Are you a recent graduate looking to make a strong impression on your CV? Are you struggling to figure out what employers are looking for in a graduate CV? Look no further, because this article is here to help you write the best CV for your graduate application!
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How to Write the Best CV for a Graduate Application
Your CV is often the first point of contact between you and a potential employer, and it’s crucial to make a great first impression. But how do you make your CV stand out among the hundreds of others that an employer might receive? How do you highlight your skills and experience in a way that’s both concise and compelling?
In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and examples to help you write the best CV for your graduate application. Whether you’re applying for a job or further education, these tips will help you showcase your strengths and land the position you want. So, let’s get started!
Highlight your educational background
Your education is your greatest asset as a graduate student. Your educational background, including your undergraduate and graduate degree programmes, any pertinent courses or certificates, and any academic distinctions or awards you have won, should be the first section of your Resume. Provide the institution’s name, the graduation date, and your grade point average.
Master of Science in Computer Science, XYZ University, Expected graduation date: May 2022
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, ABC University, Graduation date: May 2020
Dean’s List, ABC University, Fall 2018 – Spring 2020
Your relevant work experience should be highlighted.
In your cv, emphasise your relevant work experience starting with your most recent employment. Provide the position title, firm name, and dates of employment. Pay special attention to your abilities and background that are most pertinent to the graduate programme you are applying to.
Example: Software Engineering Intern, Google, May 2021 – August 2021
- Worked on developing and testing new features for the Google Chrome browser
- Collaborated with cross-functional teams to deliver high-quality software products
- Gained experience in agile development methodologies and project management tools
Include any extracurricular activities and volunteer work that is pertinent.
Your leadership qualities, teamwork skills, and dedication to having a good influence can be demonstrated by including relevant extracurricular activities and volunteer work on your cv. Highlight any positions you held or initiatives you oversaw.
Example: Volunteer Tutor, ABC Elementary School, September 2019 – May 2020
- Provided weekly tutoring sessions for students in math and English
- Coordinated with teachers and parents to monitor student progress and adjust lesson plans accordingly
- Developed and implemented new teaching strategies to help struggling students
Make your CV specific to the programme you are pursuing.
The specifics of each graduate degree should be reflected in your CV. The talents and experiences you highlight in your Resume should be those that are in line with the objectives and specifications of the programme to which you are applying.
Example: If you are applying to a graduate program in Environmental Science, highlight any coursework or research experience related to environmental sustainability, climate change, or conservation efforts.
Indicate Dissertation Experience
When applying for graduate programs, it is essential to highlight any dissertation experience you may have. This is especially true if you are applying for a research-based program. Your dissertation experience will demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of research methodologies and can carry out independent research projects.
When listing your dissertation experience on your CV, include the title of your dissertation, your supervisor’s name, and a brief summary of your research objectives and findings. If your dissertation has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, include the publication details. If not, include any presentations you have given on your dissertation topic, such as conference presentations.
Also, mention any research methods you used and highlight any specific skills you developed during your dissertation. This can include data analysis, literature review, research design, and project management. Providing evidence of your dissertation experience and research skills will set you apart from other applicants and show that you are prepared for the rigors of a graduate program.
Examples: Disertation Experience
- Conducted extensive research on the impact of social media on political activism, resulting in a 100-page dissertation with original findings and analysis.
- Developed and implemented a research methodology, including conducting surveys and interviews, data analysis using SPSS, and creating visual representations of results.
- Presented research findings at a national conference, receiving positive feedback from esteemed scholars in the field.
- Demonstrated excellent writing skills and attention to detail, receiving a grade of “A” for the dissertation.”
Edit and proofread your cv.
Your cv should be free of errors and simple to read. Write in a clear, succinct manner, and review your cv numerous times to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Before submitting your CV, think about asking a friend or mentor to examine it. For instance;
- Double-check your formatting to ensure consistency throughout your CV
- Use bullet points to break up large blocks of text
- Use action verbs to describe your experiences and achievements
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Frequently Asked Questions on Writing Your CV for Graduate Application
What should I include in my CV for a graduate application?
Your CV should include your personal information, educational background, work experience (if any), skills, achievements, and any other relevant information that showcases your qualifications and suitability for the program.
How should I structure my CV for a graduate application?
Your CV should be structured in a clear and concise manner, with section headings and bullet points to highlight key information. Make sure to prioritize the most important information, such as your educational background and relevant work experience.
Should I include a personal statement in my CV for a graduate application?
While it’s not necessary to include a personal statement in your CV, it can be a good way to highlight your motivation for pursuing the program and showcase your personality and communication skills. However, if you are required to submit a separate personal statement as part of your application, you may choose to leave it out of your CV.
How long should my CV be for a graduate application?
Your CV should be no longer than two pages, as admissions officers will not have time to read a lengthy document. Make sure to prioritize the most important information and keep your formatting clean and simple.
How important is formatting in my CV for a graduate application?
Formatting is very important in your CV, as it can affect the readability and overall impression of your application. Make sure to choose a clear and professional font, use consistent formatting throughout, and include plenty of white space to make your document easy to read.
Should I tailor my CV for each graduate program I apply to?
Yes, you should tailor your CV to each graduate program you apply to in order to highlight your specific qualifications and suitability for that particular program. Make sure to research the program and its requirements in advance, and adjust your CV accordingly.