Getting graduate jobs is tough and your CV is the first chance to make your best impression. Get it wrong here and you may not even get the chance to meet your potential employer face to face. Get it right, and they will be just where you want them when you first meet to pitch for your first graduate job. Here's my top five tips for preparing your CV.

Always begin with things most likely to sell you. It's surprising how few people actually consider this. A manager recruiting for graduate jobs may only give your CV 30 seconds initially to decide whether to give it an extra 2 minutes to decide whether or not they actually want to interview you. If the first 20 seconds is taken up reading your name, address, telephone numbers and other 'factual' stuff, they may become bored an unimpressed before finding something which may set you apart. try to begin with some relevant experience. Something which shows that you have the competencies for the role they are looking.

To do this most people use a 'profile statement' which highlights a snippet of experience which may be relevant along with an indication that they were 'good'. Expect to be asked for evidence at interview for anything which you have said you are good at. This may either be written, awards, appraisals, or the ability to verbalise good examples from your past.

Never use block capitals. Many are mistakenly lead to think that block capitals are clearer in some way. The only thing I can trace this back to is childhood where block capitals may be better because writing skills are not fully developed yet. In adulthood, on a computer, writing skills aren't an issue, and block capitals makes reading very difficult. Try it, print the same sheet out in mixed case and block capitals. You'll see why block capitals normally goes straight into the bin!

Leave the photographs off! It seems to be an Asian and European trend to include a photograph, but in the UK it's not expected usually can only be negative. It provides nothing factual which helps the recruiting manager establish your ability to perform any particular graduate job, but can present perceptions in advance which may neither be correct or helpful to your cause. If you are applying to graduate jobs in the UK, unless they ask otherwise, leave it off.

Make your hobbies and interests interesting. Generally, people like to recruit people with personality and interesting characters. Not including your hobbies and interests, or making them brief and bland is an missed opportunity. A guy who Keeps tarantula, sings as a tenor in the local church choir and goes sky diving at the weekends is bound create intrigue and interest in any recruiter. Of course I'm not suggesting you make stuff up., but the more varied and detailed you can describe your interests the more you give insight into your personality before an interview occurs.

Not too short and not too long. An American resume is one page. In the UK this would be regarded as too short. An executive with 20 years experience may stretch to 5 or 6 pages. For graduate jobs, I would recommend 2 to 3 pages of A4 for a CV. Either of the first two at this stage in your career is likely to count you out before they even read it.

You may interview great face to face, but unless you follow some basic rules in creating your CV you may never actually get the chance to show of your skills face to face for graduate jobs. Spend a little time researching how to put your CV together, or maybe even invest in some professional help. A good CV may be your ticket to a good future.

Author's Bio: 

John Bult runs internet job sites for Graduate jobs in the UK