MVF CV Clinic: The Do's and Don'ts of Writing Your Graduate CV
Here at MVF, we know that writing a CV isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds. Trying to convince someone you’ve never met that you would smash the role they are offering on one or two sheets of paper is a pretty big job in itself. We receive roughly 3000 CVs a month for our open roles and so have some idea of what we like to see and what we don’t. Hopefully these quick changes can make your CV stand out, show how amazing you are and land you the job of your dreams!
Common mistakes to avoid:
• Making your CV too long - Briefly mentioned earlier, your CV should be 1-2 pages maximum! Humans are lazy and keeping things shorter, sweeter and easier to read will make it easier for them to pick out the parts that make you perfect for the role. For example, use one line to describe GCSE results, rather than listing each on a separate line.
• Adding irrelevant information - “References available upon request” This is a perfect example of space that can be better used with something else! Also, while part time jobs such as waitering can show you have been proactive in your employment, there isn’t much need to include long descriptions, as most of the time the person reading the CV knows what the role entails and it won’t have much relevance to the role you are applying to.
• Editing your CV for one job and forgetting to edit it for another – This one is simple, but a frequent mistake! We understand you will apply to a lot of jobs but please pay attention to detail with which CV and covering letter you are uploading to each one.
• Inconsistent formatting – As tempting as it is to make your CV look pretty, a lot of the time candidates over complicate them, the formatting will be off and sometimes it can make it hard to read. The most satisfying CVs to read tend to be the simplest ones.
Quick and easy ways to improve your CV:
• Show your achievements – Any experiences you have had where you have demonstrated skills an employer would look for (e.g. leadership, commercial awareness, innovation, analytical) and describe them on your CV. Using the STAR model is one of the most effective ways to articulate your experiences. If you are not familiar with the STAR model, there is lots of good content online!
• Show your personality and values – Ultimately employers are looking for someone that they can work with every day therefore a candidate’s core values are actually very important. At MVF some of our values include “Helps others succeed”, “Inspires Positivity”, “Drives to be World Class”. There are lots of ways you can demonstrate your own values such as voluntary work, extra-curricular activities or personal projects.
• Proof read – Especially if you are tailoring your CV to different roles! The most effective way to do this is to get someone else to check for you (when you’ve been looking at the same document continuously, it’s easy to miss a mistake). If you know anyone in the industry or role you want to get into, ask them to have a read and see if they have any recommendations!
Hopefully these simple changes will help get your foot in the door at some amazing companies! If you are interested in seeing the roles MVF has to offer you, please check out our vacancies page: https://www.mvfglobal.com/vacancies.