Top 5 things to include in your graduate CV

Follow these 5 tips to make sure your CV hits the spot when applying for graduate jobs and internships.

1. Contact details.
It seems pretty basic but never forget to put your contact details on your CV. A phone number and email address is a must! It’s usually common practice to include your home address on your CV, though it’s not essential as employers are unlikely to write to you or appear on your doorstep. In the first instance they are much more likely to pick up the phone or send you a quick email!

2. The right words in the right places.
Look at the job specifications of the role you’re applying for and clearly demonstrate throughout your CV how you have those skills. More specifically, the top of your CV is where employers and recruiters will look first (sometimes the only place they’ll look!) so make sure these key words and phrases jump out at them from the top of the page.

3. Experience.
This should make up a good section of your CV. If you’re younger and less experienced you might not have had as many full-time jobs that you can include here but don’t forget that paid internships and voluntary work can be just as valuable! Don’t waste precious space on jobs that are completely irrelevant to the post you’re applying for, but do make sure any gaps in employment history are explained.

4. Achievements.
Shout about what you’ve achieved. Whether that’s your graduate degree or the completion of an online course, an award you’ve won for volunteering, what you’ve done to contribute to the growth of your department, or a project you saw through to completion at work. If it’s relevant prospective employers want to hear about it.

5. You.
Employers want to know why you are the right fit for their company and this is about more than just the skills you possess. It’s important to show off your personality in your CV. This doesn’t mean you need to give your CV a border of stars or butterflies, or change the font to something a bit more ‘trendy’. Keep your CV professional but let your personality shine through in your communication style and content, demonstrating the right cultural fit for the organisation and role that you’re applying for. 


And just for free, here are a few of our pet-hates in CVs.

Things your CV should NEVER include:

• Spelling mistakes - it’s just a big fat no. If you’ve got a spelling mistake in the first line of your CV and cover letter, it’s highly likely employers won’t keep reading. Check your work. Check it again. Then check it a third time.

• ‘Track changes’ - it’s great to get someone to look over your CV, in fact we recommend you do, but don’t leave those ‘track changes’ visible! The best way to make sure your CV looks the way you want is to always submit it as a pdf.

• Lies - always tell the truth. If you don’t have a skill, don’t make it up, just be willing to learn it!


Remember, if you're applying for any Adopt an Intern jobs and internships, make sure to always upload a tailored CV and cover letter to our online application form


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