How To Create An Impressive Graduate CV

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Written by Seun Oyediran

Graduate Job CV
One of the hurdles you have to cross as a fresh graduate is to write an impressive CV that would land you your dream job. And truth be told, creating an impressive graduate CV could seem daunting at it first but it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. Many recent graduates find it challenging creating a standout CV that highlight their valuable skills. Fresh from school, they do not know how to sell themselves to a prospective employer. And believing it must take them several years of experience to land their dream job, they do not put much effort into CV writing. Those who are pumped with enthusiasm craft their CVs as best as they can, but sadly, their best is not enough. As a fresh graduate, you must be able to create an impressive CV that makes recruiters want to get to know you!

1.  Do Your Research on Graduate Jobs

There are several specifics that most prospective employers need to see in the CV for graduate job applicants.When you search for what these specifics are and include them in your CV, it puts you in a better position to land that job.Some of the standard HR requirements are:
  1. Your ability to make thorough analyses of systems or processes to develop new ideas for improvement. Let the recruiter know what you have accomplished and rate your success. Do this in the briefest way possible – or better still, check out the complete guide here.
  2. Research and development: Different companies with different objectives cannot have the same R&D goals. Consequently, you cannot show your R&D accomplishments in a soap-making organization in an IT-targeted CV. Your details must be tailored to impresses the IT HR manager.
  3. Maintenance and updating existing systems and machinery: Your first graduate job will be a new experience for you as you are fresh in the professional sphere. That said, it is understandable that you may not be fully equipped as those in the industry for 10 to 20 years. That is why you need to learn and show that you know what you want to do in that organization.
You do this by researching that particular company and knowing precisely what they do. Here are some brainstorming questions to help you.
  1. What do they do in this company?
  2. What are the systems they use in operations?
  3. What machinery and tools do they use?
  4. How can these systems be updated or better maintained?
  5. How and what am I going to do to effect the changes in the shortest possible time?
Having the answers to these questions will help you write your CV so that your CV is informed and impressive.
  1. Can you dedicate the time the job requires and more?Every job has its time requirements, some more than others. If this job is time-consuming but something you’re willing to take, let them know that your passion and drive will enable you to do time. You can also include the time you’ve spent in previous experiences gained related to that job. Some job descriptions ask you for a specific time that the job will require from you. Ensure you are as convincing as possible in letting them know that you can do better than that if the job requires you.

2.  Ensure You Create Your Graduate CV Sections the Right Way

The sections on your CV should be impeccable and easy to read. When the recruiter scans through the sections of your CV, ensure it leaves a lasting first impression. “First impressions matter” has not been more accurate than in this instance. If you add the below pointers with the above requirements, your CV will be uncontestably impressive. Here are a few tips to guide youin writing your CV sections.
  1. Personal Details – This should be short and include your name and contact information so they can easily reach you. An example of what information should be included in your personal is shown below.
  1. Personal Profile – This should be straight to the point. Describe yourself and include vital information about yourself that the recruiter should have. Below is an image of several personal details and how to go about typing them in your CV. Remember to tailor and target the ponts for the job you seek. Also, do not use all of them because of conciseness; just the best few as applies to you.
  1. Core Competencies and Skills – As described above, show them what you are capable of doing. Highlight what qualifies you for the job, like certified knowledge, skills, and relevant information.
  1. Education – Here, you list the schools or colleges you attended, the degrees you acquired, your GPA, and other honors or awards.
  • Work Experience – You should include the work experiences you have had, the position you filled, and your accomplishments. You can include relevant volunteering or business projects that you were a part of. The below example are those tailored to an engineering intern. Select the important few and leave the rest out.
  • Professional Development – You should share the work you have done in becoming a better person for the job. Be specific about this, and don’t be vague; go straight to the point about what you’ve got.

3.  How to Handle the Work Experience Section

This is an important section in any CV, even in an entry-level CV. The fact that you are applying for your first graduate job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t state your relevant work experiences. Make a list of work experiences you’ve had and see if your experiences fulfill a skill or requirement in the job ad.Your experiences could include paid jobs, volunteering jobs, business projects, etc. Incorporate these experiences in your CV by starting with:
  • The name of the company or NGO you worked with
  • The location, job position, or title held
  • Begin with the latest, most recent job experience down to the oldest. This is called reverse chronology CV (link to the article on reverse chronology CVs)
  • Be descriptive. Paint an impressive picture with as few words as you can
  • Start with action verbs and go straight to the point.
  • If possible, quantify your accomplishments. This can be in dollar values, percentage increases, and productivity improvements.
  • DO NOT describe the company or the job you worked at; instead, describe your accomplishments and responsibilities there.
  • Do not exceed 3 or 4 of the most important experiences and accomplishments at the company. This is important for the sake of brevity.
The below example shows the sequence for this graduate’s work experience. Notice how organized, brief and straight to the point his experiences are. Do not overwhelm your recruiter!

4.  Don’t Include Hobbies and Other Irrelevances

The inclusion of hobbies in a CV is a trend that has gone obsolete. The hiring manager doesn’t need to know your hobbies. What they want to know are your accomplishments and relevant work experience. Including hobbies in your CV can make it unnecessarily long.And in reality, the hiring manager may not even use a fraction of a millisecond on that section. Yes, they don’t care two hoots about your hobbies!

5.  Only State Referees that That Can Vouch for You

Your referees play crucial roles because they know you more than the recruiter does. Therefore, after going through your CV, the hiring manager will usually contact your referees. Consequently,it would help if you did your homework before turning in that CV. Ensure that if your referees are reached, they are able and willing to vouch for you. If your referee is unreachable or unwilling to testify for you, then you can bid the job goodbye. If you do not have references when you apply, it is advisable to omit them in a similar vein. Recruiters may not need to contact them at the early stage of your application process.

In Summary,

  • Most people are qualified for jobs they apply for but don’t know how to create impressive CVs.
  • Don’t include hobbies or state that references would be provided when requested. The hiring manager doesn’t care 90% of the time.
  • Show your leadership skills and give positive reviews about the time spent in leadership.
  • Show that you can invest the time required to succeed in your job if you are offered the position.
  • Show your knowledge of the position you are applying for by giving your experience dealing with systems and machinery used in the industry.
  • Be concise, factual, and authentic. Don’t make untrue statements that can come back to bite into your reputation and credibility.

Sample CV

An example of the final outlook of your CV is given below. The sample below shows how concise and impressive your CV should look, but only in your own words. You’ll also notice that this example is not more than 2 pages long. Follow this guideline and make the best of it!

Concluding Words

I believe that you can now create that impressive CV that will land you your first graduate job! Go and make waves in the corporate world! Peace!

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