The next step after ending your studies is probably planning your entry to the labour market – let alone a very well deserved holiday!
As a newly graduated student however, your work experience might not be really extensive. This is however not an obstacle to finding a job. In fact it all starts by writing a good CV. Here is a list of ten tips that will help you write a CV that will catch employers’ attention.
- Write an inspiring motivation letter
Having little experience should not prevent you from writing an inspiring motivation letter. While you may want to acknowledge your lack of experience, you would prefer emphasizing on your motivation and demonstrate how you imagine to fulfilling the advertised position. Write about how the position fits into your career goals, that you plan on succeeding in the role. Make it read to friends or family and collect some advice on how to enhance the message you wish to communicate to the employer.
- Tailor your CV to the employer
Examine the offer and gather hints about the culture and characteristics of the organization and the sector in which you wish to work in. With that in mind, make sure your CV exposes your most interesting assets and will make you stand out, whether it’d be your work experience, the honors you’ve collected during your studies, extra-curricular activities, etc.
- Include an introductory paragraph
A short introductory paragraph, or an “Objective Statement”, can be useful to less experimented candidates. Usually, two or three sentences could help you communicate your strongest and most desirable personality trait as well as your most desired career goal. Once again, it is best to tailor this to those requirements stated in the job offer you are applying for.
- Show your strongest features first
A starter might want to emphasize on studies followed and career projects rather than a short work experience. The education section could therefore appear before your work experience on your CV.
- Demonstrate your skills and maturity
Your ‘work’ experience might be limited; you can nevertheless still discuss the skills you’ve acquired through previous jobs and how relevant they are to the present possibility. State any work experience you’ve gained through a course at school. Also state “typical” student jobs you’ve done too; if you’ve waited tables, write that you’ve gained strong customer service experience, if you’ve baby-sited, write how developed is you sense of organization. The key is to demonstrate the skills acquired through previous jobs and show how ripe you are for entering a professional level of employment. Collect reference letters from previous employers that demonstrate the same.
- Include a list of relevant courses to the job
You might want to demonstrate your interest for the position you are applying to by listing classes you’ve followed and that constitute an asset. State academic achievements or awards and highlight how you think these performances would benefit an employer or prepared you to do the job. Getting a letter of reference from a teacher of one of the courses you mention is also a good idea.
- Avoid unnecessary details
Some details are irrelevant in your CV. For example, you don’t need to insert your photo, SIN, home address, date of birth, neither the reason you left your previous jobs. Avoiding this will keep your CV clean and short and will also protect you from the risks of identity frauds. As for your references, you can list them separately and you can insert a mention in your CV that they will be provided upon request.
- Keep it Short
Keep in mind that an employer usually receives a big amount of applications for a position offered, it is thus best to keep your CV short and to the point. This does not mean, however, using abbreviations or slang; it is important to communicate clearly and formally, therefore use simple and clear language.
- Tell the Truth
Obviously, it is not smart to include inaccurate information about your studies or work experience. Employers might conduct a reference check that will disqualify you for the job and in their impression of you. On the other hand, the tips stated previously should help you polish your CV and make your educational qualifications or work history sound like they qualify you as an interesting candidate.
- Avoid mistakes
Revise you CV to make sure there are no mistakes such as typos or grammatical errors. If necessary, ask somebody else to review it for you as it might be difficult to see your own mistakes.
All the best with CV writing, and remember that like most things, the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.