Your studies have come to an end, and now it’s time to set your sights on the next step—making your mark in the professional world. One of the most important tools you'll to get started is a well-crafted CV. We're here to guide you on how to create a CV that will stand out to potential employers in the digital, media, and tech sectors.
Your CV Has a Job to Do
Your CV is usually the first potential employers will hear of you. A well-structured CV not only showcases your skills and experience, but also demonstrates why you’re the person for the job. It’s worth keeping in mind that your CV will probably be one of many sifted through by busy recruiters and hiring managers. Standing out from others is key, and you can do this by making yours easy to read, concise and - don’t forget this one! - tailored to the specific role you’re applying for.
Structuring Your CV
Your CV should be easy to navigate. We’re talking clear headlines, bullet lists and a 12pt font. Artistic portfolios are slightly different and present more of an opportunity to show off your creative skills - see our blog post on these here.
- Contact details: Include your full name, phone number, email address, and a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one.
- Profile/Personal Statement: This summary is really important - it’s a snapshot of your skills and any experience relevant to the job. Remember to keep it brief!
- Technical Skills: This is the place to list your proficiency in any programming languages, software tools, content management systems, design suites etc. that you've used in the past.
- Work Experience: Add any previous jobs, internships, or placements, starting with your latest or current job first. You can also include volunteering experience - this can be a real advantage, depending on the role you’re applying for.
- Education: Briefly state your academic background, including any courses you took that are relevant to the job, and the outcome of any degrees or further study.
- Certifications: Mention any other relevant certifications, if you have any.
- Projects: This is an optional section where you can showcase projects you've worked on independently or as part of your academic coursework.
- Awards and Achievements: Another optional section to highlight any relevant awards or recognitions.
Tips to Help You Stand Out
- Tailor Your CV: Takes a bit of extra time really worth doing. You’re showing prospective employers how and why your skills, experience and education make YOU the perfect fit for this role.
- No waffle: Stick to the two-page rule! If you’re smart with how you present your information, you’ll be able to highlight all the essential stuff while also making sure it's easy to read and understand.
- Be Specific: It’s tempting to rely on cliches like "hard-working” or “team player", but many people will describe themselves as such, helping you blend in rather than stand out! Instead, focus on conveying specific skills relevant to your degree subject or the job you’re applying for, and always try to offer examples of these where possible.
- Highlight Relevant Experience: Note how any work placements, part-time jobs, or projects have given you a chance to improve on and apply your skills, even if they're not directly related to the job you're targeting.
- Proofread: Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. A good way to gauge readability is to actually read it aloud. Asking someone else to give it a read through can also be helpful.
- Format and versions: Attach your CV as a PDF to preserve your formatting, and make sure you submit the right version! We’ve had panicked calls from people who submitted the wrong copy of their CV and, unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do. Triple-check before sending!
Your CV Has a Best Friend...
And it’s a well-considered, succinct cover letter.
If your CV is the cake, your cover letter is the cherry on top. Where the CV acts as an inventory of your skills and experience, the cover letter is a chance to really give a good first impression and show that you’ve done your homework about the company and the job you’re applying for. Competition can be stiff for a good position, so don’t be afraid to let some of your passion for the role shine through.
You've Got This!
Launching your professional career might seem daunting, but with the right CV, you can make a strong first impression on potential employers. We at Wired Sussex are here to support you every step of the way.
Don’t forget to upload your CV to your job seeker account on Wired Sussex Jobs for a super quick and easy application process (if you don’t have an account, you can sign up for free here). Create your own job alerts to hear about jobs that match categories you’re interested in, and check out our Jobs Board for some great junior-level opportunities across digital, media and tech.
Best of luck!