Make your Graduate CV Stand Out

Your CV is your chance to sell yourself. Spelling mistakes, untruths and boring old CVs don’t do you any favours.

1. Review Your Personal Statement

“Hi, I’m Chris. I’m confident, enthusiastic, motivated and every other positive description under the sun”. There’s no way you can really prove this. Saying something like, “I’m a hard-worker” can even work negatively – isn’t this an assumption you shouldn’t need to state? Instead, add your career goals, what you’re looking for, what you want and where you’re going.

2. Show you’re a digital native

Being “digital natives” (used that phrase many a time during my dissertation!), we should really take advantage of growing up with new technologies and understanding them. At the top of your CV add your Twitter handle, Blog and LinkedIn profile – this shows employers your online presence. Employers are going to Google you, so take one step forward and give them the information.

3. Don’t just describe

“Whilst at university, I worked at the local students’ union bar”. Boring.

You really need to add value to show employers WHY they should employ you.

“I was part of the team which raised record profits during a students’ union night”

This is just a quick example, but it shows the value you added to doing a simple job, how you made a difference. It’s not just a simple description which adds no value. Demonstrate what you’ve achieved, opposed to what you’ve done.

4. Show your life outside of work

Demonstrate to employers a bit about you. Add voluntary positions, extra-curricular actives and personal achievements that separate you away from other candidates. Every graduate applying for the job may have a 2.1. But, none of them will have the same experiences and background as you.

This is a key way you can stand out by showing how you are different.

5. Be Realistic

When making your CV, bear in mind if the employer is looking for “three years’ experience”, then make sure you have it. You’re going to have to start somewhere, so if you haven’t got the experience, as good as your CV is, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job.