If you’ve started looking for graduate jobs or you are struggling to land an interview with your current CV, this article might help you with some ideas on how to add value to your application in the eyes of employers. Below we will discuss the most important techniques for organizing your CV and also the things that you should avoid. Here you can find examples of CV templates for different career paths.
Structure of the CV
It is important to understand from the beginning that recruiters are busy people and they have tons of CVs to go through in order to find the right candidate for a job. So it is a good idea to appreciate their time from the start and make sure they do not get bored on the 2nd paragraph you have written. This also means that your CV will not end up in the bin after 6 sec since it is the average time a professional recruiter will spend looking at an individual’s CV.
Therefore, it is important to make sure that your CV is organized in a manner which is convenient for recruiters’ eyes. Usually, a recent graduate’s CV should be no longer than one A4 page and it should comprise 5 sections:
- Personal Details.
- Professional Experience.
- Interests & Achievements.
Here you include your name in capital letters in the middle of the page, your full address, your email, and your mobile phone number. For example:
34 Park Lane, Boston, MA 02210 | firstname.lastname@example.org | +1 321-209-4512
This is the centerpiece of your CV if you are a recent graduate. Start with the most recent schooling and organize other educational experience in a descending chronological order. The most important information should include the NAME of the university you’ve attended, your FIELD OF STUDY, the title of your THESIS work and the FINAL GRADE obtained. Pay attention to the font tools that should be used in a systematic manner to address the attention of a recruiter. Below is an example of how you can organize each educational experience for your CV page:
|College Name||City, State, Country|
|Full Title of Your Program||mm/yyyy – mm/yyyy|
The aim of this section is to demonstrate to an employer that you have commercial awareness and that you possess skills required for the advertised job. Therefore, you might need to adjust your skills each time you apply to match the job description precisely. Make sure you create bullet points for each responsibility and each acquired skill as it makes your CV more legible. You should list the exact types of strategies you have developed, research you have undertaken, name the titles of the companies you have created partnership with. Ideally, each skill or responsibility should be one line long or at least no longer than 2 lines. You can use the following words to indicate the actions undertaken:
- Collaborated …
Each responsibility listed should convey concisely which skill you have developed. You should avoid using such broad terms as “developed strong presentation skills” but rather give exact tasks and a numerical outcome if applicable. Below is an example of how you can present your work experience skills:
|Company Name||City, State, Country|
|Position Held||mm/yyyy – mm/yyyy|
|Key Skills: excellent communication + presentation skills developed through weekly presentations to unit directors
Here you should include knowledge of:
- Foreign languages with a description – bilingual/native, full working proficiency or conversational;
- Software skills and you can indicate with dots how well you can use these programs;
- Certifications/Diplomas that you have done in the past.
Below is the example of the presentation:
|Languages||English – native, French – fluent, German – conversational.|
|Software||Knowledge of MS Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, SPSS. Bloomberg Certification.|
Interests and Achievements
It is an opportunity to list your extra-curricular activities, sports and other achievements that demonstrate your competitive and ambitious nature to potential employers. List music or theatre classes, modeling school or hang gliding student society: this means that you have developed your creative side, you have strong communication skills and are not afraid to make presentations in front of large audience.
Things that Might Kill your CV
- Don’t use clichés and general buzzwords. Use concise descriptions of the skills you have acquired and prove them with real examples. You can use the STAR technique for this.
- Don’t list all the experiences you have ever been to, all the skills you have developed and all the part-time jobs you have had in your lifetime. Do include the experience which is most relevant for the description of the job you are applying for!