Career Advice

Launching Your Career: Expert Tips for Crafting an Outstanding Graduate CV

Brighton graduate tips

Just graduated and seeking that first step on the career ladder? We asked Andrew Fennell, the founder of StandOut CV, for his tips on how to get the most out of your graduate CV…

When you’re looking to take that first step into employment, your application needs to entice a recruiters’ attention – after all, there are thousands of other grads seeking a job in Brighton too.

Employers are now looking for more than just a bog-standard CV, so it’s essential to keep up to date with the latest recruitment and CV trends.

With that said, check out 4 key graduate trends you need to know if you want to stand out from the competition in 2020 and beyond:

Be a true self-starter

Now more than ever, employers are looking for candidates that are motivated, multi-skilled and who have the initiative to go out there and grab opportunities with both hands. So, while having an industry-specific degree is a great starting point, it might not be enough to prove your enthusiasm and land you an interview.

Document examples within your CV that highlight your self-motivation and passion for continual development. Factor in any night classes, additional courses or online training you’ve participated in, especially those that correspond to your chosen field.

Haven’t got anything relevant to discuss? Well, go out and get started. It’s not just courses or qualifications that show your willingness to go the extra mile. You can also impress employers with your strong work ethic and initiative through your ability to self-teach – the internet is literally chock-a-block with free resources!

Make your CV digital

The days of merely submitting a CV and waiting for a response are long gone. Employers are becoming more technology focused, so to stand out from the crowd, your application needs to go digital.

With recruiters reviewing hundreds of applications per role, it’s essential to display your relevant experience and skills. Showcasing why you’re the perfect candidate can be difficult to emphasise on your CV, so look to include links or a QR code to a website or online portfolio. Here, you can show off any related projects from your degree, side projects or personal pursuits.

If you’re struggling to sell yourself in a written format or don’t have any relevant work to show in a portfolio, why not record a short and snappy video CV to complement your written application? This is a great way to stand out amongst other candidates and prove your enthusiasm for the role.

Start a side hustle

When creating your graduate CV, limited work experience can mean you’re overlooked by employers. However, taking on a side hustle could give you the specific skills and experience needed for your chosen career.

Writing a blog, taking on freelancing projects or even starting up a small business could boost your CV – and they’re all easier to start than you may think.

For example, if you’re looking to transition into a career in graphic design, consider producing artwork to sell on Etsy or applying to freelancing gigs on PeoplePerHour. This will help you to enhance your CV, earn you some extra cash and allow you to develop your portfolio – it’s a real win-win!

Add some personality

Brighton Employers are looking for more than a candidate that matches a certain skill set – they’re looking for the right person to fit within their team. Cultural fit is becoming more important, so it’s vital to let a little bit of your personality shine in your job application.

Research the company you’re applying for, get a feel for their company culture and use your findings to influencer your CV. It’s still important to remain professional – but showcasing a hint of the real you can help you to avoid blending into the crowd.

So, think about what makes you unique, remembering to tailor this to the sector you’re applying to. Grab recruiters’ attention with a punchy cover letter or personal statement that highlights your personality and display any interesting hobbies and interests at the bottom of your CV.

You can also inject some personality into the design of your CV – but do make sure your CV is still clear and easy-to-read above anything.