How To: Create the Perfect Graduate CV
After your four year degree, you would think that getting a job is easy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Indeed, putting together a graduate CV is often the hardest kind. Having a good CV is crucial for you to get a job and move into the full-time workforce.
Employment history may be quite limited for those who have just finished a degree. Some graduates may have only worked during the summer if at all. Others may have worked in part-time jobs such as in the local newsagents which is far from what they may have studied in college.
CVs are used to demonstrate your capability for a job, and if you haven’t got any experience what can you list on it?
Start small. Begin by listing your name, address and contact details at the top of the page. Surprisingly, this is something that many people forget to include. Rushing to get a CV done in a hurry may mean that little yet crucial details can be left out.
Graduate jobs are catered to people who have, of course, just finished their degree. Thankfully, companies are aware of this when advertising jobs and will adapt their standards accordingly. Don’t let a lack of experience on your CV put you off.
So, the next step is to put it together in a professional manner. List your experience in an inviting manner and sell yourself as a viable candidate.
Split your information into two parts. The first of which is a record of work experience to date. This can be any kind of experience at any level. The second is your skillset. Sell yourself as a potential employee and invite them to get to know you.
If you have little experience, documenting your skills is a good way to illustrate your ability and it will fill up your CV. This can be a hard thing to do well, but once you master it, it will reflect amazingly on you.
Essentially, you can list previous jobs and list what you learned in them. For example, you could list that you worked as a sales assistant and describe your responsibilities. Then, you could say that you developed communicative skills through greeting customers and dealing with their queries. Do this a number of times to bulk up your CV.
This being said, it’s better to keep your CV to a minimum of one page if you have little work experience.
The layout of your CV is the final thing to perfect. After you’ve listed your name, address and number, begin with a profile. In two short paragraphs, summarise yourself. Mention that you are a recent graduate with experience in X, Y and Z.
Add your degree or qualification and then finish the second paragraph explaining what type of job you’re looking for. Catering this to the job description. After this, add six skills you possess.
Outline your work experience after this. Finally, you can finish off with some of your hobbies and interests. If you have any that will stand to you as a person, list them first. Check out our handy guide here of including hobbies and interests in CVs.