When it comes to writing CVs and cover letters, most of my friends have come to me for help. To add a bit of context, let’s just say I freak out about my future a lot. Thus, I am always on top of CV updates and always checking job sites despite the fact that I’m only staying in Cardiff University for one more year to do a Masters’ course. It also helps having a teacher as a father who has always stressed the importance of taking note of your achievements. Also, my LinkedIn profile has an ‘All-Star’ rating, so hear me out if you’re graduating this year and hoping to get hired promptly!
Start writing your CV as soon as possible. Keep your CV as simple as possible. Make sure you state your GCSEs, A Levels (or college equivalent) and University academic achievements. Employers and recruiters are also very interested in your hobbies, external achievements and skills. If you know how to speak another language, this can be seen as a plus in many jobs, as it shows you are able to communicate in various cultural groups. By stating that you even tried to learn a foreign language (even in school) will make you an appealing candidate. If you’re feeling confident, try adding an adequate photo of yourself at the top of your CV. However, I do stress that you should think about this twice depending on the course you studied and the line of work you are trying to go into. For example, if the job you’re applying to involve a lot of human interaction, employers like to see a photo of candidates smiling to give a sense of reassurance that you are a ‘peoples person’. Just make sure you add a professional-looking photograph – not a selfie.
Again, I stress the idea of writing your CV as soon as possible if you are hoping to get a grad job straight after uni. Why? Because many job openings open early in the year and deadlines close long before employers choose their ideal candidate. So, always make sure you have a masterfully crafted CV at the ready when eyeing job openings.
There are many websites that focus on jobs that are related to your specific course or desired line of work, but the best employment-oriented site I can recommend is LinkedIn. The website is free (premium membership also available) and allows you to create an online and public CV, ‘add’ people that work in your desired job industry, and you can show off your portfolio and skills. The site easily allows employers and recruiters to headhunt people by quickly skimming through their profile, instead of the traditional send-your-CV-and-cover-letter-shabang. The site also recommends you a number of jobs postings that revolve around your ‘interests’ that you choose when creating your profile. Many millennial-steered companies, such as the BBC from my own personal experience, prefer LinkedIn accounts instead of the traditional method of applying for postings, as it is much quicker and efficient for them. You won’t regret creating your own account.