How To Get Your Graduate CV Noticed By Employers

Grads Corner
02 February 2017 | Grads Corner | Guest Author

Paul Peters

Now you're all done and dusted with university, it's time to get out into the world and start working. However, the problem is everyone else is trying to do the same thing. When there's so many CVs flooding the market, how do you make sure yours gets noticed? You don't need flashy gimmicks, you just need to be clever. Here's some tips to ensure you stand out.

Use an easily understood format

Anyone reading your CV is probably going to give it 30 seconds, so you need to catch their attention fast. Section your CV out carefully, and make any important information highly visible. This will differ from job to job, so you'll have to readjust your CV every time you send one out.

Be sure to explain the gaps

There may be gaps in your CV that you really don't want to draw attention to. Maybe you lost a few months in the summer, or your final exam results weren't as good as you wanted them to be. However, a recruiter will see them a mile off, and what they imagine is missing will always be worse than the real thing. Explain what should be there, and be clear about it.

Be vigilant about your grammar

Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day. If yours has poor grammar, it's instantly going to be tossed out. When you write yours, check carefully for any grammar errors that have passed you by. Online grammar guides, such as those at Academized and AustralianHelp, can help you get to grips with grammar.

Tell them what makes you special

Everyone says they're a team player in their CV. Recruiters have heard it all before. If you want to get noticed, you need to tell them what makes you tick. What makes you special? What skills do you have that they could use? Think hard as you write, as you could have that special factor that no other applicant has.

Check your CV length

A good CV needs to be brief and to the point. If it's overlong, a recruiter isn't going to read it all as they just don't have the time. If it's too short, it's not going to have all the info they need in it. To check the length of your CV, try using an online tool like Easy Word Count. It will give you the word count of any text you give it. You want to keep your CV from one to two pages long, so it would need to be between 500 - 1000 words roughly.

Focus on your achievements

A list of everywhere you've worked tells a recruiter where you've been, but not much else. Instead, try listing out all the achievements you've had in your working life. That means you're focusing on what you're like as an employee. You can still have a list of the places and dates you've worked, but you don't need to make it the focus of your CV.

Proofread what you've written

It's easier than you think to make simple mistakes on your CV. Read it when you've finished writing with a critical idea. Are all your contact details correct? Have you missed out a vital job from your job history? Have you made any spelling errors that spell check couldn't pick up? Find them now, before the recruiter does.

As you can see, it's difficult to stand out but it can be done. Show that recruiter just why you're the best person for that job. Get the right CV and everything will fall into place.


Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She is always interested in ways which can help individuals reach their full potential career, business and self-development.

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