6 CV writing tips for graduates

October 18 2016 , 0 Comments

As a graduate or school leaver, the task of writing your first professional CV can be daunting. How should you format it? What information should you include? Where do you start?

Whether you’re looking to land a graduate scheme with a corporate bank, or an internship with a leading media firm, you need a CV that will grab recruiters’ attention and show that you are the best candidate for the job.

We've teamed up with leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns, to bring you 6 essential CV writing tips for to guide you through to your next big interview.


6 CV writing tips for graduates

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Keep it simple

  • Keep the design simple so that all recruiters and employers can read and understand your CV
  • Don’t use an over-elaborate font that could be hard to decipher – use a simple clean font
  • Don’t use logos and images – focus on the content of your CV


Do your research

  • Browse through adverts for your target roles on job websites
  • Study your target employers’ websites
  • Make a list of the most important candidate requirements

Be sure to work these requirements into your CV when writing it


Create an instant impact

Recruiters will only spend a few seconds on an initial skim read of your CV before deciding whether or not to read it in full.

In order to make sure you pass this test:

  • Create an easy-to-read structure by using short sharp paragraphs and bullet points
  • Define sections with clear bold headings for simple navigation
  • Highlight your most valuable talents at the top of your CV so they are instantly seen


Compensate for your lack of work experience

One of the biggest challenges that graduates face, is their lack of work experience – but there are several ways that issue can be combatted:

Detail university projects to show essential workplace skills such as

  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Teamwork
Highlight work placements or voluntary work to demonstrate workplace exposure, or start a professional course and list it on your CV. You can also take practice aptitude tests to equip yourself with vital skills and ensure you are interview ready.


    Sell yourself

    To make you CV stand out from the crowd, you need to explain why you should be hired above all other candidates.

    • Head your CV up with a powerful personal statement, that summarises your most valuable skills and knowledge
    • Prove your value by showing the impact you have made on previous employers
    • Be sure to include a cover letter to ensure that your CV gets opened


    Expand on your interests

    Often recruiters won’t have much to compare graduate candidates on other than grades, so adding some impressive interests to your CV can really help to set you apart from the competition.

    Some good interests to include are:

    • Personal projects e.g. writing a blog, creating art, designing a website etc.
    • Sports teams or personal sporting achievements like marathons
    • Organising and supporting events such as charity fund raisers


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