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Graduate CV Writing: Guidance and Tips

Graduate CVs - How to Create a Strong New CV

Congratulations! You have finally completed your lengthy coursework, passed your exams with flying colours and graduated - now it is time to start looking for a new job.

Highlight your Academic Knowledge and Skills

As a recent graduate, it is always a challenge to make your CV stand out from the crowd to help you to embark upon your professional career. At the outset, it is best to take time to identify the industry / sector which you wish to enter, and tailor your CV accordingly in line with what employers will be looking for. The key thing here is to highlight the knowledge that you have gained from your academia (including relevant topical areas) as well as soft / transferable skills from any work experiences or internships that you may have undertaken.

Focus your CV with Industry Terms

When you tailor your CV, include all industry / sector related keywords and this will help you to get shortlisted by ensuring favourability for ATS systems in particular, which is crucial. Naturally, employers will not expect graduates to have a lot of work experience, so you shouldn't feel that this is a negative. Instead, highlight details of any work which you have undertaken (relevant or not) as well as if, for example you were part of certain unions, groups or societies at university. Sometimes it can be beneficial to highlight any projects you worked on during your course (and this can be beneficial particularly for engineering or scientific graduates). In terms of structure, it can of course vary from person to person, however it does tend to be best practice to put your 'Education' section on page 1 for emphasis, with details of your modules or areas of study if possible, and even the title of your dissertation or thesis.

Seek Work Experiences to Enhance your CV

If you do not have any work or internship experiences related to your degree, it may be worthwhile to seek voluntary or non-paid internships, just to be able to include this on your new professional CV, which would certainly strengthen it. This can also have the added benefit of reducing any apparent 'career gap' from when you graduated up until the present day, and can show that you have been proactive and taken the initiative to try and propel the start of your career in the best way possible.

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