3 tips on writing a successful graduate CV
By Craig from Jobulo
After graduating from University it’s likely that you’ll be constantly scouring the graduate job boards, in the hope of finding that perfect placement. However, before you apply for these great new job opportunities you’ll need a CV that really shows off your qualifications. Writing a CV as a graduate can be tough as many CV templates are heavily biased towards work or career experience. As a graduate it’s likely you won’t have much experience in the world of work but that won’t hold you back, as long as you bear in mind our key tips for writing a graduate CV.
#1 Including Your Grades
As a graduate your main selling point to a prospective new employer is your wonderful education! Your CV should reflect this and you should certainly be listing your grades, qualifications and the institutions where you studied prominently within the Education Section of your CV. We normally advise that you list your most recent qualifications at the top. In this case it might be your University degree. This way your latest (and probably best) qualification takes pride of place and catches the employer’s eye. There are many jobs that require you to have a degree in a certain field, by positioning your qualification at the top of your Education Section, you quickly demonstrate to the employer that you meet their criteria. You should also remember to include the qualifications you achieved at college or 6th form and at school. These all form a picture of you to the employer which helps them to match you to the job role. They are also a list of qualifications that you should be proud of and demonstrate what you have achieved so far.
# 2 Mention Some Work Experience
Although you won’t have much experience in the work-place, you’ll probably have some and it’s important that you include it on your CV. Did you take part in any work experience placements during the studying for your degree? If they were in an industry relevant to the sector you are applying for then it’s imperative you include that experience on your CV. Even if the placement was for a short period of time, it shows the employer that you have real world experience in this field. Do you have any examples of work, perhaps some course-work, completed via your studies, that would be relevant to the job you’re applying for? Including a portfolio of work examples can be very beneficial in some industry sectors and is a great way to show an employer some samples of the work you can do. Additionally you shouldn’t overlook any part time jobs you have had while you were studying. Part time entries are worth including, even if your work has been in fields completely unrelated to the industry you’d like to work in, as it’s useful for an employer to see that you are capable of meeting the demands of a paid work position.
#3 Make Use of References
References are important on any CV but can be pivotal to a graduate CV where you do not have much career history for the employer to base their opinions on. The right reference can support your qualifications and give the employer that little nudge in the back towards hiring you. If you’ve worked in an internship, or had a work experience placement within an industry relevant to the role you want to work in- you should consider contacting the previous company to request their permission to include them as a reference on your CV. A good reference from someone in the industry can really increase the strength of your graduate CV. If you haven’t had a suitable work experience placement why not consider asking your college or university lecturer to serve as a reference on your CV? Listing your lecturer as a CV reference illustrates great confidence in your own ability and gives the employer the opportunity to find out a little more about you, if they decide to call upon your reference. You can read further on picking the right references for your CV over at Jobulo.
Tip: When choosing your CV design and layout be sure to select something that not only reflects you but also reflects the industry you’re applying to work in. Your CV design can have a big influence over what parts of your CV stand out – use this to your advantage!
You may also want to check out more CV tips.