CV Tips for Recent University Graduate

CV tips for a fresher can be very useful in today’s era.

Even in a buoyant job market, securing that first graduate role can be difficult.

Hence, it is always recommended for a fresher to go through some of the best CV tips before deep diving in the world of resumes.

Some of Britain’s largest employers receive dozens of applications for each graduate position – if you want to secure a job with them, you’ll need to ensure your CV stands out for all the right reasons.

After years of helping graduates across the country, here are our top CV tips for getting your CV to the top of the pile.

Use a clear, appropriate format

Before they get into the nitty-gritty of your CV, a prospective employer will scan it visually. That quick once-over can make or break your application. Use a clear, simple format to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into the detail of your experience.

A good CV will balance text with the right amount of white space, so the document doesn’t seem too jam-packed or overwhelming, nor too sparse. It will use concise, punchy bullet points, not endless paragraphs. You may see bold text or underlining to differentiate between sections, or tables used to space out content across the page.

The font is also worth a mention: some graduates, mindful of the need to keep their CV to two pages, will use a tiny, headache-inducing font to cram in extra information. As you can imagine, that strategy tends to backfire when the reader must strain to decipher the content. Stick to a font size of 11 or 12, and use an easily-read, PDF-friendly font like Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana.

Keep the content relevant

Broadly, your CV should contain your name, contact information, a short (two- to three-line) profile explaining who you are and what you’re looking for, details of your secondary and tertiary education, your work experience, and any achievements and skills (see below).

At the graduate level, employers will expect a chronological approach, with your most recent work and education appearing before older experience.

Knowing what to leave out of your CV is also key – employers won’t want to see your photo (the entertainment industry excepted), your date of birth, your National Insurance number, or details of your political leanings.

Historically employers would’ve expected to see a list of academic and work referees at the end of a CV, but the current trend is to omit this information or simply list “References available on request” – an employer will inevitably ask for details after a successful interview.

CV Tips #1 – Focus on your transferable skills

You may have worked in any number of part-time jobs through school and university, from pulling pints and coaching football to serving customers in a retail environment.

Believe it or not, these roles can help land you that dream graduate job – if you know how to sell the experience you’ve gained in a relevant, meaningful way.

The truth is, when it comes to landing your first professional role, any experience can be made relevant.

Serving in a busy restaurant or bar? Delivering excellent service under pressure.

Stacking shelves in your local supermarket? Working to the deadline and complying with company policy. A Saturday job on the high street? Client contact and sales experience.

Even if you’re applying for a job in a completely different field, there will always be some relevant skills that you can use to demonstrate your aptitude.

When you’re preparing your CV or completing the lengthy application forms favoured by larger employers, try to go through some of the CV tips first and focus on explaining your work experience in a way that’s clearly relevant to the role you’re applying for. A laundry list of tasks done in each role isn’t good enough – be sure to highlight relevant achievements that showcase the skills you’ve gained.

CV Tips #2 -Identify your USP

In a competitive job market, you need to focus on how you can stand out from the crowd. In trying to fit into a particular role or job specification, candidates often forget to include something about themselves that makes them stand out and be memorable. Do designers speak about product “USPs” or unique selling propositions -- what’s yours?

You may have advanced skills or qualifications. Perhaps you participated in a school or university leadership programme, speak a second language to a high standard, or have a strong track record of volunteer work in your community.

These kinds of achievements are more likely to be unique to you, and make you stand out in the recruiter’s mind as an interesting, well-rounded candidate. You’ll inevitably be asked about your USP at the interview, too – it’s a great opportunity to show that there’s more to you than just your grades and work experience.

CV Tips #3 -Demonstrate attention to detail

Employers in different industries will look for a range of skills in new hires, but attention to detail is almost always a top requirement.

Why? Simply, it’s a skill that’s useful in every profession, whether you’re a trainee solicitor cross-checking court bundles or a plumber’s apprentice finalizing a tricky installation.

Saying you’re detail-oriented just won’t cut it, unfortunately – but you can use your CV to demonstrate that you possess this key skill.

