How to prepare your CV for the real world

Rewriting your CV for those real-life jobs can be a tricky exercise. Nevertheless, as long as you keep certain things in mind, it’s simple when you know how.

Make sure it’s updated

It’s imperative that your CV is completely up to date. Ensure that you add in your degree classification (or prediction if you haven’t completed it yet) and check that your references are all updated, with your personal tutor being your main one. It may also be necessary to add in individual grades for each of your modules.

Check readability

When busy employers are scanning hundreds of CVs, they’ll instantly switch off if it’s difficult to read. Create clear, concise paragraphs with headings such as ‘Current work,’ ‘Work experience,’ ‘Skills’ and ‘Interests.’ Ensure that you summarise your position or title at the beginning of each paragraph in bold, so it’s easier for the employer to process.

Keep it succinct

If you haven’t made the switch to real-world jobs yet, be aware that most employers won’t be interested in your 4-page CV, detailing everything you’ve done in the last five years ranging from babysitting to baking cakes. Keep it short, sweet, and free of any waffle, ensuring that there’s a reason behind everything you’re saying. The recommended CV length is two pages.

Maintain a professional angle

That summer waitressing job you did three years ago will still be relevant – you just need to write about it in a certain way. You can list your casual jobs such as bar and retail work, but highlight the useful attributes that you’ve learnt from these jobs, such as interpersonal and time management skills. These are transferable qualities which will undoubtedly lend themselves well to the world of work.

Ensure it’s tailored to whoever you’re sending it to

There could be a number of different areas you want to work in and although the differences may be subtle, ensure that your CV is written to suit each individual area. For example, if you want to work in a field as broad as marketing, it may be a good idea to write a CV for each component you’re interested in.

Check that it’s perfect

It’s so important that your CV is grammatically perfect with no spelling errors. Always read it through several times before submitting it, and, if you can, it can help to have a second pair of eyes check it for any mistakes. It will automatically make you look less professional if you send an employer a poorly written CV!

Still stuck? Here’s how to get a job when you have no experience.

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