A highly competitive job market means that when you’re applying for a job after university, there could be a hundred other people applying for that role – each with similar qualifications to you.So how do you set yourself out from the competition?Your CV can be the defining factor. A well-crafted resume can be the difference in you getting an interview, and possibly a job, or not. If you’re looking for CV advice or help on how to write a CV, here are 8 ways to improve your CV, covering what to put on your CV and what to leave out.
1.Work part-time at university: Future employers are impressed by candidates who take up work during their studies. Even if the job isn’t related to your degree in any way, it shows drive and a great work-ethic; things employees value highly. It also shows that you can juggle responsibilities, have excellent time-management skills and are familiar with the working world.
2.Shorten your CV: Whilst it’s important to show employers the range of skills and experience you have, many won’t bother to read a CV that is more than two pages long. Edit your CV to ensure you’ve included all the relevant info and excluded all the filler
3.Get involved at university: Whether it’s joining a sports team, the student union or some other social club, show that you are a well-rounded individual by getting involved in a range of activities whilst you’re studying. Employers like a varied range of experiences and it also highlights what you’re passionate or interested in.
4.Expand your skillset: Learning a new skill shows employers that you’re self-motivated and eager to learn. Having a list of extra skills on your CV can also help distinguish you from other applicants.
5.Pay attention to the layout: Most employers like a clean, simple design and layout when looking at CVs. The easier it is to read the better chance you’ll have of getting an interview. With so many CVs to see, employers want to be able to skim read. With that being said, if you’re going for a creative job, a creative CV might help you stand out.
6.Spellcheck: Proofread carefully and frequently to ensure your CV is perfectly written. Get a friend to proofread it for you too. Employers are looking for any reason to cut down their list of potential interviewees, and spelling and grammar errors can quickly move your CV into the “no” pile.
7.Volunteer: Whether you volunteer at a charity or at a company in your field of interest, it shows employers that you’re eager to get out in the world and that you have a positive attitude. Plus, you’ll be doing some good in the world.
8.Make the most of your experience: Whilst you should never lie on your CV, you can make certain things sound better with the words that you use. For example, instead of saying “I cleaned tables at a cafe” you can say “Responsible for hygiene standards in a busy food establishment.” Which you’ll agree, sounds much better. It’s all about your phrasing.CV advice for students is invaluable and can be the difference in you getting a job or not, regardless of your education and degree level. With the above tips, you’ll have a stand-out CV that will set you on the right career path, post-university.To find out more about how to enhance your university experience, speak to our expert consultants for CV advice and more.