Proofreading is crucial to this: you’d be amazed how many bright candidates hand in CVs misspelling employers’ details, using punctuation incorrectly – even mangling the name of the company they’re applying to join. Check, check and check again before you hit “Send” on an application.

Proofreading goes beyond spelling and grammar – make sure you’ve used one font consistently across your CV, and that the sizing of letters and spacing between lines isn’t erratic.

If you don’t feel confident proofreading your own work, rope in an eagle-eyed friend, try to learn some CV tips or use a professional CV writing service to give your CV and cover letter some polish.

Leaving things to the last minute is a recipe for disaster when it comes to producing a high-impact, well-written CV, so leave plenty of time to get your CV looking its best.

So to get you started, noble class of 2016, are some things you need to do….right now. Some of these will seem overly simplistic, but they are often the methods that get overlooked but most importantly is you need to thoroughly follow some CV tips.

CV Tips #4 – What is the typical time frame to find a job?

The success of your job search is dependent on a variety of factors; geographical area, career track, industry, and CV exposure/distribution. It is important to treat your search as a full-time job if you are unemployed, to create a strategy, and to stay on task. Always remember to go through some of the CV tips before appearing for a job interview.

To relieve financial stress, you may want to consider using temporary employment agencies for short-term or part-time positions. Most important, practice patience and persistence; landing a good may take longer than expected sometimes.

A fresher resume should be of 1-2 pages and should not contain long stories.

CV Tips #5 – What if I am pursuing different types of positions or industries?

Now here you need to play it smart as you’re not going to find this in any if the CV tips. So, when targeting jobs that are significantly different, it is most effective to modify your CV and cover letter to reflect the skill set appropriate for each type of position.

Emphasising irrelevant skills may raise questions about your interest level. Rewriting your CV for appropriate emphasis on different skill sets will sell your abilities relative to the type of position you are pursuing.

CV Tips #6 – Why do I need a professional cover letter?

The cover letter is one of the most critical components in the job search process and serves as a personal introduction to the recruiter. This effective marketing tool is designed to support, augment, and enhance your CV. A cover letter submitted with your CV is vital to help you to stand out from other candidates. With CV tips you can also go around with some of the useful cover letter writing tips as well.

CV Tips #7 – How should I address requests for salary histories or salary requirements?

Employers use salary histories or salary requirements to screen out candidates. Salary requirements are unique to each person as they are closely tied to individual circumstances such as geographical area, career track, industry, or type of organisation.

If they ask for a specific amount, give a broad number such as (15-30K). Make sure you don’t ignore the salary request completely or you are likely to be screened out. The ultimate aim is to obtain an interview to determine if the position is a fit for you and the company, then salary discussions and negotiations can be done. Though you won’t get its answer in almost all the CV tips so you’ll have to frame this answer by yourself then and there only.

CV Tips #8 – What is a follow-up letter and why is it important?

As you might imagine, a follow-up letter is sent following an interview. More than an ordinary thank-you letter, a follow-up letter strengthens the interviewer’s perception of you and addresses any potential concerns he or she might have about the position being the right fit. Most of the CV tips do get this covered and even if not you need to fulfil your responibility by sending a follow-up letter.

Since there will typically be several top candidates for the position, each with various tradeoffs regarding strengths and liabilities, a follow-up letter helps nudge that often difficult decision in your favour.

CV Tips #9 – How do I choose a recruiting agency?

Utilising the help of a recruiter can be a great addition to your traditional job search. You can conduct a search on Google for the top recruiting sites/companies or look in the yellow pages for a local agency. When evaluating these services, inquire about the number of positions for which they recruit, and their speciality positions or industries.

So there you have it, a very basic guide to launching yourself effectively into your job search. Overall, have faith in what a good candidate you are, leave no detail unaddressed, no stone unturned, don’t give up, and before you know it you’ll be on your way to an undoubtedly glittering career. This answer is never going to be the part of any CV tips you go across as you need to take some experts guidance here and choose your agency smartly.

CV Tips! CV Tips! CV Tips.

Yes you read it right and that’s what you need to read if you’re a recent graduate and going to enter in the world of resumes.

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