6 easy steps to a graduate CV

The scary truth is that most employers make up their mind about you after a 20 second scan of your CV. You need to ensure that your CV is up-to-scratch and showcases the skills and experience the company needs. Here are six vital steps to preparing the perfect CV:

Step 1 – prove you are right for the job

Identify the skills and experience that the employer islooking for. This will be in the job advert and always try and get the job description. It will help you tailor your CV. You want the employer to instantly see you have the skills, attributes and qualifications forthe job.

Step 2 – Make your CV easy to understand

Make sure your CV looks professional, well-designed and if you are sending it by email ensure it is in a PDF format, so it does not corrupt. Whilst you may want your personality to shine through, it is best to keep your CV simple and easy to understand and if possible keep it to one side of A4. Remember, the employer has to read a lot of CVs and you want yours to be short and punchy.

Step 3 – Include a personal statement

Consider including a personal statement at the beginning of your CV, which should be no longer than a paragraph and is an executive summary about you. That is to highlight your qualities and abilities and it will give the employer a sense of who you are as a person. This is especially helpful if the application process is just by CV.

Step 4 – Highlight your industry experience

If your degree involved working in industry or you have completed internships, freelanced or done voluntary work, you should highlight how this will help you with the job you are applying for. This will work in your favour as employers prefer to hire people with some industry experience, even if they intend to train you.

Step 5 – Include a testimonial

You can tell the employer how great you are, and you should! Your qualifications and your grades will also help you secure an interview but there isn’t anything like someone else giving you a testimonial. Ask your tutors and if you’ve completed an internship, as your line manager to give you a testimonial. The testimonial doesn’t necessarily have to be related to work or studies. It can also be from an organisation where you have volunteered or even a sports coach.

Step 6 – Proofread your CV

It’s easy to make little mistakes. Make sure you triple check ALL spelling and grammar and ask someone else to proofread the finished CV. It is also worthwhile asking a British friend to look at it, as the style of writing CVs differs around the world. And what works in your home country may not be that popular in the UK.