The Best Tips & Secrets To Boosting Your Graduate CV

Are you wondering what the best tips and secrets to boost your graduate CV are? Well, we’re here to help you out and make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to presenting your skills and achievements and improving your online presence.

You’ll land your dream job in no time!

Structure CV

1. Make Your CV Design Stand Out

Firstly, on our tips and secrets to boost your graduate CV is to make sure that that the document itself looks professional.

Imagine an employer flicking through each application, the one’s which look nice and are presented neatly, will stand out rather than the ones which are untidy and rushed together.

So, spend some time making the design and layout of your curriculum vitae look nice but don’t go too overboard as you do want it to be easy on the eye.

Use headings and bullet points to break your text up but make sure there isn’t too much white space.

We suggest using an online CV maker like Canva to help you polish the format and create a modern and creative document.

It will show you are an organised person and have good attention to detail. Looks are everything when it comes to CV’s, or at least a big part of it.

Not to mention if you studied subjects like graphic design, then spending time working on the presentation of your CV is super important for your future career.

2. Focus On The Structure

Similarly, to what we’ve just mentioned about the design of your CV, you should also spend some time working on the structure of it.

Firstly, your resume should be a minimum of one page long up to two pages, any more than this is not necessary as you need to concise and be able to round up your skills and experience. You’ll be able to talk more in-depth about yourself and your achievements and knowledge within cover letters or even at interviews.

Find out below how to structure your CV:

  • Provide contact details – You should list your name, address, contact telephone number and email address at the top of the page.
  • Opening Introduction – You should write a short paragraph introducing yourself in third person, such as who you are, what you do, what you are working towards and some key qualities.
  • List your skills – You should bullet point your key hard and soft skills which are things that make you employable and things that things that are personal traits and habits.
  • Employment history – Discuss your work experience from the most recent or relevant first, if you don’t have any work experience to list, then you shouldn’t leave this section out. Speak about work completed on an internship, year in industry or other academic experience.
  • List your education – You should list your qualifications and your education history, starting with the most recent and relevant first (your undergraduate degree) and follow on from that.
  • Hobbies and interests – At the end you can mention about any hobbies or interests you have. Do keep this section about extracurricular activities fairly to the point and short though.
  • References – You should include an ending about your references that employers can speak to, such as “References are available upon request”.

Structure CV

3. Update Your CV To Each Role

Using the same CV for every job isn’t always a good technique to have whilst hunting for jobs as a graduate. After all, no two jobs will be the same!

You should try to update your CV to tailor your writing to specific job applications to show you’re a perfect candidate to the role. Look at the job description and change your CV to highlight the parts that best fit and match the keywords mentioned.

Doing this will impress recruiters and most likely bag you an interview because you’ve dedicated your time and effort into showing why you’re a good fit for that specific job opening. Rather than you’ve applied for loads of jobs willy nilly.

You shouldn’t lie or bend the truth when tailoring your CV though, because this won’t get you very far when you get to the interview.

Tailoring CV

4. Proofread & Check For Errors

Next up on our tips and secrets to boosting your graduate CV is ensuring you proof-read your curriculum vitae and check for any errors.

You don’t want to send off an application and realise there’s tons of spelling and grammar mistakes or typos, as this won’t look great to those sorting through applications.

Whilst one little mistake isn’t going to make or break your chances of securing a job role, you should still proofread and go over your CV to check for errors.

Employers want to know you’ve taken your time and put effort into applying for their job role and that you’re a hard-working person!

Checking CV

5. Get Someone To Take A Look

Whilst checking over your CV yourself is a good way to check for any errors or mistakes, getting someone else to look over is even better.

This is because they may notice things you otherwise wouldn’t have, and they can offer feedback on your CV as a whole.

This way, you’re hearing a secondary opinion of your resume and can make any changes they suggest, we often overlook our own work so getting help from others is important.

You could ask your family or friends to have a look at your CV and see what they think of it, or you can even use online CV checkers which evaluate your document and help you to gain professional feedback.

CV feedback

6. Manage Your Online Presence

You should include links to your online presence within your CV such as a link to your LinkedIn profile or your online portfolio or any other relevant digital platforms like a blog.

Having a good online presence shows that you’re able to build a network and market yourself professionally, and it can also introduce you to new career opportunities.

The same goes for managing your social-media presence online, employers may check your online profiles during the application process so you should remove any red flags that might negatively impact your chances of getting a graduate job.

So, privatise or un-tag yourself from any drunken images of you at uni or delete any tweets which you wouldn’t want an employer to see.

Whilst we do recommend adjusting your privacy settings and checking your social media profiles, you should still show that you’re a friendly and outgoing person who does have a social life too!

Linkedin online presence

7. Regularly Update Your CV

We can’t stress this enough; you should update your CV every 6 months or so, depending on any recent changes and new skills.

If you are fresh out of university, make sure to change your address if you lived away for university and have moved home since then.

You don’t want to apply for jobs close to you and your location is your student flat or home address, as this will leave possible future employers thinking you’re going to commute from that location or that you think it’s a remote role.

So, update your CV every couple of months and add any relevant information such as if you’ve just got back from a few months of travelling, you could mention this to show your self-confidence and problem-solving skills.

Updating CV

8. If You’re Not Successful, Ask Why

In terms of the best tips and secrets to boosting your graduate CV, we believe this one is one of the most important to do.

You should try to find out why your application wasn’t successful, or why your interview didn’t lead to a job offer. If there’s always a better candidate, find out how you can be the best.

Make room for improvements and ask potential employers or recruiters if they can offer you any comments and constructive criticism for you to take on board.

This is especially good as a graduate because you may be lacking work experience and will have to go through your fair share of interviews before you land your dream role!

Not every prospective employer will be able to offer you personal feedback though, as they will have loads of other applicants and simply won’t have the time.

It’s always worth asking just in case, this way you can better your chances of landing a graduate job.

Job application feedback

Remember, you’re more likely to be offered employment if you’re already working rather than if you’re out of work.

So, if you’re struggling to get professional work as a graduate, you should apply for other work opportunities and further attempt your skillset, even if it’s not in the field of work you did your degree in.

It doesn’t take long to improve your CV so, even if you just spend an hour doing these few things it will probably make a big difference to your job success.

There you go, the end of our post on the best tips and secrets to boost your graduate CV. We hope this blog will help you improve your resume, and we wish you all the success with reaching your career goals!

For you to read next: Why Living In The City Is MUCH Better Than The Countryside.

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