So, you’ve finished all of your exams, handed in the coursework and moved out of your halls, now it’s time for the huge task of the graduate job search!
The first thing you need to do, obviously, is spruce up your CV – but do you know what to include and what to scrap? Your degree, contact details and personal profile are obvious ones to include, but what about work experience?
Are your four years of pulling pints relevant, or is it worth including that random week’s worth of work experience? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself, but these tips should help you make the right decision!
1) Include All Relevant Experience
Even if you only spent two weeks working at a family friend’s office, if you did any relevant work to the role you’re applying for, make sure you include it!
The employer will be more impressed with small amounts of relevant work than years of irrelevant experience.
2) Make It Relevant
If you spent three years of university working in a part time job, it’d be silly not to include it on your CV. Keep it short and sweet, but highlight skills you learned in that environment that can be transferred to the role.
For example, if you worked within a team or had experience of management in your old job – say so! These are the types of soft skills that employers look for, not just relevant experience.
3) Don’t Forget Extra-Curricular Experience
Some of the best experience you’ll get at university won’t even be in the workplace. Did you work on a project in uni related to the job role, or had a hobby that related to the job? Mention these on your CV!
Maybe you wrote your own blog in your spare time, or set up a marketing agency with a team in university? Include all of this type of stuff, as it’ll bulk your CV out and it’ll be relevant – perfect!
4) Don’t Leave Gaps
While it may be tempting to leave out that random job you had straight after uni, it’s better to include it than leave a suspicious gap on your CV. Employers view gaps as something you’re trying to hide, and that really won’t look good in your application.
You don’t have to go into massive detail with these jobs if they’re really not relevant at all, just including the start date, end date, role and company you worked for should suffice.
5) Include Societies
You might not have viewed societies as anything relevant that you can use to bag that perfect grad job, but those clubs you joined in first year might just give you the edge over another graduate candidate.
When including these on your CV, mention the role you played in the society, whether that’s the President or Marketing Manager, as well as any events you planned, projects you worked on etc.
This is especially useful if you have very limited work experience, as it showcases your ability to work with a group on an independent project – something employers will find impressive.
And that’s it! Some tips and advice on what sort of experience you should include on your graduate CV.
Do you have any pearls of wisdom of your own or have any comments to make on my tips? Let me know in the comments below.