CVS / JUL. 24, 2013
version 3, draft 3

How to Construct an Impressive Graduate CV

Once you have graduated from university, there is the pressure to find a suitable job and join the workforce to apply all that you have learnt over the course of your degree. The first step in landing your dream job is constructing a professionally structured and well written CV. As a graduate, it is likely that you lack in experience however it is imperative to highlight and showcase your skills and education as that incorporates your key selling points to the recruiter.

The following is a brief guide on how to write an impressive CV to land your first job post graduation:

Format

The format of your CV is the first thing a recruiter will see and base their opinion on. A CV that boasts a consistent format, with clearly indicated sections, uniform font and styling appears to be aesthetically appealing therefore a recruiter will find it easy to read and evaluate. A CV that has various font colors and styling distracts the attention from the content of the CV, therefore try and be consistent!

Order

The order of the CV is the second thing that captured the attention of the recruiter. On average recruiters spend 10 seconds on each CV, so it is important to make sure that the first 10 seconds – i.e. the first sections – of your CV have information to captivate the reader’s interest to read further. It is helpful to write a 2-3 sentence personal statement at the start of your CV.As a graduate, the focus of your CV will be your education and qualification rather than your experience therefore you should list this before.

Content

Many graduates struggle to pen down their experiences and education in a single document – reasons varying from too much information to hardly enough. To enhance your CV, you should include keywords and avoid clichés to make it less generic. Write a CV that is unique and tailored to the job post you are applying for as recruiters tend to reject spam CVs. You job application should be a testament to your writing abilities, conveying your capabilities in the best possible manner.

Proofread

The number one mistake that a surprising number of graduates make is the failure to proofread their CV. It is highly advised to re-read your CV once you have written it to ensure that it contains no spelling or grammatical errors. One small mistake in your CV can make the difference between you having a job and being rejected by the company. Ask a family member or friend to also proofread your CV for a second opinion on your document. 

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