Graduating Soon? How To Craft The Perfect Graduate CV

12-09-2023 10:51 AM

The ultimate guide to CV-writing for students and graduates!

1. Why do CVs matter?

In most cases, your CV will be the ‘first impression’ that a potential employer has of you and your talents. As such, it can set the tone for the rest of your recruitment process. This makes it your single most important document for getting your career started...

Unfortunately, your CV is probably also one of the most difficult and time-consuming documents to get right. But fear not: we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to help you put together the perfect graduate CV!

In a digital world where software is seemingly replacing everything, why do recruiters still insist on old-fashioned CVs? The answer is simple: recruiters can tell a lot from the way someone compiles their CV. Beyond just listing your experience and achievements, a CV can be seen as a snapshot of how you think. What does a messy, poorly-structured CV riddled with irrelevant information and grammatical errors say about you? It wouldn’t bode well. On the other hand, if you represent your own personal brand with a well-structured, concise and aesthetically-pleasing CV, it’s an important signal to the employer that you can represent their brand well too (in the work you can do for them).

2. How long should my CV be? 

Before you put pen to paper, keep in mind your that CV should ideally fit onto one A4 page, or two pages at the absolute max. Unless you’re Elon Musk, it’s unnecessary and self- indulgent to wax lyrical about your career milestones and achievements over a multi-page essay. Anything more than two pages is likely just to frustrate the recruiter. Keep in mind that they are probably reviewing your CV alongside hundreds of others that day!

3. How should I structure my CV? What information should I include?

Most graduate CVs can be organised into the following sections:
     i.  Heading & contact details
     ii.  Summary (optional)
     iii.  Education
     iv.  Experience
     v.   Additional optional sections, which can include:
          Interests / Extracurricular activities
          Awards & accomplishments
          Skills & attributes

See the link for more details.