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Writing a great CV - Graduate Career Tips

  • 02-01-2011 2:24am
    #1
    Moderators, Education Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 4,442 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Suaimhneach


    Hey guys,

    Below are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd. Add your own and we'll have something that'll be a good resource.

    When I graduated I spent a lot of time researching how to best write my CV. I now work somewhere where I help interviewing a lot of graduates and I can tell you its a worthwhile investment of your time to get it right.

    Spell check - There is nothing worse than a CV with errors, it will make you look incompetent. Write it, check it, and get someone else to sanity check it again.

    Formatting - CV's should be clear, concise and easy to read. They should not be packed full of information. It should definitely not be more than two pages (unless you're applying for a niche position which requires a lot of information). Attached is a sample CV.

    Language & Phrasing - There are a few different schools of thought on this one, but the leading and in my opinion best option is to go with not using the term 'I', and to instead use the words themselves.
    Example: I managed the team of five and I was the lead for six months on this project which was very successful should be: Successfully managed a team of five people over a six month period.

    Order - Until you have a lot of work experience, your educational information should be first. When this changes, you move your work experience to the top of the CV - only you know when this time is!

    Profile or Summary - this is not required, and can be done in a cover letter, but I personally find it very helpful when reading CVs and it can help make an impact. Also, not all interviewers are going to get the copy of your cover letter so its best to include it here too.

    This is where you do a small one paragraph summary of you, your qualifications and your interest in the job listed.

    DOB, photo, martial status - None of this information is required on your CV as employers are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of any of the above. It is better to leave them out!

    Your experience - Take the time to really really think about your achievements throughout college. Having no professional work experience can make writing your CV seem horrible, but you should have some experience that can help display your skills.
    • Did you join any committees while in college?
    • Did you join any sports teams?
    • Did you get involved in any projects or volunteer work?
    • Did you work part time or get to do an internship?
    • Did you do anything in school that would help display your skills?
    • What are your hobbies? Have you taken leadership an any of those?

    DONT LIE - any good interviewer will use your CV as a basis for some questions, be prepared and know your CV well. Some employers will also check whether you did get 67% in that exam, so dont embelish.

    Font and size - I personally hate Times New Roman and think CV's written in this font are horrible to look at no matter how well formatted it is otherwise. I think a lot of people agree that it is very 90s! Don't increase the size of the font to fill space, font should never be bigger than 12 for the main body of the text. Or smaller than 9.

    Be bold - in instances where you have a lot of text, highlight the key action words in bold to make them stand out. This way if someone scans the text they'll see the most important parts. But dont over do it!

    Best of luck guys!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ Twix44


    Cheers for the tips suaimhneach. If your interested theres a few more templetes on mgrad.ie.(for law and investment banking apps)

    http://www.mgrad.ie/CV


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 TomJones713


    Hey guys,

    Below are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd. Add your own and we'll have something that'll be a good resource.

    When I graduated I spent a lot of time researching how to best write my CV. I now work somewhere where I help interviewing a lot of graduates and I can tell you its a worthwhile investment of your time to get it right.

    Spell check - There is nothing worse than a CV with errors, it will make you look incompetent. Write it, check it, and get someone else to sanity check it again.

    Formatting - CV's should be clear, concise and easy to read. They should not be packed full of information. It should definitely not be more than two pages (unless you're applying for a niche position which requires a lot of information). Attached is a sample CV.

    Language & Phrasing - There are a few different schools of thought on this one, but the leading and in my opinion best option is to go with not using the term 'I', and to instead use the words themselves.
    Example: I managed the team of five and I was the lead for six months on this project which was very successful should be: Successfully managed a team of five people over a six month period.
    Order - Until you have a lot of work experience, your educational information should be first. When this changes, you move your work experience to the top of the CV - only you know when this time is!

    Profile or Summary - this is not required, and can be done in a cover letter, but I personally find it very helpful when reading CVs and it can help make an impact. Also, not all interviewers are going to get the copy of your cover letter so its best to include it here too.

    This is where you do a small one paragraph summary of you, your qualifications and your interest in the job listed.

    DOB, photo, martial status - None of this information is required on your CV as employers are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of any of the above. It is better to leave them out!

    Your experience - Take the time to really really think about your achievements throughout college. Having no professional work experience can make writing your CV seem horrible, but you should have some experience that can help display your skills.
    • Did you join any committees while in college?
    • Did you join any sports teams?
    • Did you get involved in any projects or volunteer work?
    • Did you work part time or get to do an internship?
    • Did you do anything in school that would help display your skills?
    • What are your hobbies? Have you taken leadership an any of those?

    DONT LIE - any good interviewer will use your CV as a basis for some questions, be prepared and know your CV well. Some employers will also check whether you did get 67% in that exam, so dont embelish.

    Font and size - I personally hate Times New Roman and think CV's written in this font are horrible to look at no matter how well formatted it is otherwise. I think a lot of people agree that it is very 90s! Don't increase the size of the font to fill space, font should never be bigger than 12 for the main body of the text. Or smaller than 9.

    Be bold - in instances where you have a lot of text, highlight the key action words in bold to make them stand out. This way if someone scans the text they'll see the most important parts. But dont over do it!

    Best of luck guys!

    Great tips! Thank you!


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