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  • Writer's picturePenny Langstaff

CV or Resume Tips for Students and New Grads

Updated: Apr 17, 2023



CV / Resume Tips for Students and New Grads - Blog by Apply and Succeed Coaching

Whether you’re looking for an internship or your first post-grad job, you’ll need a CV or Resume that stands out and gets you noticed.


Unsure what to include and how best to promote yourself? Here's some tips - listed in the order they should be set out in your document.


Objective/Personal Statement


This only needs to be a couple of sentences or short paragraph and basically should be telling the company a bit about you and what you’re looking for. Here’s an example


“I’m currently in the second/third year of a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and am looking for an internship that will give me some valuable hands-on, industry experience. I am a quick learner who gets on with a wide range of people and am keen to put my academic knowledge into practical work that will benefit your company”


Skills


This should be a list of technical and soft skills. Try and keep them relevant to the role you’re applying for but don't worry if you only have a few. No-one’s expecting it to be a long list at this stage of your career!


Examples of technical skills might be:

Microsoft Office/Excel/Word advanced user / CAD or SolidWorks experience/intermediate level / C++/Java/HTML knowledge/limited hands-on experience


Examples of soft skills might be:

Strong verbal and written communication skills/ Good team player/Analytical and logical approach to solving problems/Resilient/Excellent analytical skills


Keep in mind that at interview stage, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate these skills, so only use ones you’re confident you can support with examples



Education


List this in order of most recent first and including your current or recently completed study - see below for an example. Include your high school education if it's recent, but if you have a few day course certificates or similar (e.g Office safety/Working with Hazardous Chemicals), put these in a separate section at the bottom of your CV or Resume, just above your Interest. - is also good.


Bachelor of Engineering (and specialty)

Auckland University

Expected graduation 2023 or if completed, show the dates studied - e.g 2019-2022



Experience/Work Experience


List any work – including paid jobs, internships and voluntary experience – starting with the most recent. Give the name of the company, your job title and the dates you worked. If it was part-time, then just add (part-time) after the dates.


Under each heading, add some bullet points outlining your responsibilities. You may think you didn’t do much, but imagine yourself telling a stranger what you did and don’t be afraid to say “I was responsible for a team” or “I organized the staff” if that’s what you did!


If you don’t have any work experience, then list any clubs, sports teams or organisations you belong to where you can demonstrate certain skills and attributes. For example, being captain of a sports team requires leadership and communication skills, whereas volunteering at a local hospice or charity shows you're someone who's community focussed and has an empathetic personality.



Interests


It’s not essential to have these on your CV or Resume, but it does give a potential employer some insight into who you are and what you do outside of your study.



General tips

  • Make sure your contact details are clearly shown at the top of your CV and if you have a LinkedIn profile, add in the hyperlink for easy access. You can read more on creating/updating your LinkedIn profile here, but basically it needs to mirror what’s in your CV and have a recent business-looking photo (not one of you dressed in beach or sports gear!)

  • Keep the CV or Resume to a maximum of 2 pages – ideally 1 if you can - and choose a format that makes it easy to read. You’re potentially competing against many others for the same internship or role, so you want to make it easy for an employer to quickly and easily scan your details for information.

  • Accompany your CV or Resume with a cover letter unless it’s specifically not requested. There are tips on the format and what to include here.


Finally, there are lots of free CV templates available on-line which will help you set out your information, but if you need help on getting your content right, then call/message me or send me an email.

 

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