As a recent graduate filling a 1 or 2 page CV can seem like a daunting task. For many roles recruiters will receive a pile of CVs so make sure your can stand out- in a good way! A well-crafted CV can make a huge impact on your application. Here are some things to consider when writing yours. 


Personal Statement

A lot of recent graduates open their CV with a personal statement. This can be a great way of emphasising your strengths, your career goals and what you are passionate about. Keep it short, three sentences maximum, and make it clear how your interests reflect the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a range of roles make sure you change your CV for each application. 


Academic achievements

For recent graduates your academic achievements can often mark the highest achievement so far so put this above your work experience. If you have done a vocational degree highlight courses relevant to the role you are applying for and what you learnt. If you have done a degree that is not relevant highlight any transferable skills you have obtained like language learning, time management, or research skills. 


Work Experience

If you have done a vacation scheme or internship that is relevant to your application spend some time highlighting what you achieved during this experience. Spend time thinking about how any other work experience you have is relevant. For example some retail work during your studies demonstrates sales, customer service and your ability to learn new skills. Focus on any achievements you have made such as exceeding any employer set targets.

It is also important to include any voluntary work you have done as this can often show an employer you are well rounded and socially conscious. A lot of employers have at least one charity they support with regular staff fundraising days. Be aware if an employer supports a charity you have already volunteered for as that can really help your application!


Skills and Interests

Some people add a brief outline of any hobbies, skills, or interests they have. Beware of putting anything generic down like the cinema or socialising but if you play any sports or have any unusual hobbies feel free to put these down. Being the captain or leader of team can look particularly impressive. This could be something a potential employer asks about in interview and could help your application be memorable. 


Funky format? A big no no! 

You may feel that a way to make your CV stand out is by adding a quirky font and design however this can make your CV seem unclear. Consider that some recruiters admit they only spend just 6 seconds looking at a CV so keep the font readable and the format clear. Unless you are applying for a design based role where your CV is a way of demonstrating your skills, let your experience do the talking.


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Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

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