Your CV is one of the most important parts of your job hunt. Make is stand out from the crowd and convince recruiters that you are an outstanding candidate.
If you are currently in your last semester at university, meeting your deadlines and studying for your exam should be top priority, so anything else could almost seem unmanageable to achieve. However, if you are looking to go into full-time employment after graduating, now is the perfect time to start applying for opportunities!
Your CV is what makes your first impression to a recruiter, so even though writing a CV might feel tedious, it is valuable as it might be the only direct communication with a potential employer. With so many top tips available to you, it can be difficult to understand how to approach this crucial part of graduate job hunting. Although some CVs are unique and tailored to specific industry, there are key elements that recruiters appreciate!
A great CV should:
- Grab the attention of recruiters and employers
- Sell your strongest skills and accomplishments
- Show how you’re a match for a position or project
- And most importantly, get you a conversation with a recruiter or employer (which could potentially turn into an interview)
Before we start looking at what makes your CV stand out, we need to be aware that technology has changed the way CVs are viewed, so although your CV might look nice on paper, it does not meant that it looks good on a computer or mobile phone. So how do you make your CV computer and mobile friendly and grab the attention of a recruiter?
How to make your CV stand out?
- Avoid embellishments – Your CV should be tidy, clear, have a presentable structure and you should avoid colourful fonts or titles as well as text in fancy boxes (text within boxes will not be picked up by recruiting automation).
- Up-to-date personal details – Your phone number, email address and location is important! The job search process has changed greatly over the past decade, and most recruiters now base their search on a specific criteria, where location happens to be one of them. You do not want to keep getting contacted by recruiters only to find out your location is detrimental to your chances of an interview, or worse, to find out that you have missed out on a great local opportunity because your CV did not show up on a search as a result of your missing location.
- Work in reverse chronological order starting with your current role and working backwards. Include your promotion journey if applicable rather than just your current role level. This makes your career journey much more understandable and easier for the recruiter to recognise where your career could potentially be heading.
- Use keywords throughout your CV – make sure key words stand out. Review job ads that are similar to the ones that you are interested in and look for keywords to incorporate into your CV. This will make your CV perform better in searches which means that it will get seen by more recruiters.
- Education & part-time work section – Most employers and recruiters will not expect graduates to have numerous commercial experiences, which is why this section is crucial. Ensure that your degree institution and degree classification is visible as well as any extra-curricular and sporting achievements that you might have involved in. Part-time work and holiday jobs add significant value to your CV as they show that you are willing to work hard to gain professional experience. Both part-time work as well as sporting achievements demonstrate your ability to multi-task, plan your time and work as a team.
If you feel that your CV is fine but you are not getting responses, then please share questions in the comments box and I will be more than happy to give you some advice.