Being a new graduate is exciting, but it is time to start applying to a few jobs. In the past, you may have noticed applications saying you can provide a CV or Resume. 

If you already know what CV stands for, then great! For those who don’t know, that is okay because you are learning today! Today we are going to define a CV and provide a guide to writing a graduate CV.

A CV stands for curriculum vitae which summarises your education, skills, and experience. Now you are probably wondering the difference between a Resume and a CV. 

A resume provides information about your skills, experiences, and education, but it is one page. A CV is a complete history of your experiences, education, and skills that take up multiple pages.

Writing a Graduate CV


1. Choosing a template

According to the undercover recruiter, once your CV is opened, the recruiter spends 6-10 seconds scanning the CV. Other sources say anywhere from 8 seconds to 15 minutes. 

Overall you can’t assume that the recruiter is going to read your CV or not. Thus you want to make it visually appealing and easy to read. 

Your first step is to follow a format. This shouldn’t be a surprise as many professors may have told you their preference on how they like an essay to be formatted. The same goes for a CV – a clean format is an easy read. 

Here is the formatting for graduate students:

  • 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing
  • One-inch margins on all four sides
  • Maintain a professional font throughout – Arial or Times New Roman
  • Leave a blank line between sections

Sample Template

  1. Contact information
  2. Personal Summary
  3. Education
  4. Work experience
  5. Skills 
  6. Additional talents

2. Fill in the heading


The heading includes your contact information which includes the following: 

  • First and Last Name 
  • Phone Number 
  • Professional email address: don’t include a school email unless you are currently attending the school. Don’t provide the email of a company you are currently working for. 
  • Linkedin Profile: provide other social media handles if relevant. 
  • URL to personal websites or blog

3. Introduction 


The introduction is a short paragraph that introduces who you are without saying everything. Think of this section as if you are in an interview and you are asked, “Tell me about yourself?”

When you are answering that question, it is very brief. Aim for 2-4 sentences that include who you are and your recent education. List the name of the company and the position you are applying for. 

Provide about 2-3 critical skills you have to offer and end this section with an offer. State a sentence like “I hope to get to know more about the company as it seems like an opportunity to share my knowledge. ”

There are many ways to state your offer, but this helps lead to more information about you.

4. Describe education 


Your education shouldn’t contain much creativity or be much of a challenge to put together. Your education section includes the following:

  • Most recent degree
  • The institutions you attend 
  • Year graduated
  • Majors and minors or field of study

To add more, you can provide any relevant coursework that you might have to take during the summer or non-credit courses. Provide any unique experiences related to your education, such as studying abroad. 

5. Provide Work Experience

Your work experience can include anywhere from part-time positions, internships, or freelancing. If you worked on any research projects with the school, you could provide that in the education section unless you were a Teacher’s Assistant. 

When providing your work experience, you want to include the following:

  • Your job title 
  • Name and where the company is located
  • Dates you worked
  • Few bullet points describing your duties.

6.  List skills

Now it is time to list your skills. We recommend listing all the skills you can think of on a google doc or spreadsheet to access in the future if need. 

Look at the job description and any skills that are the same or have the same meaning. Write the skill the way it is worded on the job description. For example, if you wrote that you are ‘communicative’ but the job description says ‘verbal communication’, you need to write the phrase ‘verbal communication.’

Also, include any skills you mentioned in your introduction. Here is a list of common skills that employers seek that have been provided from a survey. 

  • Initiative 
  • Detail-oriented
  • Communication skills 
  • Strong work ethic 
  • Leadership skills 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to work in a team 
  • Analytical/quantitative skills

Add support information

Finally, you can add any additional information that you think mind help you stand out. Additional information can include awards like scholarships or accomplishments. 

Here are a few other sections you can add.

  • Certifications
  • Hobbies
  • Publications
  • Activities
  • Extra Training

Final Thoughts

Applying with resumes has become the popular style, and if you have a resume, that information can be helpful when you are preparing your CV. A CV will take some time, but the end results are worth it. 

Happy job hunting, and make sure you keep your CV updated.