How to write a graduate CV

Nov 18, 2020

A great graduate CV could be all that stands between you and your dream job interview!

Learn how to draft a CV that’s clear, concise and perfect for the job in question, and before long you’ll be walking into that interview with your head held high.

Take a look at our top tips on how to write a graduate CV to find out what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to drafting that all-important CV. 

#1: Write a personal profile 

Before you launch into your previous experience and education, make sure you introduce yourself.

Your personal profile is your chance to do just this. Make the perfect first impression by injecting some personality into your profile paragraph, and let your potential employer know what you could bring to their company. 

#2: Stand out from the crowd 

All CVs tend to follow a similar structure, and it’s a good idea to stick to this for the purposes of clarity. However, you’ll also want to make sure that your CV stands out from those of other candidates.

Potential employers will likely have stacks of CVs to look through, so if yours is the one that immediately catches their eye then they’re far more likely to spend time reading what you have to say. 

#3: Get help

Your graduate CV is one of the most important documents you will create. Essentially if you get it right, you could increase your chances of getting your foot on the career ladder.

Therefore, it is worth investing in to ensure that it is the best that it can be.

Need help with your graduate CV? Get in touch with Graduate Coach for tailored CV support and to guide you through creating an achievement-based CV.

For a complete checklist, and to see some examples of achievement-based graduate CVs for inspiration, get yourself a copy of The Student Book, available on Amazon.

#4: Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for 

Some candidates will draft a CV and use the same document for every job they apply for, but this isn’t always the best strategy.

To give yourself the edge, tweak your CV every time you send off a new job application.

This will enable you to ensure that your personal profile and prior experience are always relevant to the job in question.

Potential employers will be able to see the care and attention that has gone into writing your CV, and they’ll be more likely to consider you for the role as a result. 

#5: Share your previous experience 

Previous work experience is a huge part of any CV, but if you’re a recent graduate you might not have huge amounts of experience to discuss.

Don’t worry though, because this section can be used to outline the traits that make you a great candidate, even if you don’t have decades of work experience to share.

Add information about any recent jobs you’ve had, and think about how your responsibilities in these roles might translate to the graduate job you’re hoping to land. 

Read more:
Graduate with no work experience? Here’s what to do!
The benefits of work experience

#6: Showcase your degree(s)

Be sure to mention your course, your results, and the institution that you studied at.

Add bullet points on the key areas your course covered, and discuss personal projects such as dissertations and research. Don’t forget to edit this section regularly to ensure it’s as relevant as possible to every graduate role you apply for. 

Read more:
I got a degree and can’t get a job! What should I do? [Ask Graduate Coach]
What job can I get with my degree?

#7: Mention extra-curricular achievements 

If you’ve taken part in plenty of extra-curricular activities during your time in education, or you’ve learnt a new skill in the holidays, make sure you mention it!

It’s likely that these activities will have taught you vital skills, and these skills could well give you the edge over other candidates.

Some extracurricular interests and activities might also provide interesting talking points at the interview, and could well help you get the interview off to a great start.  

How to write a graduate CV: Summary

Writing a graduate CV is your opportunity to tell a potential employer why you’re a brilliant candidate, and why their organisation needs you.

Think about what the employer is looking for, and draft a tailored CV that outlines your achievements clearly. A perfectly written CV is the key to opening doors, so take your time and make sure your CV stands out for all the right reasons. 

This article was written in collaboration with Check-a-Salary, a platform which provides insight on earnings for every role in the UK.

Featured photo by: Christina Morillo from Pexels

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