It’s always tricky to write your first CV – you’ve not got a template that you can follow, and probably haven’t had feedback on its content. Several of our clients have mentioned that many of the CVs they receive from graduates have insufficient information on their university courses, and too much irrelevant information on holiday jobs. Many also read as personal statements – which aren’t CVs.
Your CV should sell your strengths; it should be clear and easy to read. Big blocks of text are something to avoid, whilst bullet points are de rigour. Make sure that your employment and education history are in chronological order, and make sure that you include all dates and results.
As a graduate, your CV certainly shouldn’t exceed two pages, and if it only reaches to one page, that’s not something to be concerned about – as long as it is comprehensive. Make sure that you use a clean, modern font – Calibri, Tahoma, Segoe, Cambria, and Verdana are all good fonts; Courier New, Comic Sans, and Times New Roman are ones to avoid. Try to avoid excessive formatting – most recruitment agencies will import your CV into a covering letter, and this can play havoc with formatting.
It’s also important to ensure that your CV is relevant to the job you’re applying for – if you’re looking for a software development role, make sure that your CV fully details your knowledge of software development – which languages and frameworks you have used – and how and where you have used them. What’s much less important in a software development role is your experience working in a call centre or a shop – it has little relevance for the job, as the key skill employers would look for that sort of role are your programming abilities.
Many people finish their CV with their references: this is not necessary. If an employer wants your references, you will be asked for them – regardless of whether they are on your CV or not.
To help with this, we have put together a Sample Graduate CV.