How to Make the Best of Yourself on Your CV
You’ve acquired some fantastic skills throughout your student life; you’ve got passion and drive, you have a great work ethic and you are committed to trying your best to achieve everything your new employer could possibly throw at you, but what about your experience?
It’s a tough one because most likely you don’t have a vast amount of experience, you’ve been too busy studying to work a full-time job as well! However, it’s all about using your CV to translate the skills you do have into the equivalent of a work-experience based skillset.
And we can help you with that!
An employer is going to be well aware that as a recent graduate you’re not going to have a long list of work experience and employment references, but it’s not just about that. They also want to see that you’ve got the potential to help their business, so it’s all about selling yourself and showing them what you can do.
Take some time to write down all the relevant experience you think you have to offer for the specific job role you are applying for. Maybe as an IT graduate, you have first-class computer skills, perhaps you’re a great organiser and have some fantastic time management skills, or perhaps you took a Gap year during your studies to do an internship or maybe you travelled around Australia by yourself.
Whatever you’ve done, there will always be skills and experiences attached to it; you just have to think about the lessons you have learnt from them, how you coped in different situations, and any challenges you may have faced and overcome.
Honesty is the Best Policy
No one’s saying you shouldn’t embellish the truth a little, but any employer will be able to work out whether what you’re saying on your CV is true or not, and anyway lying about a particular skill you have is bound to catch up with you sooner or later. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to CV writing, so make sure you’re sensible with your choice of words.
Focus on 3 to 5 of your top skills and find strong examples of instances where you have used these skills. An employer will be far more impressed by someone who is confident and coherent in both their writing and how they present themselves than someone who offers little evidence of their worth and stumbles over their answers when questioned about their skills. Remember also, that one of the top skills any employer will be looking for is excellent communication, so make sure you know exactly what it is you’re trying to portray.
Focus on the Positives
A CV is your once chance to shine; it’s the thing that will get you that foot in the door and hopefully secure you an interview. This means it’s essential you show off your achievements in as varied a way as possible to make a great first impression and help you stand out from the crowd.
Show potential new employers just how proactive you are by researching the company and basing your skill set on the specific industry and the work you would be doing for them. It’s also a good idea to reference any relevant groups you are a member of or publications that you subscribe to as this shows how motivated and passionate you are about whatever field of work you are hoping to get into.
Relate Your Skills
There aren’t many jobs that require you to be good at writing dissertations or sitting through hours of lectures, so when you write down your skills, you need to think about how you can word it so that it actually relates to the job you are applying for.
Dissertation writing, for example, could translate as:
- A good communicator.
- Typing skills.
- Research skills.
- Time Management skills (you stick to deadlines).
- Content writing.
Writing your CV can seem like an incredibly daunting task, but if you give it some time and really think about what you have to offer and how you can apply it to a specific job role, you’ll make the switch from graduate to an employee in no time.