A Graduate’s Guide To Creating A Unique CV

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Leaving university in pursuit of finding employment is an exciting but sometimes daunting experience. 

An increasing rate of emerging graduates has created a highly competitive job market, something which has been unfortunately heightened by the global pandemic.  

According to recent research carried out by UK-based graduate websites Milkround and Dig-In, just 18% of graduates in 2020 secured jobs compared to the typical 60%. 

If you’re applying for graduate roles in 2021 don’t let this statistic discourage you, instead make a few simple adjustments to your CV and stand out from the crowd. 

 In our latest graduate guide we outline our top five tips to make sure your CV shines bright, ensuring that you secure that all important job offer.

Use Proactive Descriptions 

Take your CV to a new level by backing up your relevant skills with tangible examples.  

It’s easy to say you’re good at working as part of a team, but backing it up? That can be slightly more difficult.

Refer to the ‘STAR’ model when expanding on your proficient skills. 

Identify:

  • The situation.
  • The task.
  • Your actions.
  • The result.

 Identify key points to keep your CV clear and concise.

For example, ‘’Teamwork allows me to work efficiently and effectively, through engaging in projects such as ‘X’ I have been able to achieve ‘Y’’’.

Proactive descriptions demonstrate your skills in a compelling manner, convincing the employer that you’re an ideal candidate.

Tailor Your CV 

You may be under the impression that sending out the same CV to hundreds of employers is saving you a lot of time.

Whilst, that might be true, this tactic will not increase your success rate. 

A CV is not a ‘one size fits all’ document. Its purpose is to outline your skills and experience that are relevant and applicable to the job you’re applying for. 

No two jobs are identical, and your CVs shouldn’t be either.

It’s crucial that your relevant skills and experience are emphasised within your CV to match the job’s requirements. 

Tailoring your CV enhances your suitability and displays a real interest in the role and company. Consequently, you’re more likely to stand out to an employer. 

Incorporate Keywords 

Applicant tracking systems (ATS), often referred to as digital gatekeepers, are increasingly employed by large organisations in hiring processes. 

CVs can be shortlisted or disregarded depending on how many keywords are incorporated. Ensure you read the job listing carefully, look out for any particular terms that carry emphasis. 

Once you have identified key terms and phrases, you should tailor your CV to include them. A CV should be crafted to not only impress HR managers, but also satisfy the digital gatekeeper. 

Avoid falling short in obtaining your dream job because software disregarded your application. Incorporate keywords and get noticed.

Design An Aesthetic Layout

Your CV is a first impression of you, presentation speaks volumes.

Keep your document polished and professional by following our suggested tips below:

  • Use bullet points, bold headings and underlining to differentiate sections.
  • Maintain a logical order to ensure easy navigation. 
  • Keep sentences concise for effective communication of achievements.
  • Ensure your CV is no more than two pages, less is more. 

By creating a CV you’re proud of and excited to share, your employer will notice your enthusiasm and passion for the role.

Be Truthful

If you have graduated recently it’s unlikely you will have a great deal of experience, and that’s okay. 

Although it might seem tempting to embellish your CV with a few white lies, this decision will come back to haunt you. 

Being your legitimate self is highly attractive to an employer.

Allow your authenticity to radiate from your CV; this will be more powerful than any exaggerated truth. 

What are your top tips to creating a CV that stands out? Let us know in the comments on our post on Instagram or Facebook.

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