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Graduate CV

How To Write A Professional Graduate CV

Writing a professional graduate CV can be a daunting task for any candidate approaching their graduation date. You have probably spent in excess of £20,000 on your education and now it's time for it to start paying you back! Graduate CV's are always going to be light on experience so please don’t get hung up on what you haven’t done, everyone is in the same boat at this stage. The key is to demonstrate your potential to the employer and this is where your personal statement, key skills and educational overview should all come into play.

Where to Start

A graduate CV is in essence the same as most other CV's (excluding highly technical fields) in that we would follow a traditional layout, however, placing much more emphasis on the education section as this is what you have paid for!

Personal Statement

You can write this in the 1stperson, 3rd person, or a mixture of the two (contrary to popular 'law', the aim is to present information effectively), regardless of the person that you write it in you must ensure it's no more than 10 lines long and is actually specific to you. Do not download a sample personal statement or any templates, as you will be tempted to use generic text which stands out a mile away and is essentially ineffective.

Key Skills

As a graduate, you won't have developed an overabundance of key skills throughout your working life, however, you will have developed some during the course of your degree. Examples might be:

  • Exceptional communication skills both written and verbal to a wide range of stakeholders, including delivering technical presentations.

  • Excellent I.T. skills, including advanced use of the Microsoft Office suite.


We would certainly recommend pulling out all the stops in this section. Don’t just list the degree that you have, but if you feel it's relevant feel free to include specific modules. As a general rule of thumb we wouldn’t recommend anyone with a 2:2 or 3rd listing their grade as this can put people off before they even meet you! Better to just list the degree and leave this for a later conversation, at interview.

Work Experience

Most graduates will have some level of work experience and the trick is how to represent this as well as possible. A typical graduate may have worked in a retail position and as such here are some basic duties that show that any role can be de-constructed to sound as involving as possible:

  • Approaching customers directly to assist with product selection and influence purchasing decisions.

  • Complaint handling, securing positive outcomes for customers and protecting store reputation.

  • Overseeing efficient replenishment and rotation, maximizing product availability.

As you can see, this is the beginning of a really strong duties list that any potential employer will be able to relate to their business.

Personal Interests:

Always good to include if your CV is light on experience - We suggest using personal interests that add value. For example, if you're seeking to work in the fitness industry, a relevant personal interest would be “Maintaining a high level of personal fitness through both regular gym attendance and team sport participation”.

If you're interested in having your CV written by one of our professional CV writers, please give us a call on 0207 112 8497 for more information.