SAVE THE STUDENT: Seven top tips for your CV

This piece was sponsored by Save The Student. 

Creating a CV can be a hard and time consuming task for any university student. Hopefully, with these 6 steps, courtesy of Save The Student, you’ll be able to craft your CV and display your experiences proudly.

1. Research

Step 1 may seem obvious, but before you begin creating your CV, know who your target audience is. Many employers will differ on what they are looking for in a CV (i.e. one page or two/cover letter or not). Doing your research will help you to overcome this tidal wave of uncertainty and could mean the difference between an offer and rejection.

TOP TIP – Graduate Recruitment websites will often tell you what employers are looking for in their CV’s, and if they don’t you can always email Graduate Recruitment directly.

2. Structure and Grammar

On average Graduate Employers will spend 15-30 seconds reading over your CV, so impress them with a clear structure that is simple to read – using italics to separate out your sub-headings can really help here. Spelling and grammar mistakes are a massive no, and always remember that your CV must flow in reverse chronological order.

3. Know the key skills employers are looking for

Most employers will list the competencies they look for in their graduates (i.e. team player/good communication). Tailor the examples that you give to evidence these skills. This will show that you have truly researched your employer and will help you to be selective with the experiences that you choose.

TOP TIP – Don’t just state your skills, evidence them! For example, I play weekly in my universities hockey team, which has increased my team work skills)

4. Try to start with verbs over I/We

As employers do not spend long looking over your CV, start each bullet point with a verb, or even one of the key competencies your employers has listed, to clearly evidence your suitability for the role. (I.e. created innovative displays, rather than, I helped to create innovative displays).

5. Never underplay the value of unpaid work

While it is true that employers like to see evidence of student’s work experience, most are not selective about where you will have worked/what your role was. What employer’s value most are the skills that you have gained along the way (i.e. volunteering evidences commitment/time keeping/responsibility)

TOP TIP- Most big city employers will have a charity/pro bono unit attached to their work, which they encourage staff to get involved with. Evidencing your volunteering experiences may impress such employers, and could form a great conversation piece regarding your interests in the company.

6. Try to quantify your role and impact

Rather than merely stating your role or responsibilities in a job/society, try to quantify your tasks/the impact that you created (i.e. I led a team of 25 students/increased our societies Facebook following by 30%)

7. Check

After you have completed your CV check that you have included everything your employer is looking for and that there are no spelling/grammar mistakes. Always try and get someone else to read over your CV as well, whether it be a friend/family member.

TOP TIP – Utilise Warwick’s Careers and Skills department. They know what employers are looking for and can provide constructive feedback on your CV.

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