When putting together a CV for your first graduate job role you run the risk of appearing to lack industry experience and focusing too heavily on grades achieved at University and A Level. While these academic achievements aren’t to be sniffed at (you have been working on that degree for 3+ years after all) the majority of employers will be looking for a sign that you will adapt to the workplace and fit in with their team. Read these tips on Writing a CV without previous work experience to help you prove that you are the right grad for the job!
Emphasise your transferable skills
If you have only had part time jobs whilst at University you needn’t shy away from listing these on your CV! Not only will it show that you are hard-working but you can draw a number of transferrable skills from these to demonstrate how you are suitable for the role you’re applying to! For example if you are applying for a graduate marketing role you may be able to list responsibilities from your part time job where you used Social Media, POS, sales, promotion work etc.
List relevant modules / placements
Don’t be afraid to go into detail when listing your education history. Of course you need to highlight your years attended and achieved grade but feel free to expand below with any relevant information from modules you took, your dissertation topic and even work placements through your course. The idea is to show that you have academic experience in the responsibilities of the role you are applying for even if you haven’t worked in a similar role before.
Focus on achievements outside of your grades
While your grade is really important don’t be afraid to also list other accomplishments from your time at University! You may have been the captain of a sports team or arranged social events on campus! Anything that shows leadership / initiative and that you are a self-starter will only enhance your CV!
Make it look the part
There is no real right or wrong way to format your CV as everyone has a different opinion. I would say however that you should use a professional font, separate sections clearly with a clear layout / font formatting and keep it to 1-2 pages only. Keep every section concise by using short bullet points and highlight any key skills relevant to the role on the front of your CV as this is what people will be looking for. Statistics say that 88% of CV’s including a photograph are rejected, so I would advise not attaching one! If you really do want to show them what you look like add a link to your LinkedIn profile at the bottom of your CV! Not got a LinkedIn profile yet? Read this blog to set yours up today!
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)