Graduating from university is one of the most confusing experiences one can ever go through. It can be an amazing and also a daunting time. You are happy that you've finally graduated but scared of what the future holds. Some people are lucky enough to know what type of career they want to get into, but some are not so lucky.
You will go through a lot of different emotions at this stage but having a good CV can help. During your job hunt, it will sometimes feel like you are shouting into the abyss: you send your CV to a thousand companies but no one gets back to you. With a solid CV, you are at least guaranteed the acknowledgment you deserve, giving you the confidence boost you will need during this point in your career search. Here are my tips for writing a great CV:
My first piece of advice may seem obvious however it’s an essential thing to know . Your CV should not be more than two A4 pages. I repeat no more than two A4 pages! This is because employers spend an average of about 8 seconds looking at one CV. So use this time wisely.
Keep it short and to the point, so it does not to become just another boring CV in a pile of CVs they have read.
Secondly, I would say tailor you CV to your target audience. As with any other form of communication, a successful message works well when it’s specifically tailored to the intended audience. So take time to do some research on your future employer and use the job advert as a guide to what skills you should point out to them.
Thirdly, make sure to include a personal statement. This tells the employer why you are the best candidate for the role. You need to show them how your experience will fit their needs. A personal statement also allows you the opportunity to stand out by showcasing what makes you an individual.
The forth thing you should do (or rather shouldn’t do) is leave gaps. Leaving gaps sends out a warning signal to employers and immediately makes them suspicious. As the CV is the only information that they have on you, they may not give you the benefit of the doubt . If you have been out of work, try and find ways to put a positive spin on this by letting them know if you have volunteered or developed a new skill during this time. Make sure you mention it!
My fifth suggestion is to keep your CV updated. Whenever something significant in your career happens, be sure to include it.
The sixth thing you should do is proof read your CV, as spelling errors are an automatic turn off for employers. So make sure that you spellcheck your CV and when you're done, get someone else to proof read it. When you're sure it’s perfect, proofread it again. Success’ best friend is perfection. Remember, this is your Mona Lisa!
Yes, there is still more...
The seventh thing you must do is tell truth; be honest with yourself and with your future employer. Lying may cost you your dream job as when it’s time for references and background checks, your employer will do their research on you. You may also make a fool of yourself during the interview stage if you are asked to back up an untrue claim that you have made on your CV.
Last but not least, make your CV look good. Image will always be everything. Be bold, and make your CV exciting to look at by using bullet points or a interesting template. However, take caution and keep it on the professional side (unless you are applying for a job as a graphic designer or an artist of some sort).
Itayi is an English Language and Journalism graduate from De Montfort University. He recently undertook an internship at Champions UK plc, as an Advertising Research Associate. Itayi is currently searching for employment in an industry suited to his degree.
Note: 'Student Blog' pieces highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.