The Ten CV Commandments
When brought before St Peter, in this case the employer, your CV will be examined, pull apart and scrutinised to the last degree. So before you cast your CV, you need to make sure your CV is without sin, free of the wicked traps that beset you on all sides. Without this you will not be admitted to the Kingdom of Employment and be left in graduate limbo, forced to walk graduate-jobs.com until your CV sins are repented, or at least amended.
But hark! There be Salvation! Follow these Ten CV commandments and you will be on the righteous application-process path, destined for meaning and worthwhile employment for ever more.
1. Thou shalt spell correctly
Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors on CVs are one of the most heinous crimes you can commit. Just one spelling mistake or grammatical error on a CV or covering letter will have you sent straight to the burning inferno and any hope will be lost when looking to ensure employment.
2. Thou shalt keep thy CV up-to-date
Maintaining your CV and keeping all the information relevant is vital for leading the good graduate job hunting life. It is easy for CVs to lie dormant and a stock file that is attached to application forms, but make sure you fill in what you are doing now you've finished university or what you are currently doing alongside your studies.
3. Thou shalt have no other employer before them
If you are applying for a certain type of role, you must engineer your experience and employment history towards being perfect for that role. Make your CV work for you and gear it towards showing you are the best possible candidate for the position. Tailoring your CV does take time and slows the application process but it certainly increases the progression rate.
4. Remember thy dates, to keep them holy
You should always remember to include the dates of your occupations and experiences. Even if it is only a month long internship or a 6 month stint behind a bar, employers want to track your employment history and will pick apart gaps, so make sure you've got something to respond with.
5. Thou shalt not bear false witness about your education or employment history
This one is a biggie. Lying on a CV is by far one of the worst crimes you commit and if found out graduates will be swiftly cast down to the eighth circle of Hell. Employers can check with universities and past employers to unearth these lies and graduates should not underestimate the lengths that some employers will go when conducting background checks.
6. Honour thy achievements and grades
Employers are always impressed by awards and recognitions bestowed on graduates. This could be the Writer of the Year award you were nominated for, or the top marks you received for that particular course or module. Make sure to highlight these to impress employers and make you stand out.
7. Thou shalt maintain a clear layout
This is often something that graduates worry about and what's worse is that there's no right or wrong answer. Laying out your CV is complicated and an art form, but the one thing that you should make sure is that the information is clear and easily digestible. Take a look at this example CV to learn more about how you should present yourself for employment.
8. Thou shalt not skimp on the details
As mentioned before, employers like to be exact when they are tooth-combing your CV. Employers like to know exactly what your tasks were and how you executed them. For example, if you are recounting your experience working in a shop, detail exactly how you managed to up-sell on certain items of stock. In this case, the devil is not in the detail but keep the details brief and succinct.
9. Thou must remember thy references
You must include references for their past employments. If you're newly graduated, you would be advised to have one academic reference and one previous employer when you're going for your first graduate job. These are very important and will be used by your potential employer to not only check you are telling the truth but also to find out more about you on a personal level.
10. Thou shalt not include hobbies and interests
Employers are looking to fill a position at their organisation - they are not looking for a friend. Including
things that might very well make you a more interesting person is not relevant if it is not going to improve how you look as an employee. So hobbies and interests are forbidden, employers will not care that you like evenings out and long walks on weekends.
And lo I say unto you, go forth and apply - making sure to spread the good graduate-jobs.com message!
For more CV advice - Take a look at The Perfect CV
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