Writing a CV can be a complicated task. Where do you put your work experience? Should you include a picture of yourself? The list goes on. Everyone appears to have a different approach to writing a CV dependant on style, industry, experience and many other factors. This article however will provide you with some tips on how to make your CV more attractive to employers as well as highlight common mistakes to avoid.
Concentrate on your achievements
Remember that the purpose of a CV is to sell you as a candidate. Consequently, you do not want to include anything negative. Use positive language that portrays confidence in your abilities. This will help you to back up any claims that you make.
Graduates should include details
You need to tell the recruiter more than just the modules that you studied at university. These do not tend to differ greatly between institutions for certain IT related degrees. Inform recruiters of the successes that you have had in projects whilst at university and also what skills you have obtained in the process. The aim of this is to provide the recruiter with a fuller picture of you as an individual.
Keep it neat
A recruiter merely glances over an IT graduate CV in the initial stages to identify whether or not to invite you for interview. As a result, it is paramount that a CV displays all headings and information clearly so that the reader can easily identify key areas of interest. If a CV does not fit these requirements, it is likely that a recruiter will disregard it without reading further.
Make yourself stand out
Feel free to include skills that you have obtained from other aspects of life outside of the workplace. For example, if particular events and activities have resulted in you becoming an excellent public speaker, then make sure you include them in your IT graduate CV.
You are competing with a number of other candidates and should use every opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Proof read your CV
Proof reading is an essential part of writing your CV. If a recruiter identifies any errors within the document then it portrays a vibe of unprofessionalism. Consequently, if you haven’t proof read your CV (or even better got someone else to proof read it as well) then you run the risk of sending a CV with errors to recruiters who will probably cast it to one side.
Include a photo
There is no need to include a photo of yourself with your CV, unless you are applying for a modelling job. Employers do not need to know what you look like as that should not impact on your ability to perform in an IT graduate job.
Stretch the truth
It is important to be truthful on your CV. With the wealth of information online and the growth of social media footprints, employers can easily discover fabrications in your CV with just some simple research. If you are discovered stretching the truth it will almost certainly squash any chance you may have had of landing the job.
Use graphics and flashy fonts
Don’t get carried away by using graphics and flashy fonts on your CV. The content of a CV needs to be identified and read with relative ease. The graphics will only distract the reader and make your CV appear as more of a gimmick than a professional document used to apply for IT graduate jobs.
Leaving gaps both on the paper and in your work experience is a definite no no on a CV. If you spread everything out on the page then your CV can look bare and unfinished. Any gaps within your CV in terms of work experience are likely to be one of the first things that an employer identifies but don’t panic – they are not unheard of on IT Graduate CVs and don’t need to be detrimental. For example if you took a gap year – you can mention this on your CV along with the skills you developed while you were away i.e. independence, organisation etc.
Divulge sensitive information
Do not include sensitive information on your CV such as bank details and NI numbers. You do not know who has access to your CV within the applied to company and run the risk of being subject to fraudulent activities. Should the employer require such information they will ask for it.
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