CV & Resume success strategies for College and University Graduates – The “Job Specification” and “CV/ Resume” Similarity Factor

CV & Resume success strategies for College and University Graduates - The "Job Specification" and "CV/ Resume" Similarity FactorIf you are a fresh graduate, follow this advice, and you would stand a very high chance of securing job interviews much faster, succeeding where others simply fail. Firstly, always start with a job advertisement in mind, not the other way round. Many eager graduates, just out of University or College start with their CV / Resume, without reviewing any specific job adverts, more often than not, the drafted CV or Resume shows no similarity to the adverts they respond to, and hence yields very little results. My advice to graduates, based on my experience of recruiting for top companies, is start with a single job advertisement because employers are always looking for strong similarities between the content of your CV or Resume application and the content of what is specified in there advertised Job.

Once you have found an advert you want to respond write your CV or Resume to reflect the person and job specification outlined in the advert. This approach may seem time consuming and tankful, but it works! The next question you may ask is, what should l include in my CV or Resume? l’m a fresh graduate, with no experience, that’s not a problem for many reputable organizations, in most cases they are simply looking for potential from graduates, not years of commercial experience. Basically what you need to do is go through the person specification and job responsibilities, think of where you have undertaken similar task while studying, through paid or unpaid work, during course modules or projects and articulate your abilities in line with what is required or specified in the job advert. This may seem difficult to accomplish but it is not, what you must remember is general CVs / Resume’s to suit all jobs and adverts don’t work, everything you write must be targeted and relevant to one particular post – sometimes this means you will have many versions/layouts and wordings of the same CV or Resume floating around on your hard drive, but don’t worry it won’t be for long — because you have almost secured your dream job.

For example, if a company is looking for a SAS IT trainee programmer, if you have undertaken a project or module that used the SAS software, you need to highlight and mention this upfront in a visible place within your CV/Resume, rather than simply write you are an IT Graduate with a 2:1 Hon’s Degree. The company is looking for someone who has used SAS, just listing your degree title and final results, without mentioning the software and modules covered, won’t help…. everything has to be explicit, targeted and detailed.

Recently, a client desperately wanted to secure an interview with a fortune 500 company she asked us for help. l thought of a unique way to get her CV noticed, so I extracted part of a written testimony about her from her previous employer’s key customer, and l place this within the top body of her CV, now that’s not the conventional way of drafting a CV, but it worked, its different, its unique and it secured her an informal meeting with the targeted company.