In part 1 of our Boost Your CV series, we went through EVERYTHING you should and shouldn't include in your graduate CV. The hard part is over, you've written your graduate CV - now it's time to put your work to good use by making it look the part!
Unless you are applying for a creative design-based job, steer clear of "creative" layouts and quirky typefaces. In this article, we'll cover the fundamental rules of how to present your graduate CV to impress any employer at a first glance. Stick with us - we've got you covered!
Let's start with the basics. Your CV layout needs to do two things:
1. Present a professional image
2. Allow the recruiter to read the information quickly and easily
So let's break this down...
Be sure to keep your graduate CV to 1 or a maximum of 2 pages.
Stick to Times New Roman and Arial. Yes, unusual and quirky typefaces might add visual interest to your graduate CV, but they will also detract from its readability - not just with the recruiter but also with any automated scanning software. Choose the wrong typeface and your CV may end up in the bin before even being seen by human eyes!
Stick to a font size of 11 or 12. Don’t be tempted to use 10 point or smaller just to save space - this will only make your CV harder to read. Use bold to highlight headings, sections and key information (such as your degree title). Italics should only be used when quoting publications.
Keep colour to a minimum and stick to simple black ink. If you do decide to opt for colour, use one colour only as a highlighting tool for titles and sections, but nothing else.
Sectioning and Layout
Getting your CV layout right can be tricky. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle - you've got all the pieces and somehow you need to make the information fit together! Always start with your name and contact details, followed by your professional profile. But what next? The answer is simple, lead with your strongest selling point. For example, if you’re lacking work experience but your grades are excellent open with that. If your grades aren’t great but you’ve impressive intern experience, then work history is your sell. List the remaining sections in order of impressiveness, then add your interests at the very end.
If you have't already, check out Boost Your CV Part 1: CV Content to find out exactly which sections to include in your CV.
Beyond your graduate CV: Brand You
So you’ve bossed your graduate CV and the recruiter has decided you are 100% their type on paper ❤😎 But are you their type off it?
90% of recruiters now google a candidate before inviting them to an interview AND 75% of HR departments are now required to search candidates online!
In a world of social media it's no longer just down to your CV and cover letter to showcase who you are, but the information that can be found about you online.
Google yourself. Those search results are Brand You – the picture from which hiring managers will form their opinion of you.
Don't neglect your online image - it could easily become your biggest liability, EVEN with the world's best graduate CV.
We think you're ready to boss your graduate CV. Your career starts here!
Here's your specially crafted CV template from The CV Centre to get you started.
Graduate CV Template
We also have a Mandarin CV template from education and employment consultancy UVIC.
Graduate CV Template
Stay tuned to the blog for more content to help kick-start your career.