With most job applications, the first impression your possible future employer has of you is your CV. This is the first point of call for any employer and is the first hurdle that every Graduate must clear before even being considered for a job.
Think about your class. Then think about all the classes in your year. Then all the universities your school friends go to. Then all the universities in the country. THAT’S how many people you are up against.
Making sure you stand out isn’t easy, but it’s no where near as difficult as you think it is. Taking the time out now is going to stand you in better stead than crossing your fingers and hoping that the HR Manager will see your potential. It’s no good saying you have achieved all these things, if you don’t know how it can contribute to your future Graduate career.
With recent figures showing that specific skill-sets are in short supply, it’s important for you to know what is relevant for your CV- it’s not always as obvious as you might think.
We caught up with SuperGrad Principal Consultant Jono McGlashan, who told us how you can assess your Graduate skills yourself and what your CV (and your Employment history) really says about you…
1. Not everyone has the “Bank of Mum and Dad” to rely on. Those that worked in a hard-selling environment – including charity fundraising or any jobs selling or persuading over the phone show an edge that other part-time jobs just don’t have.
Skills: Hitting targets, cold-calling, persuasion, professionalism, effective communication skills
Qualities: Worked in a target-driven and challenging environment, earnings reflective of hard-work, actively placed out of their comfort zone, confidence in capabilities and hitting targets.
2. “But Mum, EVERYONE’S going…” At the time, getting good grades at GCSE and A-Level just seemed to get in the way of all the fun you were meant to be having, but going to a first-class university shows just as much about your personality as it you’re your education.
Skills: Driven, focused, intelligent
Qualities: High expectations of yourself, driven to be in the best environment possible, hard-working, motivated and dedicated.
Don’t Panic… if you’re not at one of the UK’s top universities. The other qualities you embody can more than make up for it. Don’t be apologetic for your education- show your strengths, no matter what.
3. “Don’t know how they do it…” We all had that friend who was always busy doing something- working or volunteering at the weekends, participating on campus events and societies, spending the holidays traveling to see friends and family… They may not have been front of the queue at parties, but they’re definitely top of the pile for recruiters
Skills: Time management, organised, varied interests, passionate, sociable, and confident
Qualities: Broadening comfort zone, dedicated, cultured, active, and engaged in social and cultural affairs.
4. Master of all Trades. Additional Qualifications such as a sports qualification or reaching a high Grade in a musical instrument may not seem relevant when applying for City jobs, but it shows much more than a passion for Beethoven.
Skills: Time Management, dedication, conviction, driven, motivated, talented.
Qualities: Choosing to broaden mind and knowledge, shows drive and passion for something other than a career and work hard to achieve high level of success.
5. Only the best is good enough. With 5.30am starts, late nights and having to juggle exams and training, participating in sport at uni is not always a desirable option, but the pro’s far out-way the con’s.
Skills: Time management, dedication, competitive spirit, team-work
Qualities: Desire to be the best, working well with others to achieve success, passionate and driven.
One or more of these traits are embodied by our most successful SuperGrads. When next applying for a job make sure your cover letter and CV reflect the skills that you have built up over your years at university. Employers aren’t interested in what you did as a part-time job or whether or not you were the best at football- they want to know what you learnt from your experience, and how it will benefit their business.