If you have recently graduated, you are probably eager to get your first foot on the career ladder.
But to get noticed by employers in today’s job market, you’re going to need an exceptional CV, that sets you apart from all the other graduate candidates.
So, check out this guide which contains a recent graduate CV example and step-by-step guidance to writing your own winning CV.
Recent Graduate CV example
This example CV demonstrates how to structure and format your own Recent Graduate CV, so that it can be easily digested by busy hiring managers, and quickly prove why you are suitable for the jobs you are applying to.
It also gives you a good idea of the type of skills, experience and qualifications that you need to be highlighting in your CV.
Recent Graduate CV structure & formatting
Think your CV is just about the content within it? Think again.
Facilitate ease of reading by using a simple structure which allows anybody to easily navigate your experience.
How to format your CV
- Length: Whether you’ve got one year or three decades of experience, your CV should never be more than two sides of A4. Recruiters are busy people who’re often juggling numerous roles and tasks, so they don’t have time to read lengthy applications. If you’re a recent graduate or don’t have much industry experience, one side of A4 is fine.
- Readability: Make sure your CV is easy to read and looks professional by applying some simple formatting tricks. Bullet points are great for making large paragraphs more digestible, while formatting your headings with bold or coloured text will help the reader to find the information they need, with speed.
- CV design: When it comes to CV design, it’s best to keep things simple and sleek. While elaborate designs certainly command attention, it’s not always for the right reasons! Readability is key, so whatever you choose to do, make sure you prioritise readability above everything.
- Photographs: Recruiters can’t factor in appearance, gender or race into the recruitment process, so a profile photo is not usually needed. However, creative employers do like to see them, so you can choose to include one if you think it will add value to your CV .
Quick tip: Creating a professional CV style can be difficult and time-consuming when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To create a winning CV quickly, try our CV Builder and use one of our eye-catching professional CV templates.
For easy reading, write your CV to the following CV structure:
- Contact details – Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by listing your contact details at the top of your CV.
- Profile – A short and snappy summary of your experience and skills, showcasing what makes you a good fit for the position.
- Work experience / career history – Note down all your work history, with your current position first, then working backwards.
- Education – A short list of your academic background and professional/vocational qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – This is an optional section, which you can use to highlight any relevant hobbies or interests.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what you should include in each section of your CV.
CV Contact Details
Kick-start your CV with your contact details, so recruiters can get in touch easily.
Here’s what you should include:
- Mobile number
- Email address – Make sure it’s professional, with no silly nicknames.
- Location – Your town or city is sufficient, rather than a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Ensure they’ve been updated and are looking slick and professional.
Quick tip: Avoid listing your date of birth, marital status or other irrelevant details – they’re unnecessary at this stage.
Recent Graduate CV Profile
Recruiters read through countless applications every day.
If they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll simply move onto the next one.
This short and snappy summary sits at the top of your CV, and should give a high-level overview of why you’re a good match for the job.
This way, you can ensure that busy recruiters see your suitability from the outset, and so, feel your CV is worth their time.
CV profile writing tips:
- Make it short and sharp: Recruiters are busy, so to ensure your profile is actually read, it’s best to keep it short and snappy. 3-5 punchy lines makes for the perfect profile.
- Tailor it: Recruiters can spot a generic, mass-produced CV at a glance – and they certainly won’t be impressed! Before you write your profile (and CV as a whole), read through the job advert and make a list of any skills, knowledge and experience required. You should then incorporate your findings throughout your profile and the rest of your CV.
- Don’t add an objective: Career goals and objectives are best suited to your cover letter, so don’t waste space with them in your CV profile.
- Avoid generic phrases: If your CV is riddled with clichès like “Dynamic thought-leader”, hit that delete button. Phrases like these are like a broken record to recruiters, who read them countless times per day. Hard facts, skills, knowledge and results are sure to yield far better results.
Example CV profile for Recent Graduate
What to include in your Recent Graduate CV profile?
- Summary of experience: Recruiters will want to know what type of companies you’ve worked for, industries you have knowledge of, and the type of work you’ve carried out in the past, so give them a summary of this in your profile.
- Relevant skills: Make your most relevant Recent Graduate key skills clear in your profile. These should be tailored to the specific role you’re applying for – so make sure to check the job description first, and aim to match their requirements as closely as you can.
- Vital qualifications: Be sure to outline your relevant Recent Graduate qualifications, so that anyone reading the CV can instantly see you are qualified for the jobs you are applying to.
Quick tip: If you are finding it difficult to write an attention-grabbing CV profile, choose from hundreds of pre-written profiles across all industries, and add one to your CV with one click in our CV Builder. All profiles are written by recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
As Recent Graduate jobs might receive a huge pile of applications, this is a great way to stand out and show off your suitability for the role.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Vital skills for your Recent Graduate CV
Practical & academic experience – evidencing relevant experience, both academic and practical, that applies to the role being applied for.
Advanced MS Excel, SAP, Xero – highlighting all key software packages/technologies used that will be relevant in future roles.
ABA Accredited – evidencing any relevant accreditations and licences.
Finance Student of the Year 2018, Intern of the Year 2020 – highlighting any key awards or achievements that showcase drive, passion and relevant experience.
Customer service – highlighting customer facing experience relevant to the role being applied for.
Quick tip: Our CV Builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Your work experience section
Now it’s time to get stuck into your work experience, which should make up the bulk of your CV.
Begin with your current (or most recent) job, and work your way backwards.
If you’ve got too much experience to fit onto two pages, prioritise space for your most recent and relevant roles.
Structuring each role
If you don’t pay attention to the structure of your career history section, it could quickly become bulky and overwhelming.
Get in recruiters’ good books by creating a pleasant reading experience, using the 3-step structure below:
Provide a brief overview of the job as a whole, such as what the overriding purpose of your job was and what type of company you worked for.
Follow with a snappy list of bullet points, detailing your daily duties and responsibilities.
Tailor it to the role you’re applying for by mentioning how you put the target employer’s desired hard skills and knowledge to use in this role.
To finish off each role and prove the impact you made, list 1-3 stand out achievements, results or accomplishments.
This could be anything which had a positive outcome for the company you worked for, or perhaps a client/customer.
Where applicable, quantify your examples with facts and figures.
Sample job description for Recent Graduate CV
Reporting to the Finance Manager and responsible for supporting with financial duties for the daily operations of the firm.
- Processing purchase ledger transactions and ensuring the ledger remains up to date
- Supporting with bank reconciliations
- Processing manual and electronic purchase order numbers
- Investigating payment queries over the phone and via email
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Education and qualifications section
At the bottom of your CV is your full education section. You can list your formal academic qualifications, such as:
- A levels
As well as any specific Recent Graduate qualifications that are essential to the jobs you are applying for. Note down the name of the qualification, the organisation at which you studied, and the date of completion.
Hobbies and interests
Although this is an optional section, it can be useful if your hobbies and interests will add further depth to your CV.
Interests which are related to the sector you are applying to, or which show transferable skills like leadership or teamwork, can worth listing.
On the other hand, generic hobbies like “going out with friends” won’t add any value to your application, so are best left off your CV.
Writing your Recent Graduate CV
Creating a strong Recent Graduate CV requires a blend of punchy content, considered structure and format, and heavy tailoring.
By creating a punchy profile and core skills list, you’ll be able to hook recruiter’s attention and ensure your CV gets read.
Remember that research and relevance is the key to a good CV, so research your target roles before you start writing and pack your CV with relevant skills.
Best of luck with your next application!