Graduate CVs are very similar to other types of CVs in their fundamental requirements. Like all CVs, they should be carefully designed, well written and concise, with a good layout and a clear message.
Unfortunately, after countless hours labouring over essays, projects, and exams, many graduates fall at the final hurdle when it comes to writing their CV. The result of this is that otherwise excellent graduates do not get the opportunity they deserve.
Here are thee top tips from our senior CV writer about writing a graduate CV:
It is absolutely essential to show a potential employer you are enthusiastic about joining them. Make it clear in your CV and cover letter that you are passionate, motivated, and eager to be a part of their team. Even a candidate with no work experience can impress an employer if they are fully engaged and hungry to succeed.
The devil is in the detail when it comes to a graduate CV. Many graduates will simply include the most basic details, while omitting crucial facts that will give them the edge when it comes to getting called for interview. Be sure to include relevant experience from any internships, part-time work, courses, and extracurricular activities.
While you may be considering different career choices when you graduate, employers want to see that you are fully committed to working with them and 100% focused on that career. Your graduate CV should be clearly focused on the job you are targeting and avoid any statements which may give rise to doubt about your aspirations.
Not sure if your graduate CV is strong enough? Send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review it for free.
A great cover letter needs to be engaging and relevant to the position you are applying for. It should tell the employer what you can offer them, how your skills and experience are compatible with the role, and why you want to work for that business. It should also be distinctive and make you stand out from other applicants.
Your cover letter should sell you to a potential employer. Step out of your shoes for a moment and think about how other people would describe you. What positive things would they say? How do you like to work? What do you excel at? What have you achieved? What can you offer an employer? Why should they interview you? Why do you want to work with them?
When you have thought about these things make some notes. Next, read the job description for a role you are interested in. Think about how you fit with that description and tell the employer in your cover letter why you are a perfect match. Give them clear examples of when you displayed your skills and convince them they cannot afford to miss the opportunity of meeting with you.
Some of the key ingredients of a great cover letter are:
Need further advice on how to write a cover letter? Give The CV Agency a call on 01 499 1466 or email email@example.com. We will write you a 100% custom-made cover letter from scratch.
One of the most challenging aspects of filling a job vacancy is dealing with a high volume of CVs. It can be difficult to decide who to interview if there are a number of equally good candidates. It can also often be tricky to give lengthy consideration to a CV if you have a stack of applications in your inbox.
In the case of employers, particularly if it is a small company where there is no specialist HR or recruitment function, the individual hiring for the role may have limited time to spend on the task. Recruitment consultants see a very high volume of CVs every day and are adept at making a judgement within seconds. They will often be looking for negatives to rule out candidates and make their decision easier.
How do you make a great CV that will grab attention in seconds and avoid a quick rejection? One of the best pieces of advice for any candidate writing a CV or cover letter is to put yourself into the shoes of the person who will be reading it and make it an easy choice for them to call you for interview.
Ask yourself questions such as:
Whether you are a school-leaver or a seasoned professional, a great CV is one that is clear, concise, sells your skills and achievements, and shows an employer what you have to offer.
Keep it simple and to the point and make sure to include the following:
A CV is a marketing document and as such it needs to be confident and targeted. We are often our own hardest critics and it can feel a little awkward promoting yourself. However, you can be certain that other candidates will be telling the employer how great they are, so make sure your CV sells you.
For further information or advice about your CV contact The CV Agency on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 499 1466, or click here to order a CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile.
Spelling mistakes in a CV are a red flag to any employer or recruiter. They show poor attention to detail and a lack of care and consideration. Even with spelling and grammar checking enabled on a word processor, taking a few extra minutes to read through your CV to make sure it is correct can be invaluable.
It is an unfortunate truth that many recruiters spend mere seconds looking at a CV. If it is not well laid out and to the point an otherwise good candidate can be overlooked. Not structuring a CV in a way that is easy to read and understand quickly, using confusing dates, or not putting information in reverse chronological order are common mistakes.
Too little or too much information
Your CV should have sufficient detail to highlight your skills, experience, and education in a concise way. If a CV is too short it may lack detail about what you actually did in your previous roles or what your achievements were. Conversely, an excessively long CV is equally off-putting and challenging for an employer to digest and compare to other applicants.
Vague or generic statements
Specifics are absolutely critical when writing a CV. Give actual examples of your skills and achievements and exact details of what you did. Generic statements not evidenced by experience or education will result in a CV that does not stand out and is easily disregarded by an employer.
Unexplained gaps in your history
There is nothing inherently negative about having a gap in employment or education. The main thing an employer or recruiter wants to see is that the period of time can be accounted for in some way (for example, taking a career break to travel or raise a family). Employers like to have the full picture before calling a candidate for interview and leaving a lengthy gap in your work history will raise questions about what you were doing during that period of time.
For further information or advice about your CV contact The CV Agency on email@example.com or 01 499 1466
Imagine giving a pitch to a business or a presentation to a class without preparing any material. Most of us would find ourselves struggling for ideas and find it difficult to give a structured presentation in a coherent and focused manner. The same principle applies to job interviews. Being prepared and knowing how you will answer a question is vitally important.
One of the best things you can do before an interview is to practise answering interview questions out loud. While it may seem strange at first, it will help you formulate your answers and think of examples. It will also help you feel more confident and relaxed going into your interview. While it is impossible to predict exactly what you will be asked, most interviewers commonly ask at least some of the following questions.
Sample interview questions: