You are straight of campus and you don’t understand what the hullaballoo of having a great CV is all about. C’mon you already have a degree or a diploma so isn’t that enough to prove you are ready to join the job market?
Unfortunately, that’s the logic most Kenyan graduates use. True, It’s great that you graduated from this and that private or public university at the top of your class and you have all the credits and distinctions to show for it but when it comes down to it, recruiters still want to see a well thought of CV.
So, let’s get down to it…..what makes a great CV for fresh graduates?
- Treat Your CV just Like a Professional.
You will agree that as a graduate whose experience is only an internship and maybe a volunteering opportunity, it’s rather intimidating to compare your CV with someone with three years of working experience. Where do you even begin?
First off if you’ve had a chance to see how “professionals” treat their CV’s, then there’s no excuse of having a sloppy CV just because you are a graduate.
Make sure your CV has all the relevant sections: i.e personal information section and make sure to recheck the information you’ve provided to make sure it’s accurate. Secondly, have a career objective which shows you have a direction in life. Thirdly, list your education background, your working experience, achievements if you have any, personal Interest/ hobbies and lastly have a section for Referees who can vouch for you.
And while you are at it, re read your final work or have someone read it for you because there’s nothing worse than having spelling mistakes and typos on your CV.
- Use Keywords to Catch the HR’s attention
A word for the wise; Read through your current CV and see if it is keyword friendly
The importance of keywords is to help you as a graduate show case your skills and competencies to the full. Remember this is what prospective employers will be looking for to determine if you have specific personal qualities, key competencies and technical skills relevant to the role and the industry.
For example you are applying for a social media officer job, you key areas of expertise could be include direct marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and campaign management and when you get to key competencies you could include teamwork, communication, analytical skills etc
- Don’t ignore your “little” working experience
Any recruiter will tell you this; your job experience is the most important information of any CV. So, do not be afraid to point out your job experience no matter how minute it may seem to you.
While you might ask, “I am just a graduate, what is this experience you are rumbling about?” Well, include any job experience gained before graduation from the university or college such as volunteer work, part-time or internships. And that’s not just it; you can also include any leadership roles you had in campus and short term jobs like Conducting Census- Enumerator, Election polling Clerks etc
Also, if you have undergone practical training in any company or organization indicate this information.
As a graduate, always bear in mind that a CV is your gate pass to interviews and should therefore portray you in the best light possible.