graduate CV, it might look a bit bare. You should add as many jobs as you have had, within reason. If you have had a lot of small jobs then only highlight the relevant ones for the job you are applying for.
Add the period you were employed (month and year), the name of the company and your job title. Bullet list the responsibilities you had in each position, no more than 6 points per job. You may add any achievements and career highlights to this.
Use action verbs when listing your responsibilities, for example ‘administered’, ‘developed’, ‘conducted’. This removes pronouns and rather highlights the impact you had in that role.
Don’t be scared to include volunteering experience in this section. However, these experiences need to be significant commitments and not just something you did once. Good examples could be the chairperson of the soccer club or that you were class representative.
Hobbies or Interests
This will give your potential firm insight into your personality. You may add any extracurricular activities that you did in high school and university.
CV designing is an art form. Be mindful of the words you put on the page, highlight what is most relevant for the job and most importantly make yourself stand out. If you ever need help, we are always happy to assist. Just send us an email.
Good luck and proof read, proof read, proof read! 😊