Clearing Up Your Graduate CV

One of the most important documents that a graduate has in their professional portfolio is their CV, or curriculum vitae. The CV is a short declaration of a candidate’s qualifications for a particular job or project, usually no longer than two pages. Graduates may have rudimentary CVs upon leaving their university coursework, usually created to land scholarships or temporary work. However, the type of CV needed for work after graduation requires greater consideration and deliberation on the part of an applicant. There are a few simple steps that can turn a list of experiences into an award winning CV.

The first tip in making a graduate CV a winner is to keep sentences short but poignant. Instead of writing a full paragraph describing job responsibilities at a past position or career goals, a candidate should write one to two strong sentences describing the necessary facts. Sentences in the CV should be declarative and only work toward proving that a graduate is capable of succeeding in the workplace. Another important tip for a graduate CV is to make sure that every detail is up to date. At the top of the CV, candidates need to maintain current addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails in order to get updated information from potential employers. As well, graduates should stay in touch with their references to find the best possible contact information to place on their CV.

Graduates looking to create a winning CV should consider using addenda or separate application materials to use on a job-by-job basis. For example, an interior designer may be asked to submit an extensive portfolio from one employer and a long list of references for another potential employer. Instead of including everything into one general CV, graduates should build a separate set of supporting materials that can be used when appropriate.

Finally, graduates building a professional CV need to keep an eye on the description of their academic and professional experiences. Many graduates are tempted by the idea that more material in a CV means a better chance for landing an interview or a job. However, hiring managers are incredibly busy and receive hundreds of applications for various jobs at their firm. Graduates can ensure that their CV will get the attention of a hiring manager by remaining concise and including only those experiences and academic credentials that are appropriate for a job. By keeping the CV short and simple, a graduate will find themselves in the job of their dreams sooner rather than later.