You need experience, but no-one wants to give it to you. The graduate job market is a bit like the start of Hunger Games. A Few incredibly rich people in ridiculous wigs lording it over the huddled masses. We’re here to help! So the SPG is going to make sure your graduate CV stands out and help you avoid some of the worst clichés.
DO think about your degree
It’s not about exactly Kantian metaphysics, so much as what you learned while learning about them. Confused? Let me explain. The specific knowledge that you gained in your degree (learning about old, dead German dudes in this instance) isn’t as important as the tricks you picked up in the last three years that helped you to learn.
Pretty much all degrees teach presentation skills (seminars), Research (studying for essays), persuasive writing skills (essays and projects). Did you work with other people on your course? Did you help tutor or mentor other students? What did you do to go beyond the norm?
DON’T be sloppy on your presentation
Spelling mistakes, punctuation, a crowded or slap-dash looking graduate CV is the easiest way to end up in the bin. You might think it’s old fashioned and boring to care about something like this, but look at it this way- if you can’t be bothered to do your CV properly, why should an employer think you’ll be bothered about the job?
DO write about your skills
As well as the skills you got in your degree (see above) think about what else you’re capable of. Make sure you can back up what you say with an example. Great at time keeping – I kept all the appointments I made with my mentoring buddy. Organise – I ran the netball society for two years. Consider all the society stuff you’ve done for the last three or so years and what you’ve gained from it.
You’re a millennial. You have more computing knowledge than any other generation. This is a good thing. What programs have you worked with? Do you know any specialist software which could be relevant to the job?
Who are you. What have you done. What can you do. That’s all a graduate CV should be. Wasting time describing your old Saturday jobs is going to impress no-one and all it will do is stress how junior you are.
No one is going to care about your day-to-day tasks when you washed cars that summer in 6th form.
Unless you did something particularly interesting or unique, keep the focus on your skills and what you got from your degree.
- Hardworking, professional, can turn up on time. That’s what recruiters want.
- 2 sides of A4 MAX. For a recent graduate, even 1 should be fine.
- Provide references. Academic advisors can help with this.
- Space things out. You want people to read it don’t you?
- And finally…Best of luck!
Written By Jack Shannon