Entering the working world after graduating can be challenging and a little overwhelming, especially if you’re not that sure what you want to do. Your CV is the ultimate tool to get you invited to job interviews; employers use CVs to make primary judgements about whether someone is capable of making a success of the job. Therefore, how you portray yourself on paper becomes extremely important.
Here at Wayfair.co.uk we’re always on the lookout for talented graduates to join our team, but all too often applicants are let down by their CV. Here are five common graduate CV blunders and how to avoid them:
- Poor spelling and grammar
A spelling mistake on your CV is a cardinal sin in the world of recruitment as it shows laziness and carelessness. It’s also typical to find CVs written in a variety of grammatical tenses; for example, under key responsibilities someone might write ‘create content for…’ or ‘created content for…’. A mixture of the two can be awkward to read and confusing.
Keep the tense the same—pick one and stick to it. Get someone to proof read your CV, whether that’s a proof reader, a career advisor, a friend or your mum—a second eye will help you catch those mistakes. Another tip is to read your CV backwards, that way your eye won’t naturally jump over spelling mistakes!
- Inconsistent formatting
Your CV not only needs to say the right things but it also needs to be visually pleasing. CVs that look messy or too busy won’t attract the eye and will force the reader to work hard to understand it.
Keep your formatting consistent; use the same font, size of font (except for titles), type of bullet points and page layout throughout, with line brakes in between sections to separate information clearly. Once it’s written, leave your CV alone for a few days and then come back to it with a fresh perspective.
- Too long
Graduates often end up applying for a wide variety of jobs so they shove everything on their CV in the hope that the employer will pick out the relevant bits. A graduate CV that’s over two pages long looks like the person can’t communicate succinctly.
The key to a good CV is tailoring it for each job that you apply for. Think about the skills and experience that are necessary for the job and then edit your CV accordingly, highlighting your most relevant experience and skills so that the employer doesn’t have to work hard to understand why you’re a good candidate for the job.
- Empty words
Empty words are a common trap to fall into, writing things like ‘I am hardworking, motivated and a good team player’. We’re all desperate to get across how perfect we are for the job and how hardworking we are but simply writing this is not going to convince the employer that it’s true.
Show it! Use your experiences to show that you work well in a team or are an enthusiastic and hardworking person. You can of course use any experience you have that is relevant; for example, you might have been on the committee of a university society, in which case you developed your team work, communication and organisational skills.
- Online presence
It’s common for employers to Google someone who they think is a likely interview candidate so be aware of what is out there about you.
Google yourself! If you type your name into impersonal.me you’ll be able to search for yourself incognito and can do any necessary damage control. If you have a Linked In profile (recommended!), it’s a good idea to keep it up to date and consistent with your CV as employers are likely to check that too.
For more information about Wayfair and our many full-time jobs and internships suitable for students and graduates please visit http://www.wayfair.co.uk/careers.
And with that, we wish you the best of luck!