A CV is basically a chat up line; it’s what gets your foot in the door and gets you into the interview chair.
Here’s how to boss your CV!
For God’s sake, proof read.
It may sound old fashioned, but please, please, please check your CV for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Make sure it’s also properly formatted and laid out to look professional. If you can’t be bothered to read through your own CV properly, then why should anyone else? It’s harsh, but true.
If you’re rubbish at this sort of thing, find a nerdy friend to do it for you.
Having trouble with the formatting? There are templates online, so there is no excuse for a sloppy looking CV.
You’ve got a degree – so what?
If you’ve got a degree, that’s fantastic, but you need to let employers know what you got out of it. What relevant knowledge did you pick up? What skills did you learn?
Quick quiz: which Bachelor’s degree teaches research, extended writing, analytical and comprehension skills, along with verbal reasoning and persuasion?
All of them. BA skills are transferable. Stress what you learnt on each of your modules, and how it’s relevant to the business you’re applying to.
State your goals.
At the top of your CV should be a very short professional profile. For example:
An articulate and ambitious History graduate looking to gain experience in the world of Media Sales.
Having a short, snappy introduction says who you are and what you want. It grabs attention and focuses the reader. If you can specify the type of career you’re after, then you will start to look like the ideal fit for the role, right from the get go.
Keep it tight.
You’re at the start of your career; you don’t need to waffle on and fill two whole pages. A single page is perfectly adequate for a graduate CV. In order to avoid being hypocritical, I’m going to end this paragraph here.
There’s more to life than just university
Employers are looking for well rounded people, they’re not looking for degree classifications with a human attached. Don’t bang on about your hobbies too much, but if you’ve achieved something spectacular in your spare time, or if you can speak another language, for example, then let them know! It makes you stand out, making you more memorable.
Written by Jack Shannon.