How To Write A Graduate Cv

The old saying "You never get a​ second chance to​ make a​ first impression" is​ absolutely true when it​ comes to​ applying for a​ job and your CV is​ the first opportunity you will get to​ impress a​ potential employer. if​ your CV is​ not carefully written you may never get a​ second chance.

What Format Do You Use?

The difference between a​ Graduate CV and the CV of​ a​ person established in​ the workplace (sometimes called a​ Performance CV) is​ predominately one of​ emphasis.

A Performance CV is​ written in​ reverse chronological order, beginning with Profile, then a​ list of​ Achievements, Career History, Skills, Education, Personal Information and Interests. it​ is​ designed to​ highlight achievements and responsibilities in​ a​ person’s career. The main emphasis is​ on job titles and the companies they have worked for.

As a​ graduate this can seem intimidating as​ you suddenly realise that three years hard academic study doesn’t seem to​ provide enough experience to​ complete a​ CV.

Your emphasis, therefore, should be on the ‘Profile’ and ‘Achievements’ sections of​ your CV, which are in​ the focal point, i.e. one third down from the top of​ the page, where it​ is​ thought that the human eye is​ naturally drawn.

The format can be the same as​ the Performance CV because:

1. it​ is​ the most popular and therefore makes it​ easy for the reader to​ scan your CV quickly and find the information they need.

2. The ‘Education’ section provides a​ concise list of​ qualifications that, although valuable, may not distinguish you enough from other applicants for you to​ be invited for interview. Therefore this section can remain further down the CV just as​ it​ is​ on the Performance CV whilst a​ summary is​ written in​ the ‘Profile’ and ‘Achievements’ sections.

This is​ a​ statement in​ the focal point of​ your CV that summarises what you have to​ offer. The key is​ to​ emphasise the transferable skills gained while at​ Uni that will be of​ benefit to​ a​ potential employer. Examples could be drawn from your educational achievements, foreign travel, work experience, and involvement in​ clubs and voluntary work. You must be specific and concise and a​ full description of​ your skills with evidence should be written elsewhere in​ the CV. The reader should be able to​ see that the skills described in​ the ‘Profile’ are relevant to​ the vacancy they are trying to​ fill otherwise they may not bother reading any further.

This section should be used only to​ highlight specific achievements that are relevant to​ the job for which you are applying. it​ is​ a​ good idea to​ complete it​ after you have written the rest of​ your CV. Pick out a​ maximum of​ six, preferably write them in​ bullet points and if​ you cannot think of​ any then leave this section out altogether.

Work Experience
Both employers and students know that the University environment is​ unique and very different to​ the full-time workplace. Employers need to​ have re-assurance that you have had experience in​ the ‘real world’. Your work experience therefore is​ very important on your CV, whether it​ was a​ summer job, part-time work, voluntary, or​ an​ industrial placement.

Any job will have provided you with valuable skills and experience that should be highlighted to​ an​ employer and linked to​ the requirements of​ the job.

For example: a​ part-time job in​ the local petrol station provides cash-handling skills, customer service experience, diplomacy, stock control, ability to​ accept responsibility, able to​ work in​ a​ team and/or work on your own initiative, willing to​ learn new skills, trustworthiness, hardworking, able to​ cope with routine tasks.

This section gives you an​ opportunity to​ list your computer skills, languages, and any extra-curricular courses you have taken outside your degree. Make sure you include the level you have achieved, for example: fluent German, conversational Italian, regular use of​ all Microsoft Office Applications.

Start with your most recent qualification, which may be your degree or​ a​ post-graduate course. Do not list every course or​ module that you have studied but include any that are relevant to​ the job you are applying for including presentations, projects and travel as​ part of​ your course. Only include grades if​ they are impressive.

A levels, or​ other qualifications achieved before university, should only be included if​ relevant.

Many professional CV writing companies advise not to​ include any interests, as​ they are rarely relevant to​ the job for which you are applying. However, it​ is​ a​ good idea to​ add some information about how you spend your free time for two reasons: firstly, it​ gives the reader a​ rounded picture of​ you as​ an​ individual secondly, if​ invited for interview your interests are often discussed as​ a​ soft introduction to​ the interview before the more searching questions are asked. if​ you include interests in​ your CV try not to​ just write a​ list but include a​ fuller description of​ your involvement.

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