With University Graduation still fresh on everyone’s mind, now is time to think about the next step and about making your mark in the working world. However, before you can do that you need to make sure your CV is up to date and is showcasing the best of your skills and abilities.
So here are some tips to consider when you’re updating yours;
• Tailor it – to the job you are applying for. Highlight the skills that are relevant to the role. Make it easy for the person recruiting to see you are a good fit, and mirror the culture of the company through your CV, show that your values are the same.
• Format – use clearly defined sections; bullet point your skills, main duties and achievements in your work experience, this makes it easier to read and ascertain the key elements. Also make sure it’s uniform throughout i.e. full stops throughout, fonts/size, colour etc.
o Design – design your CV to stand out from the rest of the pile and if you are a designer consider using your CV design to showcase your talent.
o Chronology – education and work experience should be in reverse chronological order – most recent first.
o Dates – include dates for your experiences but keep it simple: Wired Sussex 2015-17, Sussex University 2013-15
o Hyperlink – remember hyperlinks only work if you send your CV by email, and check they all work but don’t over use.
• Key Content – include; personal contact details, education, work experience, additional skills/training and interests.
o School Grades – as you get older and more qualified, school grades become less important and take up space, so simplify to ’10 GCSEs (A*-C)
o Email Address – make sure it’s your personal email and not your university one & make sure it’s a professional sounding email not firstname.lastname@example.org
o Image/Date of Birth – there is no need to add these in, as they take up space and aren’t important in the recruiting process.
o Evidence – if you say you have a certain skill, back it up with evidence from previous work or experiences.
• Length – Don’t waffle. Keep it short and to the point, that way the employer can read the important information. Glance over it for 30 seconds, do the important facts stand out?
• Social Media accounts – include these in your CV; LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. if they’re relevant. It can be a chance to showcase more of your skills (managing a twitter page etc) or show off your network (LinkedIn recommendations etc).
• PDF – word documents can corrupt, be edited or your formatting may look all wrong on someone else’s computer – so convert your CV to a PDF to be more professional.
• Proof read it – print it out and read it once, then twice, then get someone you trust to read it and check it twice. Give them the job description and person specification so they can compare it to your CV and covering letter.
If you are a recent graduate you may want to check out our other blogs around kick starting your career in the digital, tech and media sector:
Survival Guide for Graduates