So you’re fresh out of university and you’re keen to ensure your first job is about more than paying the bills: it’s a step onto the next rung of your promising career. But with a sheaf of academic transcripts in one hand and the CV you used to get your last Saturday job in the other, unfortunately you’re not going to get very far. This is the real world now, and getting a ‘proper’ job – even in the lowest ranks of the industry you intend to conquer – means impressing employers and recruiters who have a genuine interest in attracting bright, engaged talent to their business.
What can you do to bring that CV up to scratch to a graduate resume? For a start, remember that every job application requires a different iteration of your document. Have a long hard look at the job requirements in the advert, and think about how your experiences have prepared you to face each challenge the employer has set.
If you’re at the start of your career, you may feel underequipped for some of the stuff they’re asking: but think laterally, don’t forget the importance of your extracurricular activities, and don’t undervalue the work you have done outside of formal employment in your life to date. List your jobs, team memberships and courses in reverse order, and include up to six bullet points beneath each one, describing briefly the skills you used or developed – and trying to tick these off against those mentioned in the job ad.
Don’t undervalue the power of the cover letter. You may not have experience, but if you have drive, enthusiasm and ideas, a recruiter may pick up on that energy. Format it properly and check the spelling and grammar properly, and it can be an excellent way to make a first impression.
These are just a couple of ideas of how you can make an impact even if you’re just starting out. This new infographic can help you run through the whole document one point at a time, to ensure your CV reflects your graduate status. The adventure starts here.
Photo: jessica mullen / Flickr
I’m a freelance writer and I love what I do. My background is in human resources but I enjoy writing about different topics, such as leadership, self improvement and the importance of work/life balance.