How to Write a Graduate CV

A CV which is known as a curriculum vitae is a document which contains high level information and detail about your achievements. On the average, every recruiter spends approximately 75secs to read your CV, so you have just over a minute to land yourself an aptitude test or an interview.

Most CVs are disqualified mostly because of bad grammar, bad spelling or poor visual layout. You need to make sure you use clear font styles, a font size that is greater than 11px. Your CV shouldn’t be less than two pages and not more than three pages.

Format of writing a graduate CV

HEADING/PROFILE

PERSONAL STATEMENT/ CAREER OBJECTIVE

EDUCATION

WORK EXPERIENCE

HONOURS

ACTIVITIES

CERTIFICATES/LICENCES

PUBLICATIONS

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP

SPECIAL SKILLS

REFERENCES

Now, let’s take a critical look at each point and the kind of information you are expected to provide

HEADING: the information you are to provide in the heading are

Name – this must be in capital letters, bold and centralised

Address – use an address that is closest to the recruitment, but make sure it exists

Email – ensure your email address is functional

Contact number –  ensure that the number you provide is reachable and its your personal number

There are other relevant details you can provide such as your sex, marital status, age, state of origin, nationality, etc

PERSONAL STATEMENT: your personal statement should not be more than five sentences. Avoid buzzwords such as ‘team player’ ‘dynamic’. Be positive, lively and on point. Your personal statement plays the same role that a movie trailer does to a new movie. It what attracts the recruiter to you and encourages him to see you as a qualified candidate. Ensure you are objective and straight to the point. It must cover the following;

Who you are – that is your skills and training you acquired

What you can do – this explains what you can do for the company or what you have done in the past

Career aims – this explains what you are looking out for, what you wish to achieve

EDUCATION: just after your personal statement comes your educational background/qualifications. Again, make sure you start with your most recent education. Here is a way to write it;

Qualification _______ Subject grade _______(in brackets)

Institution ___________________________________

Dates _____________________________

WORK EXPERIENCE: as a graduate, you may not have much work experiences to put in your CV, but you need to be intelligent. The format for writing this section of your CV is given below. Ensure you start with your most recent job

Job title ____________________________________

Employer ________________ Date __________(in brackets)

Employer address ____________________

Major duties accomplished _________________________

Accomplishments/achievements/awards____________________

HONOURS: here if you have participated in a competition or whatsoever and you received an award, you rightly put it in this section of your CV. Below is the format for it;

Award title ______________________________

Institution _________________________________

Date ________________________

ACTIVITIES: if you participated in any social activity for example, being a member of Rotary club, SUG etc, this is where you include it.

CERTIFICATES/LICENCES: if you have gone through a professional training and acquired a certificate in such programs you include those certificates in this section. Or you attain a professional licence, you also include them here. Ensure you start with the most recent. Below is a format to write this

Name of certificate _________________________

Name of agency _______________________________

Dates _________________________________________

PUBLICATIONS: peradventure you have published an academic work, it could be your project/seminar work, a book or an article. Ensure to include them in this section and provide sources where such publications can be reached.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP: if you are part of a professional body, for example Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Institute of Management, ICAN etc., also ensure you start with the most recent.

SPECIAL SKILLS: feel free to list some of your special skills, which are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Skills such as good team player, good communication skills, computer skills should be included along with other skills.

REFERENCES: before including anyone as your reference, ensure you contact the person prior to that time. But it is more professional not to include anyone in this section of your CV, rather you simply put ‘will be provided upon request’