Particularly for anyone in their last year of university who is starting to think about moving into the workplace, polishing up your CV is an important first step. Since your CV is the first impression any potential employers will have of you, it’s great to get yours as good as you can, so here are Student Life’s top five tips!
Make sure you have all the key parts covered: the standard CV doesn’t need to be longer than two sides of A4. It should include:
- Contact details
- A personal statement
- Education (where you went to school, some grades and what you are studying at university)
- Previous work experience
- References (you can say available on request)
Keeping each of these sections up to date makes the basic framework of your CV, so working through and ticking of each of these elements is a good way to get started.
Formatting your CV properly:
It’s also important to format your CV well, pick a clear and professional font and set things out in a clean and clear way. Set yourself a simple colour scheme to follow, use bullet points and clearly section out each part so your CV both looks good on the page and is easy to read through. If you need a hand in deciding how to set out your CV take a look online, there are loads of examples and templates for you to get ideas from. Using font size 12 is also usually the standard, so keep this in mind when setting out your pages.
Tailor your CV for the job you want:
It doesn’t take long to look over your CV and shift the focus for each role you apply for, and it can properly make your application stand out. Look through the job listing and see what they say they are most interested in and then find that in your own personal statement, skills and experience and make those elements the focal points of your CV. Also, research the place you are applying to, the more you know about who you could be working with the better you’ll be able to present yourself to them.
Double check for any mistakes:
Since your CV is the first impression these potential employers will have of you, its even more important that you make sure there are no mistakes or missing pieces when you are ready to hand it in. Check over it yourself and also have someone else read over it and give you feedback if they can, this can be extra helpful as they can also let you know the impression of you the places you’re applying to might get from reading your CV.
Be truthful and back yourself up:
Make sure you can back up all the experience and skills you list on your CV, whether this is through your references or by giving examples of responsibilities or roles where you’ve used or gained these skills. By being specific with your achievements and skills and backing up your claims to them you’ll also give a better first impression and make yourself a stronger candidate for the job.
If you have any problems or want to talk through your CV, the Careers & Employability service has seminars on how to write CVs and cover letters and, also, 1-2-1 sessions available to be booked on their website: https://uolcareers.co.uk/