Young graduate CV

Many students and recent graduates are apprehensive about writing their resumes because of the lack of work experience. But remember, everyone goes through this process to start their career. Moreover, you have youth, dynamism and many other qualities as assets. The most important thing is to know how to distinguish yourself from other candidates. To put all the chances on your side, we recommend that you follow these tips.

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Be concise and to the point!

Most students and recent graduates make the mistake of lengthening their CVs to impress recruiters. But since they have little work experience, they tend to use filler words that do not add anything to their profile. On the contrary, these words may dissuade recruiters. It should be noted that with the number of applications they receive in response to a single job offer, recruiters only look at each resume for a few seconds before making an initial sort.

Therefore, it is important to use catchy and relevant words and phrases.Use short sentences and bullet points to make your resume easy to read and understand. In any case, multi-page resumes are no longer relevant. Even senior profiles are advised to stick to one page. So, as a student or freshly graduated candidate, there is no need to add wacky and distracting things to flesh out the document. It will penalize you!

Use action verbs

Whatever your profile, a good CV always contains action verbs. But they are even more important if you are a student looking for a work-study program or a small job, or a young graduate looking for a first job. Verbs reassure recruiters and save them time during the recruitment process. Instead of reading “participate in a negotiation”, for example, they prefer “negotiate”.

But it is not enough to put just any verbs, you need action verbs that enhance your profile. These terms indicate skills and competencies. Use them to describe your achievements and abilities. Choose action verbs that show you are a proactive person and ready to enter the working world. Skill verbs such as buy, develop, organize, analyze, cost, audit, succeed, advise, estimate, generate, design, modernize and improve are preferred.

Highlight your achievements

A good student or graduate CV clearly highlights the candidate’s most significant academic and professional achievements. To highlight yours, use numbers and concrete, verifiable examples. Before you write your resume, list on paper or in Word all the projects you have worked on, the awards you have won, etc. Remember, keep it concise!

Next, show how these accomplishments are relevant to the position you are applying for and how they can help you take on the responsibilities that come with it. Highlight the skills you have developed through these projects. The most important thing is to show that you have already accomplished interesting things even if you haven’t yet entered the workforce or entrepreneurship.

Highlight your real skills

Read the job offer carefully and note all the keywords in it. They often refer to the skills required for the position. Include these keywords strategically in your student CV to highlight your skills and to maximize the relevance of the content. Recruiters are always sensitive to this kind of effort.

Your most recent degree and training already speak volumes about the technical skills you have acquired throughout your school career. But you should also add to your application by mentioning extracurricular activities and summer jobs. They show that you are used to getting by and that you have skills that are useful for the position.

student writing his CV for a young graduate

Mention your non-work experiences

We have just said that extracurricular activities allow you to highlight your real skills. An extracurricular activity, which may later become an extra professional activity, is a hobby involving formal constraints. It shows that you are both passionate and responsible. Moreover, some of these activities are paid.

You can also mention your volunteer experiences, your internships and some of your personal projects if they are relevant. All these activities reflect your sense of responsibility and your ability to get involved in projects. However, not all non-work experiences need to be mentioned in the document. Only those that are related to the job in question and those that enhance your profile should be included.

Adapt your CV to the target position

In addition to clarity and conciseness, relevance plays an essential role in the success of a student or young graduate CV. As you can see, submitting the same resume to dozens of companies can be counterproductive. Show the recruiter that you have read the ad carefully. They will then understand that you are really interested in the vacant position in their company.

Pay attention to the company’s history and identity, and then personalize your CV accordingly. This is a great technique to get the employer’s attention and will help you stand out from all the other applicants. Highlight degrees, training, skills and accomplishments that prove you are cut out for the job. This way, you have every chance of getting a job interview.

Show your soft skills

Soft skills, which are human competencies or behavioral qualities, are a significant added value for young job seekers. They are also known as “soft skills” and complement know-how. While most candidates may have the required degree, some may not have the right soft skills. In other words, behavioral qualities help to stand out and convince recruiters.

  • Listening skills,
  • adaptability,
  • complex problem solving,
  • creativity, temperance,
  • emotional intelligence,
  • judgment,
  • resilience,
  • team spirit.

Be creative!

As we have just seen, creativity is a quality particularly appreciated by recruiters and headhunters. You can mention it in the content of the document and show it on the form. In the digital age, talents have the chance to use an online resume builder. This kind of website allows you to choose a unique resume template to fill in with your own information.

In addition, using metaphors and analogies to explain your skills can help bring your creativity to light. If you have passions and hobbies that reflect your creative side, don’t hesitate to mention them on your resume. Incorporating numbers and statistics is also a great idea. But remember, everything should remain relevant to the job posting.

Use a professional design for your resume

Keep in mind that the resume is a professional document. It’s fine to build it creatively, but you definitely don’t want to fall into extravagance or a too childish visual. Here again, a good online resume builder can be a great help! You will find a resume template with an elegant design, neat and attractive at the same time.

The document should be easy on the eyes, well spaced out and with clear headings, including contact information, title, experience, degrees and training, not to mention soft skills and interests. Since a professional CV must be readable, choose an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.

Choose sober colors, even if it means using only black. If you want to add other shades of color to your website, gray, navy blue and light brown are best. Use icons and pictograms to highlight certain information. You can also use images and graphics, but sparingly.

Have your CV proofread

Have a friend or mentor proofread your resume to ensure that it is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Careless mistakes can still slip through even if you proofread your resume yourself several times, which is still highly recommended! An unbiased proofreader can catch mistakes that you may not have seen.

English mistakes may seem insignificant to you, but they can cost you the job. Recruiters often throw out resumes that contain spelling mistakes and only look at the others. On the other hand, an outside view allows you to receive friendly advice on the structure of your resume.

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